Encircle Wyoming: There is no easy route to see some of Wyoming’s highlights. Starting at Devils Tower in the northwest corner, head down to the capital city along the southern border. The Cowboy State’s last three destinations in the northeast corner are worth the challenging journey.

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1 Devils Tower at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming

Devils Tower soars like a geological skyscraper over the eastern plains of Wyoming. Possibly born from magnum, the landmark was shaped by erosion during millions of years. The result is this majestic monolith rising 1,267 feet. Along its sides are hundreds of parallel cracks. At the base are piles of boulders and stone as if the master sculptor did not clean up after creating this masterpiece. The trees are Ponderosa pines.

W Rd & Devils Tower-National Monument Rd, Devils Tower, WY 82714

2 Black-tailed Prairie Dog Holding Grass While Eating in Sundance, Wyoming

Sundance is a small town in northeast Wyoming with a population of about 1,200. The surrounding grasslands are home to thousands of black-tailed prairie dogs like this one eating a blade of grass. Their colonies can dig 20 to 50 burrows per acre. If you want to feel like Harry Longabaugh, who became the Sundance Kid after being jailed here in 1888, grab your rifle and start shooting. No permit is required to hunt these varmints.

501 E Park St, Sundance, WY 82729

3 Wyoming State Capitol Building in Cheyenne, Wyoming

The Wyoming State Capitol was designed in a Renaissance Revival style and built with sandstone in 1890. The House and Senate were added in 1917. Its copper dome is gilded with 24-carat gold. Two statues greet visitors. On the left is Chief Washakie. He was the head of the Eastern Shoshone Indians. On the right is Esther Hobart Morris. She helped Wyoming become the first state to allow women to vote in 1869. Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890.

200 W 24th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

4 Wyoming State Capitol through Bucking Horse and Rider Fence in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Wyoming’s logo of the Bucking Horse and Rider dates back to 1918. The symbol was designed as an insignia for the Wyoming National Guard during WWI. This image of the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne was taken through a nearby fence bearing the state’s BH&R logo. This is not a composite photo.

200 W 24th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

5 Wyoming State Capitol Interior Staircase in Cheyenne, Wyoming

The interior, three-level staircase in the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne is charming. This stairwell features warm cherry woodwork, railings and balusters framing delightful checkerboard marble floors. The building’s wings are adorned with Corinthian columns and etched arches with period lighting hanging from the ceilings.

200 W 24th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

6 Chief Washakie of Shoshone Tribe Statue at State Capitol in Cheyenne, Wyoming

In front of the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne is this statue of Chief Washakie. This famous Native American lived for about 100 years during the 19th century. He was a warrior, peace negotiator, friend of Brigham Young and the leader of the Eastern Shoshones. After several treaties with the US, he said, “The white man’s government promised that if we, the Shoshones, would be content with the little patch allowed us, it would keep us well supplied with everything for a comfortable living … I say again, the government does not keep its word.” The 24 foot statue was sculpted by Dave McGary in 2005.

200 W 24th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

7 Painted Cowboy Boot in Front of Cheyenne Depot Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Wyoming is the “Cowboy State.” Therefore, it is fitting the capital city of Cheyenne has eight-foot cowboy boots on numerous street corners. The sculptures were colorfully painted in 2004 during a Depot Museum fundraiser called, “These Boots are Made for Talkin.’” This one in the Cheyenne Depot Plaza is a tribute to past Wyoming governors. The design was painted by Alice Reed. The city also has 12 western outfitters. The most famous store is near this artwork. The Wrangler has been selling “ranchwear” since 1943.

121 W 15th St #300, Cheyenne, WY 82001

8 Stagecoach on Broadway near Town Square in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson, Wyoming, caters to tourists who come to ski, visit national parks or just want to experience a western-themed town. Highlights include everything from stagecoaches and gun fight reenactments to exceptional art galleries and almost 100 restaurants. Encircling the boardwalks of Town Square are numerous bars. One or more of these taverns will offer the ambiance and cost of nightlife you want.

25 W Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001

Bull Moose and No Parking Sign Mural in Jackson, Wyoming

Around Jackson Hole, Wyoming, you are bound to see a moose somewhere. They appear as a sculpture, a taxidermy display, on a coffee cup, in a town called Moose or as part of a mural warning tourists not to park. If you are lucky, you might see one of the states’ 7,500 animals rumbling in the wild.

Cute Puppy Face Close Up at Jackson, Wyoming

When you see this puppy face, is your immediate reaction, “Oh, isn’t he cute?” I thought so too when he posed for me outside a restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming. But that first impression has evolved into disdain for him and humility for me. The disdain occurred because regardless of how many of my world photos I show people, they always love this one the best. The humility occurs from his giant face staring above my computer screen to remind me that regardless of how many world photos I take, people will always love the ones of puppies and babies. I hope this puppy chews shoes and wets on the kitchen floor.

9 Rendezvous Peak from Teton Village Tram in Jackson, Wyoming

Teton Village is the small yet wealthy base for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The area offers very challenging runs for expert skiers across its 450 inches of annual snow. An example is Rendezvous Peak. The 10,450 foot summit is accessible by tram for skiing and snowboarding in winter and sightseeing, hiking and paragliding in the summer.

Jackson Hole Aerial Tram and Gondola Rides, 3395 Cody Ln, Teton Village, WY 83025

10 American Bumblebee on Arrowleaf Balsamroot Yellow Flower in Teton Village, Wyoming

There are 250 species of bees in the Northern Hemisphere. This one with its black body and yellow stripes is the American bumblebee. The anthophila has a long, hairy tongue. They use this proboscis to lap at the pollen and nectar in a flower such as this yellow arrowleaf balsamroot. The insect then stores their harvest in pollen baskets located on their back legs. As the bee flies, they create an electrostatic charge which holds the pollen on their legs. Then it is released onto the well-grounded stigma of the next flower. This process creates the beautiful wildflowers around Teton Village in Wyoming.

3335 Village Dr, Teton Village, WY 83025

11 Snake River below Teton Mountain Range in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The Cathedral Group is eight mountains with peaks from 11,300 to 13,770 feet in the Teton Range, Wyoming. On their eastern slope, the cold picturesque waters of the Snake River winds through the spruce-fir forests and tundra of Jackson Hole valley and the Grand Teton National Park. The alpine serenity is stunning.

1 Teton Park Rd, Moose, WY 83012

12 Anemone Geyser at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Old Faithful is only one of 500 geysers and 10,000 thermal features in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. This massive volcanic caldera is a hot bed for endless fumaroles, mudpots, geysers, hot springs and vents. These natural cauldrons bubble, churn and belch displays of steam, smoke, water and colors. Each one is unique. Sometimes they are quiet and peaceful such as Anemone Geyser shown here. When they erupt, the show is spectacular. Then, just as quickly, they retreat into temporary dormancy.

View Avenue, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

13 Couple Crossing Bridge in Yellowstone, Wyoming

Most of the two million plus acres of Yellowstone National Park are located in Wyoming. The park is famous for the spectacular river canyons, the hundreds of animal species freely roaming the forests and grasslands plus Old Faithful. This favorite tourist attraction is only one of 300 geysers in the park. Yellowstone is the largest volcanic system in North America. Many of the geothermal features emit steam. This turns into billowing clouds when the snow falls. This couple’s umbrella seemed like the perfect solution.

View Avenue, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

14 Wild Bison Grazing at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has two herds of wild bison. Together they number 2,300 to 4,500 animals. It is not uncommon to see them grazing along the road. The National Park Service claims this is the largest population in the U.S. Apparently they are direct descendants from prehistoric times. The NPS warns to keep your distance. They may look tame. However, a bison can be very dangerous when provoked. So a telephoto lens through an open car window is my only way to appreciate this 1,000 to 2,000 pound animal.

View Avenue, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

15 Mule Deer Grazing at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

During the summer, mule deer are plentiful in the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. This mule deer was part of a large herd. The beautiful animals slowly grazed on lush grass at the edge of a forest while a hot spring bubbled nearby. There are approximately 3,000 “mulies” in the park. This population is a significant improvement from their endangered status at the turn of the century.

View Avenue, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190