Wyoming is a wonderful place to go camping in the summertime. Late May through September is the prime season for pitching a tent or setting up your travel trailer in the Cowboy State. Nights here will be cold year-round given its northern location, plus the high elevation in places, so dress warmly and come prepared with bear spray.
There’s more than just cowboy camping in the Cowboy State, with plenty of outstanding campgrounds near the capital city of Cheyenne. You’ll have options near the city, closer to Laramie, or south across the border in Colorado. Wyoming has plenty to offer, from rustic tent sites to boutique cabin stays. Cheyenne is perfectly situated as …
Top Wyoming Campgrounds by City
Wyoming is a grizzly country, so hard-sided structures like travel trailers and RVs are much safer than tent camping. If doing the latter in places like Jackson Hole and Yellowstone where these bears are common, stick to only populated campgrounds with many other tent campers. Don’t go dispersed camping by yourself in a tent in grizzly bear habitat.
Where To Go Camping in Wyoming
The Cowboy State is hailed as one of the last stands of the rugged West, still an independent outdoor paradise in the modern day. Wyoming does plenty to earn that title, sporting some of the best hiking and camping in the country.
It’s important to know that Wyoming is one of five US states with a grizzly bear presence. The others are Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Alaska. Hard-sided camping (think trailers and RVs) is the preferred camping style in grizzly country, although tent camping is fine at the most popular campgrounds, such as those in Yellowstone National Park.
Best Times to Go Camping in Wyoming
Unless you’re a hardcore adventurer, cross winter right off your list of possibilities. Winters here are harsh, and only the most experienced winter campers should set up their tents or travel trailers from the months of December to March at a minimum (although you would likely avoid grizzly bears who hibernate during that time).
Late fall and early spring will be tough times as well, depending on the dates of the first and last snowfalls of the season.
Summer in Wyoming, on the other hand, is a thing of beauty. Camping throughout the Cowboy State in the warm weather is something everyone should experience at least once.
The western portion of the state is situated along the Rocky Mountains, meaning that popular spots like Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks rarely get above the upper 70s during the summer. Even in July though, the overnight low in Grand Teton isn’t that far above freezing, so pack layers any time of year.
Fall and spring in Wyoming are terrific in their own rights, though the western half of the state sees lows below freezing by the end of summer. Oftentimes, this region doesn’t see lows above freezing again until May or June.
If that doesn’t sound appealing, the eastern section of Wyoming is milder. It tends to be 10-15 degrees warmer than the western portion throughout the year.
While it isn’t mountainous, the flatter, lower elevation sections of Wyoming have their charm and hold popular spots like Devils Tower National Monument. There is also much less chance of running into grizzly bears in this part of the state.
Anytime you’re visiting, bring layers and be prepared for snow. Just because the weather forecast says it will be warm, that may not end up being true. The weather changes quickly in the Cowboy State, so bring your cold weather gear, no matter what the forecast is, just in case.
National Park Service Sites in Wyoming
Wyoming has 10 National Park Service (NPS) sites, and four of them offer camping. While Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks draw lots of visitors, those looking to skip the crowds should check out the other NPS sites and the national forests. Wyoming is much more than just its two most famous national parks, so get out and see all it has to offer!
- Grand Teton National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
- Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (some campsites in Wyoming, others in Montana)
- Devils Tower National Monument
National Forests in Wyoming
There are eight national forests in Wyoming, though several of them cross into neighboring states. Of the eight, there’s one that stands out: the Shoshone National Forest. Because of the Shoshone’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park, it was the first US National Forest, established in March of 1891.
When making plans, especially for established campgrounds, make sure you double-check that they’re in Wyoming if you don’t want to cross into a neighboring state. Five of the eight national forests here cross state lines.
- Ashley National Forest (crosses into Utah)
- Bighorn National Forest
- Black Hills National Forest (crosses into South Dakota)
- Bridger-Teton National Forest
- Caribou-Targhee National Forest (crosses into Idaho)
- Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest (crosses into Colorado)
- Shoshone National Forest
- Unita-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (mainly in Utah)
Best Free Camping in Wyoming
More than half of Wyoming is federal land. 61% of the Cowboy State is run by the federal government. Do not camp alone in the woods if you are in a soft-sided structure, such as a tent. It’s just not safe. Stick to paid campgrounds or rent an RV if wanting to do some dispersed camping.
Of that, 61% of it is run by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and 31% is managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS). It’s incredibly easy to find free camping in Wyoming as the western two-thirds of the state is almost completely run federally, with the exception of a section near Riverton, Wyoming. Plus the two national parks will only have paid campgrounds.
Some of the most popular free camping include Firehole Canyon in Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Vedauwoo Glen Road in the Medicine Bow National Forest, and Government Gully Road near Laramie.
Wyoming State and Public Parks
Wyoming doesn’t have the largest state park system, with only 12 total parks. However, 11 of them offer camping. Do note that three of those parks only have RV camping, so plan accordingly.
- Boysen State Park
- Buffalo Bill State Park
- Connor Battlefield Historic Site
- Curt Gowdy State Park
- Glendo State Park
- Guernsey State Park
- Hawk Springs State Recreation Area (RV only)
- Keyhole State Park (RV only)
- Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site
- Seminoe State Park
- Sinks Canyon State Park (RV only)
RV Resorts and Unique Stays
The rugged Cowboy State has free camping and established camping through some of the most beautiful plains and forests in the country. However, for those looking to stay in comfort, Wyoming doesn’t need to be avoided. Much of the glamping and resorts around here are near Jackson, but there are good spots to be found throughout the state.
- The Wapiti Lodge
- Fireside Resort Cabins
- Alpine Valley RV Resort
- The Longhorn Ranch Lodge & RV Resort
- Moose Creek Ranch
- Coyote Run Tipi Retreat
Wyoming is a place every outdoor adventurer should have on the bucket list. While Yellowstone and Grand Teton are both musts, there’s so much more of this state to explore.