5 Off-the-Radar Spots for Escape in Wyoming’s Platte County
Explore sparkling lakes, pioneer history and delicious eats in towns like Chugwater, Wheatland and Guernsey in Platte Country.
Get off the highway and explore the authentic southern Wyoming towns that stretch from Chugwater to Glendo. You’ll find two state parks with sparkling lakes, an old-school soda fountain and history galore tucked into the plains. Don’t make the mistake of driving past without stopping in these five gems.
Right off Interstate 25 you’ll find the town of Chugwater. Stop at the mint green Chugwater Soda Fountain, the oldest in the state. It’s home to incredible strawberry milkshakes and cheeseburgers you won’t want to miss.
For nightlife, Stampede Saloon is the place to go.
“It’s like stepping into a Hallmark movie,” says Platte County executive director Shawna Reichert of the live music venue and restaurant. There’s a dance floor that’s usually hopping, especially on Thursday nights when locals take the stage. You just might just hear Wyoming’s next big hit here.
Farther north is Wheatland. Grab a coffee and peruse the book selection at The Wanderer on Gilchrist before heading to Grayrocks Reservoir. This beautiful body of water is surrounded by striking cliffs and is a great spot to fish, get out on the water, camp, or just get lost in that new novel you picked up.
Windy Peaks Brewery is the local go-to to unwind at the end of the day with both its own brews on tap as well as a diverse array from breweries across Wyoming and Colorado. Stay for dinner featuring a menu with steaks, sandwiches and salads.
Head to Guernsey State Park to enjoy some Wyoming sunshine on one of the park’s many trails, great for mountain bikers and hikers. If you’re feeling brave, this park is known for its cliff jumping, with progressively higher jumps. This park was also home to many Native American tribes, including the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Oglala and Brule Sioux. You can still see tipi rings and other cultural artifacts in the park. Remember, take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints–removing artifacts is illegal.
You could also spend the day floating the Platte River. Buy a tube at Guernsey Mercantile and put in at West Bridge on Hwy. 26. The approximately one-hour float to Register Cliffs is mellow and the perfect way to enjoy a summer afternoon. At Register Cliffs, you’ll see the names of hundreds of pioneers who took the Oregon Trail west carved into the rock. Also in Guernsey, you can see six-foot-deep paths in the sandstone carved by Oregon Trail travelers’ wagons at the Guernsey Ruts Site.
Make a reservation at Miners and Stockmen’s. It’s Wyoming’s oldest restaurant, open since 1862. It serves classic steakhouse fare including ribeyes, shrimp and salads. Save room for the nightly dessert selection.
Disguised by miles of prairie, you could drive right by and not know you were passing an incredible spot for recreation. Glendo State Park, which includes the picturesque Glendo Reservoir, is the perfect place to get out on the water to explore the gorgeous red rock shoreline. Head to Rooch’s Marina where you can rent everything from pontoon boats and stand up paddleboards to innertubes. Afterwards, head to Angler’s Rest which serves snacks and drinks.
Learn more at WyPlatteCo.com.