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While many visit Wyoming to see its awe-inspiring national parks, there are diverse and equally stunning landscapes beyond just waiting to be discovered. From the Red Desert to Gannett Peak – the highest mountain in the state – beautiful byways and scenic drives to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are the perfect way to fully experience the state’s natural beauty. Explore the numerous scenic routes to arrive at Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, many of which are accessible from Rock Springs and Green River, Wyoming, the perfect stop along your route to the National Parks:
Enter Sweetwater County’s high desert on the Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway for incomparable views of canyons, rock formations and the Green River. To view these diverse landscapes, access the Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway off of I-80, taking Hwy 191 south. Travel along the byway featuring numerous vistas and overlooks to take in the scenery.
Route: From I-80, take Hwy 191 south for 17 miles into Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Follow Hwy 191 to Hwy 44 to head around Lake Flaming Gorge, then take Hwy 530 north to Green River, Wyoming.
Extending from southwestern Wyoming into Utah’s Uinta Mountains exists the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway (UT-150 to WY-150). The 78-mile route showcases alpine landscapes including Bald Mountain Pass and the lake from which the byway got its name. On the Wyoming side, the route ends in the historic city of Evanston.
Route: Drive north on Mirror Lake Scenic Byway to Evanston. Take a detour on I-80 E toward Rock Springs and Green River before heading north toward the national parks. From Rock Springs, take US-191 N all the way to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
The Bridger Valley Historic Byway follows the paths of thousands of travelers as the intersection of the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail and Pony Express Route. The 20-mile loop off of I-80 presents drivers with views of the Uintas Mountains, grassy plains and historic sites.
Route: Driving eastbound on I-80 take exit 34 to access the historic byway. Rejoin I-80 at exit 48 and continue east toward Green River and Rock Springs. From Rock Springs take US-191 N all the way to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.
The Wyoming Centennial Byway (US-26/287) is comprised of 163 miles of highway passing through badlands, mountains, rivers and national forests. Dubois or the southern end by Pinedale can access this scenic drive from the northern end. It provides unparalleled views of Squaretop Mountain, Dinwoody Glacier, Gannett Peak and more.
Route: From Rock Springs or Green River, take US-191 N all the way to Grand Teton National Park. The Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway will begin at Pinedale and lead to the south entrance of the park. Explore or pass through Grand Teton and continue on US-191 N to Yellowstone National Park.
Note: On any of these routes, take WY-372 to US-91 N to visit the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. Or from US-91, visit the Killpecker Sand Dunes of the Red Desert, just 33 miles from Rock Springs. A detour past these natural landscapes will not disappoint.