Wyoming is one of the few places in the United States where the western experience is still alive and well. Even if it’s more of an emotional and nostalgic frontier rather than anything tangible, Wyoming feels like a romantic place on the brink of age-old exploration. Riding a horse through expansive plains, river-rafting beneath towering Rocky Mountain peaks, drinking whiskey neat in ramshackle taverns where everyone is on a first-name basis — it’s Westworld without the robots.
If you’re heading to Wyoming in search of that elusive frontier experience, it doesn’t exactly seem fitting to stay in a 5-star resort. Simultaneously, snaring a rabbit and roasting it over an open fire may seem a little too authentic. Your solution: glamping. With the perfect balance between ruggedness and modern comfort, glamping is arguably the best way to experience Wyoming — here are the five most idyllic options in the state.
Located in the heart of Jackson Hole, the Fireside Resort provides arguably Wyoming’s truest glamping experience. By combining the amenities of a high-end boutique hotel with the atmosphere of a wooded campground, Fireside perfectly captures the glamping aesthetic. Each site comes equipped with a large felt-covered room with a king-size bed, a personal fire pit, and tasteful Western decor. It’s about as close you can get to being outdoors without actually being outdoors. It’s also in a great location with quick access to Grand Teton National Park.
In southern Wyoming, at the foothills of the Ashley National Forest, lies Riverdeck, a multi-faceted glamping paradise with a dizzying array of choices for both accommodations and activities. Hosted by a friendly husband and wife, Riverdeck allows you to choose between a two-story log cabin with three decks, a yurt, a teepee, a sheep herder’s wagon, and backpacking tents. If you’re looking for the full Western frontier experience, Riverdeck is your spot. As far as activities go, they offer fly fishing on the Fork River, big game hunting with licensed outfitters, horseback riding, jeep tours, and various snow sports during the winter time.
Have you ever wanted to be perched on high plains, standing among windblown grasses and looking out at expansive blue skies? Just east of Yellowstone National Park, Big Quiet Camping may provide the fix for the frontiersman in you. Lodging accommodations include traditional indigenous-style teepees, cotton canvas cowboy tents, sheepherder wagons, and a more luxurious farmhouse. While not exactly endemic to the Wild Wild West, Big Quiet also offers Turkish yurts and a Japanese cabin if you’re feeling international.
One of the best places to go whitewater rafting in the United States is Wyoming — and if you’re headed on a multi-night journey, curling up in a tipi is a fitting way to rest your head. This glamping experience offers travelers a 2-day river-rafting trip, meals, and plush riverside tipis with all the amenities of a standard hotel room. The wild Snake River is located near Grand Teton National Park and boasts some of the most beautiful views in the state. If whitewater rafting isn’t your cup of tea, they offer milder day trips and scenic floats where you can calmly appreciate your surroundings.
On the banks of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir just east of Yellowstone, lies a collection of cabins that sit in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape. Recently remodeled in 2015, these cabins are filled with an ample supply of antique, Western taste. The toilet roll holder is a repurposed equestrian tool with worn leather and wrought iron — if that gives you an idea of how much care was placed in creating the perfect frontier experience. Nearby there are hiking trails, and the town of Cody is just up the road for anything you may need.