Best Activities To Experience In Buffalo, Wyoming

Things To Do In Buffalo WY

Are you eager to explore the quieter and smaller towns of Wyoming, like Buffalo? If so, you’re not alone. Many travelers are seeking out unique experiences away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.

Understanding this desire for a more tranquil travel experience, we dove into extensive research on Buffalo, Wyoming. Did you know that Buffalo is nestled between towering mountains and vast flatlands at an elevation of 4645 feet? We’ve meticulously curated a list of the best activities in this charming town to help you plan a memorable trip.

If you’re ready to uncover the hidden gems and cultural treasures of Buffalo, Wyoming, read on!

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Bighorn National Forest with over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, fishing, and camping. It’s a perfect spot for nature lovers between Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone Park.
  • Visit the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum to learn about regional history through engaging exhibits on the Johnson County Cattle War and Bozeman Trail.
  • Drive along US Highway 16 or Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway for stunning views of the Big Horn Mountains and Cloud Peak.
  • Enjoy cultural experiences at the Historic Occidental Hotel & Saloon with its jam sessions and Haunted Hotel Tours in October.
  • Take part in Longmire Days from July 18th – 21st, 2024, to meet celebrities from the “Longmire” series while supporting local events through the Longmire Foundation.

Overview of Buffalo, Wyoming

Buffalo, Wyoming sits at the feet of the majestic Bighorn Mountains. This town boasts wide open spaces and clear skies that connect us to nature. With a humble elevation of 4645 feet, it serves as a gateway to outdoor adventures and historical exploration.

Around 4,600 people call Buffalo home, giving it that cozy small-town feel we all cherish.

Driving through Buffalo offers views of mountain meadows and glimpses into the past with sites like Fort Phil Kearny nearby. The historic Occidental Hotel whispers tales of travelers from long ago.

Here, in Johnson County, activities span from enjoying Lake DeSmet‘s tranquility to discovering artifacts at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum. Whether we’re seeking serenity in nature or learning about the Wild West’s rugged history, Buffalo lays out an incredible canvas for our adventures.

Location and surrounding scenery

Buffalo sits snugly between the rolling plains and the Big Horn Mountains’ majestic peaks. This town offers a gateway to exploring vast wilderness areas and enjoying breathtaking views.

The drive on US Highway 16, which slices through Buffalo, treats travelers to scenes of wide-open spaces transitioning into towering mountain landscapes.

The Bighorn National Forest is nearby with its clear fishing streams, hidden alpine lakes, and dense forests perfect for hiking and camping adventures. Visitors find themselves wrapped in nature’s grandeur, from high mountain meadows to deep canyons carved by wind and water over millennia.

We’re surrounded by history too—sites like Hole in the Wall where outlaws once hid are just a stone’s throw away, adding layers of stories to our stunning scenery.

Must-Do Activities in Buffalo

Things To Do In Buffalo WY - A scenic view of US Highway 16 winding through rugged mountain terrain with dramatic rock formations and sparse vegetation.

Explore US Highway 16, Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway, Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, Dry Creek Petrified Forest, and Lake DeSmet. Ready for adventure? Read more!

US Highway 16

We love driving on US Highway 16, also known as the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway. It’s a road that takes you through the stunning Big Horn Mountains. The views here are amazing, with mountain meadows and clear blue skies.

This highway has earned a 4.5 out of 5 rating from travelers who’ve experienced its beauty.

Along this route, we always make sure to stop at key places like the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum. It adds a touch of history to our trip and helps us appreciate Wyoming even more.

Driving this highway is something we recommend if you’re heading out west in WY.

Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway

Driving along the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway, US Highway 16, we get to see some of the most stunning sights in Wyoming. This road is special because it shows us Cloud Peak. At 13,167 feet tall, it’s the highest point in the Big Horn Mountains.

We can’t help but stop and stare at this giant mountain from the byway—it’s the only spot you can see Cloud Peak without having to hike.

As we drive through Bighorn National Forest on this byway, every turn brings a new breathtaking view. Ten Sleep Canyon impresses us with its sheer rock faces and deep valleys. The scenery here makes us feel small compared to these giant natural wonders.

This trip isn’t just a drive; it’s an adventure into nature’s best secrets that you can only find on US Highway 16.

Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum

When visiting Buffalo, Wyoming, a must-see attraction is the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum. It has been highly rated by visitors and offers a variety of historical topics through videos and activities, including the Johnson County Cattle War and the Bozeman Trail.

The museum’s “Grow With the Gatchell” series covers regional history and is free to stream on YouTube. This informative institution provides an educational experience for all ages, enriching our understanding of local history in a captivating way.

The Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum integrates historical context effectively with its exhibits and presentations, providing insightful details that enhance our appreciation of regional history.

Whether we are interested in delving into specific historical events or simply seeking more knowledge about the area’s past, this museum caters to our desire for educational experiences while exploring quieter towns like Buffalo, Wyoming.

Dry Creek Petrified Forest

Dry Creek Petrified Forest, located 13 miles east of Buffalo, Wyoming, is a remarkable gem for nature enthusiasts. It offers a 0.8-mile interpretive loop trail that allows visitors to hike among ancient petrified trees.

The experience amidst these ancient marvels provides insight into the environmental transformations over time and adds an enriching dimension to the area’s natural beauty.

The Dry Creek Petrified Forest stands as a testament to the passage of time and geological wonders that captivate travelers seeking tranquility combined with historical significance.

As we explore this unique destination, our encounter with the ancient petrified trees will surely evoke a sense of wonder and fascination at nature’s enduring legacy—a must-visit for anyone yearning to delve into history while savoring the quiet charm of smaller towns.

Lake DeSmet

Lake DeSmet, a “hidden gem,” offers camping, fishing, boating, and picnicking activities. With petrified wood along the banks and unique rocks on the shore, it’s a nature lover’s paradise.

It has received an impressive 4.5 out of 5 bubbles from 15 reviewers for its serene ambiance and reasonable camping prices.

Cultural and Artistic Activities

Discover the historic charm of the Occidental Hotel & Saloon, where old west legends once gathered, and immerse yourself in local creativity at the Potters’ Depot and Wyoming In Color Art Gallery.

Uncover unique artistic treasures at Un’WINE’d, blending art with a touch of relaxation. Intrigued? Read on for captivating cultural experiences in Buffalo!

Historic Occidental Hotel & Saloon

The Historic Occidental Hotel & Saloon entices with its rich history, dating back to 1880. The hotel holds a local jam session every Thursday night in the saloon and boasts a steakhouse right next door.

Engage in Haunted Hotel Tours during the last two weeks of October, where you can immerse yourself in chilling tales and possibly encounter otherworldly experiences.

Situated in Buffalo, Wyoming, this renowned establishment has received a stellar rating of 4.5 out of 5 bubbles from 178 reviewers. As part of your exploration through quieter and smaller towns, the hotel offers an enriching experience steeped in historical context that is both informative and engaging for those seeking to uncover the secrets entrenched within its walls.

Potters’ Depot

Potters’ Depot enhances Buffalo’s artistic vibe. The depot showcases locally crafted pottery, located in downtown Buffalo, one block east of Main Street. Visitors can explore unique pieces from talented local potters, adding a personal touch to their visit.

The gallery is an essential stop for those intrigued by authentic art and the work of local artists.

The Potters’ Depot stands as a testament to the town’s vibrant creative scene, offering a hands-on experience with genuine craftsmanship.

Wyoming In Color Art Gallery

Wyoming In Color Art Gallery, rated 5.0 out of 5 bubbles by Jackie H. on May 10, 2024, showcases local artists and features a diverse selection of affordable and quality works. The engaging owner Bonnie runs the gallery housed in an old soda fountain/pharmacy building with positive reviews highlighting her passion for art and community.

If you are seeking an immersive experience in the vibrant local art scene while exploring quieter towns like Buffalo, look no further than this gem.


Located in downtown Buffalo, Wyoming, Un’WINE’d offers a cozy Western wine bar experience. With its welcoming atmosphere and outdoor seating overlooking the creek, it’s an ideal spot to unwind with a selection of fine wines and tapas.

The establishment captures the essence of the West, making it a must-visit for those seeking a laid-back and authentic experience in this quiet and charming town.

In addition to offering a varied selection of wines, Un’WINE’d provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture while enjoying picturesque views. It’s tailored towards individuals who appreciate unique experiences in quieter settings – perfect for anyone wanting to explore Buffalo’s unassuming yet delightful attractions.

Outdoor Adventures in Buffalo

Discover the pristine beauty of Bighorn National Forest, perfect for hiking and wildlife spotting. Dive into an exhilarating horseback riding experience, exploring scenic trails and mountain meadows.

Venture to Meadowlark Ski Lodge for thrilling winter sports and stunning mountain views.

Bighorn National Forest

When you visit Buffalo, Wyoming, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Bighorn National Forest. Covering nearly 192,000 acres with over 1,200 miles of trails, the forest offers a range of activities from fishing streams to alpine lakes and camping areas.

Positioned between Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, it provides a picturesque stopover for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether you’re into hiking along rugged terrains or casting your line into pristine wilderness waters, Bighorn National Forest has something tailored for every kind of explorer.

Summer recreation alerts and road opening information are conveniently available on the Bighorn National Forest website to assist in planning your visit effectively. From its rich history to its diverse natural beauty, this vibrant landscape beckons visitors seeking an immersive experience amidst awe-inspiring surroundings.

Horseback riding

For those interested in horseback riding, Buffalo, Wyoming offers plenty of options. The Bud Love Wildlife Habitat Management Area provides 7900 public acres for this activity. Circle Park and Hunter Corrals are popular destinations for both horseback riding and hiking.

Additionally… Blacktooth Excursions and South Fork Outfitters offer guided horseback rides providing stunning views and breathtaking vistas.

Meadowlark Ski Lodge

When planning a trip to Buffalo, Wyoming, don’t miss out on the scenic Meadowlark Ski Lodge in Ten Sleep. Located off Forest Service Road U.S. Highway 16 East, it’s easily accessible and offers prime opportunities for skiing and snowboarding.

This cozy lodge has garnered praise for its excellent snow quality and suitability for young skiers. If you’re passionate about exploring quieter towns and seeking an active getaway with picturesque mountain meadows surrounding you, then this is a must-visit destination to experience the best of Wyoming’s outdoors.

This winter wonderland provides an ideal setting for individuals aged 35-65 who are interested in outdoor activities and embracing nature’s beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or looking to try this sport for the first time, Meadowlark Ski Lodge presents an opportunity to indulge in thrilling adventures amidst stunning landscapes that capture the essence of small-town charm combined with exhilarating experiences – something truly unforgettable during your visit to Buffalo.

Longmire Days

Longmire Days, an annual event in Buffalo, Wyoming, is scheduled for July 18th – 21st, 2024. The event draws celebrities like Robert Taylor, Louanne Stephens, A Martinez, John Bishop, Derek Phillips and author Craig Johnson who wrote the “Longmire” series.

Longmire Days also supports community events through the Longmire Foundation and offers sponsorship opportunities. This is a chance to immerse ourselves in the world of “Longmire”, meet the cast and support local causes.

The event promises a firsthand experience with famous personalities from the popular TV show “Longmire”. It’s a great opportunity to explore new facets of Buffalo’s vibrant culture while enjoying engaging activities and entertainment as part of this unique celebration.

Exploring the Best Small Towns in Wyoming and the West

Wyoming and the West offer a plethora of small towns rich in history, natural beauty, and community spirit. Take a scenic stroll through Cody, Wyoming – renowned for its Buffalo Bill Center of the West that boasts five museums under one roof focusing on art, nature, firearms, Plains Indians, and Buffalo Bill Cody himself.

Alternatively, venture into Casper to unearth its pioneer past at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. Marvel at historic trails like the Oregon Trail while soaking in tales from yesteryears.

Embrace Sheridan’s western charm with its vibrant Main Street lined with specialty shops and art galleries or delve into the heritage of Cheyenne by exploring iconic landmarks such as the Historic Governor’s Mansion or riding on steam trains at Cheyenne Depot Museum.

For an authentic Old West experience infused with modern creativity and hospitality, look no further than these alluring small towns across Wyoming and beyond.

Things To Do In Buffalo WY – Tips for Planning Your Visit

When planning your visit to Buffalo, Wyoming, consider the best time to go and local attractions like US Highway 16. Explore nearby accommodations and recommended restaurants as well for a memorable experience.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Buffalo, Wyoming is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and ideal for outdoor activities such as exploring the US Highway 16, Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway, and enjoying Lake DeSmet.

Authors Sharon Hamilton and John Hargrove suggest visiting during the peak tourist season to fully experience the beauty of this scenic town. The downtown area features buildings adorned with giant murals that add a unique touch to your explorations.

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable summer adventure in Buffalo!

Local attractions and events

Local attractions and events in Buffalo, Wyoming offer a blend of history, culture, and outdoor adventure. From the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum that showcases local history to the annual Longmire Days event celebrating the popular book series and TV show, there is something for everyone.

The Bighorn National Forest provides ample opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing while also hosting Meadowlark Ski Lodge for winter sports enthusiasts.

Visitors can indulge in artistic experiences at locations like Potters’ Depot and Wyoming In Color Art Gallery or enjoy a relaxing wine tasting session at Un’WINE’d. Throughout the year, unique events such as chocolate parties at Margo’s Pottery and Fine Crafts create delightful moments with music and arts.

Recommended accommodations and restaurants.

Choosing the right place to stay in Buffalo is important, and luckily, there are a variety of options available, including motels, B&Bs, hotels, ranches, and mountain resorts. If you’re looking for a taste of history with modern amenities, consider staying at the Occidental Hotel.

This historic gem offers an 1880s Western experience alongside comfortable lodging. When it comes to dining out in Buffalo, there’s no shortage of choices. The Virginian Restaurant within the Occidental Hotel is renowned for its hearty meals that capture the essence of the Old West.

For those seeking eclectic dining experiences encompassing food, brews, whiskey, and wine – Buffalo has something for every palate.

Things To Do In Buffalo WY Conclusion

In Buffalo, Wyoming, we found an array of must-do activities. From scenic drives along US Highway 16 and Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway to exploring the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum and Dry Creek Petrified Forest, there’s something for everyone.

For culture enthusiasts, the Historic Occidental Hotel & Saloon and the Wyoming In Color Art Gallery provide a unique peek into local artistry. And if you’re an outdoor adventurer, don’t miss out on Bighorn National Forest or experiencing Longmire Days.

The city’s charm is unparalleled.

Things To Do In Buffalo WY FAQs

1. What’s a unique place we can visit in Buffalo, Wyoming?

In Buffalo, Wyoming, we can explore the Mountain Meadow Wool Mill. It’s a special spot where wool gets turned into cozy yarns. This mill shows us how they take wool from local farms and make it into something warm and wearable.

2. Is there any outdoor activity for us in Buffalo?

Yes! For those of us who love golf, the Buffalo Golf Club is a must-visit. It offers beautiful views while we play through its challenging holes. Plus, being outside lets us enjoy the fresh air and scenery around.

3. Can we learn about history while in Buffalo?

Absolutely! We can step back in time at places like the Wagon Box Fight site. It tells stories from Red Cloud’s War and gives us a glimpse into the past conflicts between settlers and Native Americans.

4. Where should campers head to when visiting Buffalo?

Buffalo has great campgrounds near Interstate 25 and Interstate 90 that are perfect for campers looking for adventure or just some quiet time under the stars… The Big Horns offer stunning natural beauty as our backdrop.

5. Any advice for fans of old West stories?

For those intrigued by tales of outlaws like The Sundance Kid, exploring Absaroka County will feel like walking through history… While not an official map location, it brings to life stories of cowboys and lawmen that once roamed these parts.

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