Bighorn National Forest
Just a couple of hours north is the sprawling Bighorn National Forest and its remarkably diverse terrain. Colorful meadows. Vast grasslands. Crystal-clear lakes. Towering mountain peaks. Steep and craggy mountain cliffs. You’ll find it all here. Whether you’re looking to camp, hike, boat, hunt, cast your fishing line, or just take in the park’s rugged beauty, Bighorn makes a phenomenal road trip destination.
Shoshone National Forest
Just over three hours to the west of Casper is the Shoshone National Forest – the country’s first national forest. With more than 2.4 million acres of wide-ranging terrain, there’s plenty to explore here. Its rugged rock formations are absolutely mesmerizing. Hike the trails. Fish. Camp. Picnic. Spot a bighorn sheep. There’s plenty to see and do at Shoshone.
See the Oregon Trail Sites
If you like your road trips with a side of history, check out some of the Oregon Trail sites close to Casper. Here are a few great spots to hit up:
About 1.5 hours southeast of town, just outside Guernsey, is the Oregon Trail Ruts State Historic Site, also known as the Guernsey Ruts. Here, you’ll see where wagon wheels carved ruts into the sandstone as parties made their way west along the Oregon-California Trail. Not far from the ruts is Register Cliff State Historic Site, where Oregon Trailers scrawled their names into an expansive sandstone cliff face on their way through the area.
If you’ve ever played the iconic Oregon Trail video game, then you’re intimately familiar with Independence Rock. Head southwest on Highway 220 to visit in real life. It’s less than an hour away. Like Register Cliff, Independence Rock bears the names of many Oregon Trail travelers. The stubby granite rock is home to more than 5,000 signatures and served as a key landmark for those making the grueling trek west.
Looking for more fun things to do in and around Casper? Check out the Granite 550 blog.