Small Footprint ~ Big Impressions, Travel Destinations & Stories

Wind River Scenic Byway and The World’s Largest Hot Springs

There is more to Wyoming than you think!

Driving South to North as we did, the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway begins in the town of Shoshoni at milepost 100. Following U.S. 20 north through Wind River Canyon and the Wind River Indian Reservation, the route ends just north of the city of Thermopolis at milepost 134. Without stopping, the total drive time is only about 40 minutes. And yes, your RV will fit through the tunnels!

The Route

From the southern entrance in the town of Shoshoni to just north of Thermopolis, the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway offers 34 miles of fascinating Wyoming geology, history, and recreation.

Take the byway between the ancient rock cliffs of Wind River Canyon which is the same path once used by Native Americans, explorers, and pioneers. Continue through the Wind River Indian Reservation, keeping an eye out for bighorn sheep. Wind River, becomes the Bighorn River. 

World’s Largest Hot Springs

Make sure you stop at the world’s largest mineral hot springs. Do you know why it’s the worlds largest? Most people assume it means the size. The title “World’s Largest Hot Springs” is definitely deceiving, as largest doesn’t apply to the size, but to the amount of water that flushes through. Visitors can take a free dip in the heat regulated indoor/outdoor pools.

There is a suspension foot bridge across the Bighorn River is commonly called “The Swinging Bridge.” You’ll find a great view of the Bighorn River!

Most people come for the hot springs, but there is so much more at the Hot Springs State Park. You’ll see Bison and be mesmerized by the hot water cascades down colorful Rainbow Terraces along the Big Horn River at a rate of 8,000 gallons per day. You can view it from the Swinging Bridge as well. Hot Springs State Park is free to get in. 

Tip: If you’re going to take a dip in the hot springs, and don’t want to smell like sulphur all day, make sure you bring soap with you! They do provide towels for you, but no soap. 

Enjoy! This is a very scenic drive and a very relaxing, free hot springs!

Some of the less famous byways in the U.S. are worth the drive! They are usually less crowded and yet still offer some amazing landscape to see! Have you driven this gorgeous byway yet? We’d love to hear your experience! 

2 thoughts on “Wind River Scenic Byway and The World’s Largest Hot Springs”

    1. So far we haven’t hardly been one place where we didn’t feel like we needed to go back and see something else. Weather or time kept us from so many things we still wanted to see.

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