The Equality State (or Cowboy State)
Wyoming may be the least populous state in the U.S., but it is also home to some of the most beautiful landscapes and sights in the country, like Yellowstone National Park in the northwest, the nearby Grand Tetons National Park, and Devil’s Tower to the east. The cowboy culture of the Old West still lingers in Wyoming, so visitors will find many attractions and historical sites related to the western heritage of the state. The small population of Wyoming means there are few public transportation options, so plan ahead before traveling in and around the Cowboy State. For more information, browse the guide below or visit wyomingtourism.org.
Jump to: Historical Sites & Tourist Attractions | Arts & Culture | Sports & Recreation | Outdoor Activities | Food | Local Festivals | Housing Resources | Transportation | Health & Safety | Help Your Community
Historical Sites & Tourist Attractions
Cody, Wyoming. Photo by Paul Hermans.
Add some local history to your cultural exchange experience by visiting a nearby historical site or tourist attraction when living and working in the U.S.
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody is named for the famous Buffalo Bill, a frontiersman and American icon. But, it also contains information about cowboys, pioneer life, Plains Indians, ranching, art and the natural history of Wyoming. Lectures, films, educational programs and special events also take place at the history center throughout the year.
The Jackson Hole Museum focuses on the history of the town and the personal stories of those who have settled there. The museum and Jackson Hole Historical Society also offer public programs and free summer walking tours.
The Museum of the American West in Lander looks at the different groups who lived in Wyoming, including pioneers, ranchers and Plains Indians. Visit the Pioneer Village or view exhibits about the cultural history of central Wyoming.
The Nelson Museum of the West in Cheyenne contains a collection of exhibits, artifacts and art, including military artifacts, Native American art, cowboy artifacts and much more.
Old Trail Town at the Museum of the Old West in Cody brings visitors back to the 1890s and frontier life in Wyoming. See original cabins and a saloon once used by the outlaw Butch Cassidy, Native American artifacts and other historical objects from the days of the Old West.
See fossils, real dig sites and almost 30 skeletons at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center & Dig Sites in Thermopolis. Highlights of the dinosaur center include a triceratops (the state dinosaur of Wyoming), the 106-foot “Supersaurus,” named Jimbo, and the 35-foot T-Rex skeleton named Stan in the Hall of Dinosaurs. Visitors can also tour the dig sites during certain times of year.
The Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne teaches visitors about Wyoming history, including topics as varied as wildlife, dinosaurs and archaeology, Native Americans, art and the mining industry. The museum also offers programs, exhibits and events for children to teach them about history with interactive lessons and activities.
Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site in Laramie is a former prison that once held famous outlaw Butch Cassidy along with over 1,000 other prisoners in the 19th and 20th centuries. Take a guided tour from and learn about the convicts that were once held here and what life was like in the prison. Tours are offered between June and September.
- Backcountry Guides
- Devil’s Tower Climbing Guides
- Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours
- Jackson Hole Snowmobile Tours
- Leisure Sports
- Old Faithful Snowmobile Tours
- Rockin’ M Horseback Riding
- Upstream Anglers & Outdoor Adventures
- Wyoming Tourism
- Cheyenne – state capital and largest metro area
Arts & Culture
National Museum of Wildlife Art at Grand Teton National Park. Photo by Daniel Mayer.
The United States offers a wide variety of cultural learning opportunities through the arts. Dance, music, theater, opera, art museums and festivals are just some of the options available to international visitors who wish to experience the U.S. and its culture.
Go to a Thursday night “jam session” at the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, WY and see local musicians play bluegrass, folk and western music for a free, public performance. Visiting musicians are also allowed to play with the band, if they can keep up!
Browse the Arts Cheyenne website for the latest information on art and cultural events in the Cheyenne area. We’ve also put together a group of art museums, cultural centers and performing art venues in Wyoming.
Art & Cultural Museums
- Arapaho Cultural Museum, Ethete
- Casper Events Center, Casper
- Center for the Arts, Jackson
- Crook County Museum & Art Gallery, Sundance
- Lander Art Center, Lander
- Laramie Plains Civic Center Theatre, Laramie
- Manitou Gallery, Cheyenne
- National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson
- Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper
- Washakie Museum & Cultural Center, Worland
- University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie
- Arts Center at Central Wyoming College, Riverton
- Cheyenne Civic Center, Cheyenne
- Off Square Theatre Company, Jackson
- WYO Theater, Sheridan
- University of Wyoming Fine Arts Box Office, Laramie
Sports & Recreation
Many Americans are passionate about sports – and not just baseball and football! Get a glimpse into this part of American culture by watching or participating in a favorite U.S. sport or recreational activity in your local area.
Minor League Sports
No major league professional sports teams are based in Wyoming, but international visitors can enjoy popular American sports from local minor league teams in the state:
- Cheyenne Grizzlies (baseball)
- Wyoming Knights (football)
- Laramie Colts (baseball)
- Wyoming Calvary (indoor football)
- Yellowstone Quake (hockey)
The largest college athletics program in Wyoming is at the University of Wyoming, but there are several other universities with sports programs:
- Casper Thunderbirds, Casper College
- Central Rustlers, Central Wyoming College
- East Wyoming Lancers, East Wyoming College
- Wyoming Cowboys, University of Wyoming
The United States is home to a variety of landscapes and climates to suit all types of outdoor activities. The courageous traveler can find extreme sports and outdoor adventure tours, while others may want to keep both feet on the ground in a national park or forest. Whatever your interests, take advantage of the many outdoor activities available during your time in the United States.
Yellowstone National Park stretches across Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, but the majority of the park is in Wyoming. The first national park in the U.S., and one of the most iconic national parks in the world, Yellowstone has many outdoor activities within its borders, including hiking, cycling, boating, camping, fishing, horseback riding, llama packing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and more. Ranger-led tours and hikes are also available at certain times of year. One of the park’s most famous attractions is the enormous geyser, Old Faithful. Visitors can see many other geysers throughout the park as well.
Grand Teton National Park is located ten miles south of Yellowstone near Jackson, WY. Many outdoor activities are available to visitors in Grand Teton, including biking, mountain climbing, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, boating and camping. Ranger programs are also available in all seasons, including wildlife viewing, guided hikes and campfire talks.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area on the border of Wyoming and Montana offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation and activities, including the 71-mile Bighorn Lake, the Bighorn River, historic ranches and sights like Bighorn sheep and the largest herd of wild horses in the United States. Camping, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hunting, hiking and ranch tours are potential outdoor activities for visitors to Bighorn Canyon.
Bighorn National Forest in north-central Wyoming features 1,500 miles of trails, campgrounds, lakes, mountains and places like Shell Falls and Cloud Peak Wilderness. Hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are some of the many outdoor activities at Bighorn National Forest.
Devil’s Tower National Monument is a prominent rock formation and a sacred site for local Native American tribes in the Black Hills of northeastern Wyoming. Hiking is a popular activity at the park, including a hike that circles around the tower. Climbing is allowed but all climbers must register before climbing the tower. See a list of climbing guides that offer rock climbing tours at Devil’s Tower. Horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are also available at the monument.
National Elk Refuge is a protected area for a herd of Jackson Elk, bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorn sheep and other types of wildlife. Visitors can see the elk herd on winter sleigh rides, participate in the Elkfest and Antler Auction, view wildlife throughout the year and see the historic Miller Ranch in the summer. Limited hiking is also available.
There are many places to ski and snowboard in the Jackson area, often called Jackson Hole, including Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Resort and Grand Targhee Resort. Skiing areas in other areas of Wyoming include Sleeping Giant Ski Area, near Cody, Snowy Range Ski Area, near Laramie, Hogadon Ski Area in Casper and White Pine Ski, near Pinedale.
Ribfest at Frontier Park. Photo by Larry Jacobsen.
One of the best ways to experience cultural exchange is through food and cooking. Visitors will enjoy exploring the regional specialties and local cuisine during their time in the United States.
Wyoming cuisine is influenced by cowboy and ranching culture and Native American cuisine, so international visitors will find dishes like fry bread, fresh fish, chili, beans and plenty of meat-based dishes, including bison, elk and lamb.
Find a local farmers’ market in Wyoming to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and handmade products and baked goods.
Food Festivals & Events
- Old West Brewfest, Jackson Hole, May
- Alpine Mountain Days Chili Cook-off, Alpine, June
- Beer, Brats and Bluegrass, Evanston, June
- Boomerang Chili Cook-off, Laramie, July
- Cheyenne Rib Fest, Cheyenne, August
For a unique and local perspective on American cultural, be sure to check out festivals and events near your cultural exchange program location. These events are a fun and interesting way to interact with locals and to learn more about American culture by experiencing it firsthand.
The Jackson Hole Mountain Festival features many activities, including sports competition, live music, free concerts, fireworks and other fun events. The festival takes place in March in Teton Village near Jackson.
Flaming Gorge Days is a summer celebration featuring the Festival in the Park, a parade and two nights of concerts with country and rock music. The event is held over three days each June in Green River in southwest Wyoming.
Powwows are common cultural events in Wyoming that celebrate Native American heritage with traditional dancing, music, food, arts, crafts and other activities. The Eastern Shoshone Indian Days powwow during the last weekend in June is the largest powwow in Wyoming.
Cheyenne Frontier Days celebrates Western heritage with an outdoor rodeo and events and activities like concerts, a carnival, a parade, a Native American Village, food events, cooking competitions and events at the Old West Museum. Frontier Days is the largest event in Wyoming and one of the largest rodeos in the country, attracting approximately 200,000 people each July.
The Grand Teton Music Festival is a classical music festival in Jackson Hole that includes both a summer season and winter concerts. Orchestras and musicians from around the United States travel to Wyoming to perform at the festival, which lasts for several weeks.
Fort Bridger Rendezvous is an annual “mountain man rendezvous” and one of the largest events in Wyoming. A mountain man rendezvous refers to an old tradition when fur trappers, mountain men and Native Americans would meet up in the wilderness to sell their furs, get supplies, socialize and show off their skills. Today, modern traders sell their products and visitors can see traditional dances and musicians, eat foods like kettle corn and fry bread, take classes on traditional crafts, and learn about the history and culture of the 19th and 20th century in Wyoming. The event takes place over Labor Day weekend in September.
Employers may be able to assist with housing during your time in the United States, but this is not always possible for all participants. When looking for housing during your cultural exchange program, consider the cost of the accommodation, the distance to your work place and the amount of time you will be in the United States.
It's also important to avoid fraudulent housing. It is highly recommended that you secure short-term housing upon arrival (e.g. in a hostel) and conduct your housing search once you are in the U.S. Never give your financial information to a stranger over the Internet. Browse the Housing Information guides for InterExchange participants below for more tips and advice.
General Housing Information
- Housing information for Work and Travel USA participants
- Housing information for Career Training USA interns and trainees
Wyoming Housing Resources
Some examples of housing and accommodation resources for Wyoming participants include:
- Craigslist - Wyoming
- American Homestay Agency
- Hostelling International
Public transportation options can be hit or miss, depending on your location in the United States. Buses are a common transportation option for short and long-term travel in the U.S., while some areas will also have trains, subways and other options.
As the least populous state in the United States, Wyoming has a limited number of public transportation resources.
Public Transit Systems
Visit the American Public Transportation Association website for a complete list of public transportation options in Wyoming communities, such as:
- START Bus - Jackson and to nearby areas in Teton Village, Star Valley and Teton Valley in Idaho.
- Cheyenne Public Transit
Bus and Train
Two bus companies operating in Wyoming include:
There are no Amtrak trains or other national passenger trains operating in Wyoming.
Health & Safety
Participants in Wyoming can use the following resources in case of an emergency or extreme weather event in their area:
Emergency Management Agencies
- Wyoming Homeland Security
- Emergency updates on Twitter @WyOHS
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) www.fema.gov and www.ready.gov
- Wyoming FEMA updates on Twitter @femaregion8
- National Weather Service
- Weather – Cheyenne and Southeastern Wyoming
- Weather – Northeastern Wyoming
- Weather – Western and Central Wyoming
Help Your Community
Interact with others and expand your skill set by volunteering in your local community. Volunteer organizations are often looking for short-term volunteers or for individuals to help with a single event, making it a great option for InterExchange participants who wish to add to their cultural exchange experience during their time in the United States.
Volunteermatch.org, Idealist.org and Serve.gov are three general volunteer websites that match local organizations with volunteers in their communities.
Serve Wyoming works to connect organizations with volunteers looking to help in their local community. Browse the Serve Wyoming website to find a volunteer opportunity based on your interests, location and time availability.
Contact a local food pantry in Wyoming to sign up as a volunteer and help feed the hungry. Volunteers can help with tasks like sorting donations, preparing and serving meals and helping with administrative work.
Habitat for Humanity works with volunteers to build and renovate low-cost housing for families and individuals in need. Volunteers need little to no experience to help, and both groups and individuals are welcome to help. Contact a local Habitat affiliate in Wyoming to learn more.