7 Most Stunning Fall Drives in Wyoming (2023)
Autumn or fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. And when it is in the western landscape of the beautiful state of Wyoming, it is indeed a sight to see. Wyoming’s byways are known for being pristine alleyways through the state’s magnificent fall landscape. It is in the fall that the deciduous beauties of the state get decked up in shades of gold, yellow, red, and orange flourish as you take in the crisp autumn air and the temperature starts to drop.
It seems like, with the coming of the fall season, Wyoming gets painted in shades of yellow, red, and orange. This is the time of year when this Cowboy State is at its most beautiful, and you don’t want to miss this experience. If you are looking to experience some truly incredible fall drives in Wyoming, here are some of the scenic byways that give you a glimpse of the best autumn foliage through the state.
7 Most Stunning Fall Drives in Wyoming
Let us look at the most stunning fall drives in Wyoming.
1. Beartooth Scenic Highway
Stretching for 68 miles, the Beartooth Scenic Highway takes you through the Shoshone National Forest that offers some of the most breathtaking views of the changing seasons as the aspens change color in late September. This highway is also the highest paved road in Wyoming.
Beginning in Montana, the Beartooth Scenic Highway winds through the northeast entrance of the famous Yellowstone National Park, giving you a grand view of this geological attraction in autumn. If you are driving, you can access this route in Wyoming through the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway.
While you are on the Beartooth Scenic Highway, and for those who want to get some of the best views of the fall season, make sure to stop at Yellowstone National Park, which is slightly less crowded during this time. You get to explore the many natural wonders of the park amongst a smaller autumn crowd present inside. You should also make it a point to stop in Powell to check out the various museums, including the renowned Heart Mountain Relocation Center, which tells the story of the region’s Japanese American internment camp that was there during World War II.
2. Cloud Peak Skyway
Spanning a length of 47 miles, the Cloud Peak Skyway gives you some of the best views of the Bighorn Mountains framed by the striking yellow and golden-hued aspens. This is the southern-most route across the Bighorn National Forest, and you can access this byway either at Ten Sleep from the western side or at Buffalo from the eastern end to experience a breathtaking fall drive.
As you go along the Cloud Peak Skyway, make a stop to marvel at Buffalo’s Historic Occidental Hotel. Enjoy the stunning views of the Bighorn Mountains at Ten Sleep Brewing Company as you sip on a cooling drink. Don’t forget to make a stop to learn about the Big Horn Basin’s paleontology and archaeology at the Washakie Museum and Cultural Center in Worland. All these make this journey even more exciting for visitors who have come to Wyoming for the first time.
3. Black Hills Scenic Byway
The Black Hills Scenic Byway stretches for 78 miles and takes you through a heavenly mix of evergreen and deciduous trees as you meander your way through the Black Hills National Forest. In the falls, this otherwise dark green landscape gets painted in a riot of colors that is an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Black Hills Scenic Byway stops at the western gateway to the Black Hills, which is a small mountain range that stretches from western South Dakota all the way to Wyoming. The rolling native grass prairies provide plenty of opportunities to come across the roaming wildlife as you continue on this colorful drive.
For those who love to hike, you can take a break from driving and hike the three-mile Serenity trail just off of Highway 85, very near to Newcastle.
4. Grand Teton Loop on US 89
The US is known for having some of the most incredible loops for road trips, and one of the most famous loops that you cannot miss is the Grand Teton Loop that takes you through the fantastic Grand Teton National Park, one of the star attractions of Wyoming, especially when the colors are changing to usher in the autumn season. You begin the road trip in Moose and travel through the park. You get to explore many attractions here, such as the magnificent views of the Tetons and the breathtaking lakes like Jenny Lake as you make your way through. Now once the loops turn south, you will get to take in the stunning sights of the Cunningham Historic Cabin, the Snake River, and the Oxbow Bend Outlooks.
5. Flaming Gorge – Green River Basin Scenic Byway
Stretching for approximately 100 miles and giving you some stunning views of tree-studded mountain ranges to the high desert and open-shrub vegetation, the Flaming Gorge – Green River Basin Scenic Byway is the perfect way to get a full sampling of autumn’s colors and its beauty across the diverse landscape of Wyoming.
To access this beautiful fall drive, you need to take the route located just west of Rock Springs. Make sure to keep an eye out for herds of mule deer, wild horses, and pronghorn along the way.
You can also make a stop for a hike or just to take in the gorgeous views of the gorge in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
6. Red Gulch/Alkali Scenic Backway
This is a relatively short drive through, stretching for just 32 miles, but you get to take in some stunning fall views. Along this way, you get to encounter areas rich in geological history. This is a road that is less traveled as it primarily runs through a mostly unpaved section of the Big Horn Basin. The route takes you through the Red Gulch Road, where you can observe the 13,000 foot tall Bighorn Mountains, the red hills of the 230 million-year-old Chugwater Formation, and the country inhabited by Paleo-Indian mammoth hunters nearly 12,000 years ago. And imagine all this unique and diverse landscape framed in the fiery colored prairie during the fall – a stunning sight to take in.
7. Star Valley Scenic Byway
Snow-capped mountain ranges and mesmerizing reflective lakes greet you along the 80 miles of the Star Valley Scenic Byway. The Star Valley Scenic Byway is perfect for fall foliage viewing. You pass through the Salt River Pass and the Climb Salt River Canyon and complete your trip at the majestic summit of Snake River Canyon to see the full glory of the fall foliage on display from 7610 feet.