Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog


a group of people riding skis on a raft

How to Explore Wyoming’s Waterways

Free-flowing rivers, alpine lakes, and soothing hot springs are what summer vacation dreams are made of.

Summer vacations are a precious commodity. As such, it is imperative to make the most of those rare moments when it becomes possible to wrangle everyone together and step away from life’s chronically chaotic pace. For travelers seeking solace in the wide-open glory of the great outdoors, there is no better summer vacation destination than Wyoming.

It is difficult to explain the sheer scale and diversity of Wyoming’s bounty—towering mountains, dense pine forests, and never-ending plains are just the start. What most travelers don’t expect, however, is the sheer number of breathtaking waterways to be found around the landlocked state. From free-flowing rivers to crisp alpine lakes to soothing natural hot springs, exploring Wyoming’s waters is one of the most memorable ways to spend a summer vacation. Here are a few aquatic highlights to get your planning started.

Go Rafting on Wyoming’s Rivers

Wyoming’s wild flowing rivers are arguably the most dynamic of all its waterways. For hundreds of thousands of years, these rivers have acted as veins connecting life throughout the state. Today, they are as vital as ever, and they touch populations all over the US. As snow falls, accumulates, and melts, these rivers carry water everywhere from Mississippi to the Gulf of California.

To interact with these magnificent rivers is to witness Wyoming in its full glory, and no one does it better than Wyoming River Trips. Less of a typical guided tour than a more deeply personal, educational experience, the family-run company has been operating since 1972. Novice river rafters or those looking for a quick excursion should opt for the Red Rock Canyon trip, the classic Wyoming river-rafting adventure suitable for all ages. Float through an iron-oxidized red sandstone canyon and be mesmerized by the gentle thrill of class-one rapids while viewing wildlife in the state’s high desert.

a man riding a surfboard on top of a mountain

If you have more time and a mild aptitude for excitement, the full-day North Fork of Shoshone trip is a magnificent way to encounter the Yellowstone ecosystem. The alpine forest setting of this trip shows off an entirely different side of Wyoming’s landscape—you might see bighorn sheep perched on cliffs, grizzly bears foraging in the forest, or moose grazing the river’s edge. Take in the views around each bend as you descend chutes of churning white water, learn about the region’s rich history from your guide, and enjoy a riverside picnic lunch along the way.

For those thrill-seeking souls looking for an immersive expedition, consider Wyoming Rivers Cooperative, the classic river trip’s sister company offering fully custom, small-group trips centered around conservation and education. These bespoke trips are often multiday affairs built around your abilities and priorities, so each excursion is a one-of-a-kind way to explore the Cowboy State.

Check out the full article here.