Although Wyoming is well known for its prairie land and wide, sweeping plains, the western half of the state is densely populated with mountains. From the famous Grand Tetons to the Wind River Range and the Bighorn Mountain Range, there are hundreds of beautiful mountains in Wyoming. Some of them, like the Missouri Buttes, require only an afternoon and a sturdy pair of shoes to conquer, but others, like Gannett Peak, take days or even a week to complete, and require a full range of climbing and trekking equipment. A diverse cast of wildlife, ranging from bison to bears to wolves, complete the scene here, as a mountain hike in Wyoming will never fail to impress.
1. Gannett Peak
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At 13,804 feet elevation at the summit, Gannett Peak is the tallest mountain in the state of Wyoming, beating out the more famous Grand Teton by a mere 34 feet. This isolated peak, which has a 5,000-foot prominence, is located in the Wind River Range, and while it is accessible for hiking and sport climbing, Gannett Peak is considered very difficult and the summit should not be attempted by amateurs. Most hikers require about 3 to 5 days round trip to summit this peak, and the standard approach from the west is about 40 miles round trip.
2. Cedar Mountain
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Cedar Mountain, which also goes by Spirit Mountain, is located just west of Cody, Wyoming, in the Absaroka Range. With 7,890 feet at the summit, it’s far from the tallest mountain on this list, but its isolation and prominence of almost 2,500 feet makes the view from the top a great one, with panoramic views of Shoshone Canyon, Buffalo Bill Reservoir, and the town of Cody. Cedar Mountain is also home to the Spirit Mountain Cave Complex, which lies beneath the mountain and, while gated off to the public, is accessible with a permit.
3. Hoyt Peak
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Hoyt Peak, located inside Yellowstone National Park, is a Class 2 or Class 3 peak that takes about half a day to summit. From the Avalanche Peak Trailhead, the journey to the top of Hoyt Peak winds through woods, a bowl-like basin, and along a ridge. Near the summit, there is a large rock formation that can either be climbed or hiked around. From the summit, hikers can head back down the way they came or continue along the saddle to bag a second mountain, Avalanche Peak, which is just a few miles away. The trail for both peaks is about 6½ miles long.
4. Trout Peak
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With a summit of 12,244 feet, Trout Peak is the highest mountain in the Absaroka Range. Most people take 2 days to summit Trout Peak, as the shortest route to the top is 12 miles one way, though it can technically be done in one very long day of hiking. From the top, views in all directions are stunning, and summiters can see a number of other peaks, including Rattlesnake Mountain, Pat O’Hara Mountain, and Robber’s Roost as well as the Buffalo Bill Reservoir in the distance. Hikers should be aware that Trout Peak, although beautiful and secluded, is home to many grizzly bears, and caution should be taken before attempting this peak.
5. Wapiti Ridge
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Wapiti Ridge, in the Absaroka Range, is a gorgeous and secluded mountain chain that is rarely climbed, so hikers looking for some solitude will enjoy this beautiful peak. The climb can be dangerous due to not only animals like grizzlies, mountain lions, and wolves, but also because some of the rock on Wapiti Ridge is unstable and prone to being loose. Wapiti Ridge is made up of over 30 miles of mountains, connected by a long ridge that can be treacherous in places, and there are a number of trail options for reaching the summit of the ridge. The views from the summit are spectacular, with a seemingly endless sea of ridges, mountains, and rocks in all directions.
6. Mount Fryxell
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There is no official name for this peak, which is one of the best-kept secrets in Grand Tetons National Park, but several guides refer to it as Mount Fryxell, after the very first ranger of the park. Unlike most of the other peaks in Grand Tetons, Fryxell does not require technical gear to climb, although hikers can choose to make this journey anything from a Class 2 to a Class 5 in difficulty if they wish. It’s a long hike, and not an easy one, with about 16 to 20 miles of hiking round trip, but once at the top, hikers will be rewarded with some of the finest views in the park, which usually requires a lot more skill and equipment to achieve.
7. Rattlesnake Mountain
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Like Cedar Mountain, Rattlesnake Mountain also borders the town of Cody, Wyoming, a place made famous as it was founded by Buffalo Bill. Rattlesnake Mountain offers some amazing views of Shoshone Canyon from its southern slopes and its peak, as it rises over 3,000 feet above the canyon’s northern edges. Mountaineers can also spot an amazing vertical rock formation known as The Palisades, which is located on the northwest face of the mountain and is great for climbing. Via the Monument Hill Trail, the trip to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain is about 7 miles, one way. As the name suggests, Rattlesnake Mountain is home to a number of predatory or poisonous species of animal, so hikers should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings.
8. Buck Mountain
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Buck Mountain, located in Grand Tetons National Park, is the tallest mountain in the park south of Garnet Canyon, at 11,938 feet elevation, and due to this it is a great climb because it affords some gorgeous views of the peaks to the north. On the east and northeast faces of the mountain there are several options for a Class 3 hike to the top, but on the north and west sides, a trip to the summit will require a climb. The most challenging route is the west face of the mountain, with climbs rated up to 5.8. Because this mountain is not nearly as popular as some of the other big peaks in Grand Tetons National Park, a hike up Buck Mountain will most likely be very peaceful, with views for miles.
9. Mount Owen
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The picturesque rocky crags of Mount Owen are some of the most beautiful within Grand Tetons National Park, and as the second highest peak in the park, the view from Mount Owen is breathtaking. Every single approach to the summit requires climbing, with the easiest bits rated at 5.1 and increasing in difficulty to a 5.10, so this is not an ascent meant to be attempted by amateurs. The best time of year to climb Mount Owen is from June to September, as any other parts of the year are likely to mean snow, which makes the climb much more difficult.
10. Mount Crosby
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The Washakie Wilderness in Wyoming is some of the most remote land in the lower 48 states, home to wolves, grizzlies, and an abundance of beautiful plateaus, tundra, and mountains. From the summit of Mount Crosby, hikers will gain sweeping, panoramic views of the Washakie Wilderness and other surrounding areas. The trip to the top of this remote mountain is not a difficult one, with about 3,300 feet of elevation gain over the 4 mile journey (one way). It is considered a Class 1 trail, with some steep ascents along the way, which is mostly made of gentle, sloping switchbacks, but it is still very walkable and rewarding.
11. The W
The W is another peak that has no official name. On maps, it is usually referred to as Peak 6856 in the Big Horn Range, but locally it is known as The W because of the triangular formations near the peak, which look very much like the letter “W” when viewed from a distance. Although its summit doesn’t even reach 7,000 feet, The W is an excellent one for climbers. It is not considered a technical climb, and it is generally quite safe to summit, even for beginning climbers, but visitors should still exercise care when attempting this climb.
12. Mount Fitzpatrick
The brown-red rock of Mount Fitzpatrick rises up above the blue-green waters Crow Creek Lake in the Salt River Range to a height of 10,907 feet. It is not easily visible from most other directions and so this mountain is one of the best-kept secrets in Wyoming. From the summit of Mount Fitzpatrick, hikers will see the mountains of the Wyoming Range to the east, and a number of other beautiful mountains and gorges in all other directions, including parts of the Aspen Range, the Salt River Range, and even the Tetons on a clear day.
13. Windy Mountain
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The snow-dusted peak of Windy Mountain is the only peak within the low Sunlight Basin that is tall enough to be seen from outside the basin. The journey to the summit of Windy Mountain is a fairly easy Class 1 hike, which will lead through forests, creeks, and gulches, on twisting switchbacks to the summit. There is no register at the summit of Windy Mountain, however there is a wooden outhouse that has become an iconic symbol of this peak, and many hikers choose to write or etch their names into the wood of the outhouse by way of registry.
14. Heart Mountain
Located in the Big Horn Basin, Heart Mountain’s distinctive shape – of a person pointing west – is recognizable from miles away. Hiking to the summit of Heart Mountain is a Class 1 trail that is about a 7.6-miles round-trip from the Heart Mountain Trailhead. This is the only trail that does not cross private property, though some of the other approaches offer opportunities for rock climbing if permission is gained. Due to the unique weather patterns in Big Horn Basin, Heart Mountain is usually accessible all year round because it tends to be snow free, even in winter.
15. Mount Nystrom
Mount Nystrom is located on the Continental Divide, and is one of the more easily accessible peaks of its height (12,000 feet or higher) in the Wind River Range. A round trip to the summit of Mount Nystrom is about 10 to 14 miles long, depending on the approach, with peaceful, rarely used trails and a beautiful hike all the way up. From the summit, hikers will see views of the surrounding mountains as well as meadows, glades, and forests below. Nystrom is also populated by deer and elk, and many hikers may spot these animals and more during their hike.
16. Static Peak
For intermediate hikers looking for an introduction to summiting, or advanced mountaineers looking for a pretty view, Static Peak offers some beautiful sights in the Tetons without the technical knowledge needed for some of the other peaks within the park. Although this hike is only rated a Class 1, it does have a steep elevation gain of over 5,000 feet, and is almost 20 miles round trip, but once at the top, hikers will have a beautiful view of neighboring Buck Mountain, and behind it, Grand Teton. Below Static Peak, visitors will find Timberline Lake, a glacial lake that remains frozen for most of the year.
17. Mount Norris
Mount Norris can be climbed in a single day, and on its slopes is a remote and beautiful slice of nature. Hikers on Mount Norris might spot bighorn sheep, bison, elk, and grizzlies, to name just a few of the animals in the area, and the trees, rocks, and scrambling to be found on the trail makes for a pretty hike. Located in the Lamar Valley, Mount Norris requires some trailblazing, as the summit is about 5 miles from the nearest trail, but those who brave the wilderness will be rewarded with views of snowcapped mountains and the beauty of the Lamar Valley.
18. Eagle Nest
One of the more remote summits on this list, Eagle Nest lies within the secluded Washakie Wilderness and is a quiet spot even for that region. This peak is a difficult one to tackle, and it is not recommended to try and complete the hike in a single day. The trail will take hikers past the scenic Flora Lake, and then after some Class 5 rock climbing comes the rocky, bare summit of Eagle Nest. Camping on Eagle Nest is allowed, but campers should be aware that grizzlies are common in the area, and should come with bear canisters and bear mace.
19. Buffalo Fork Peak
The Brooks Lake Cliffs are a group of sheer cliffs located to the west of Togwotee Pass, and are easily visible from US 26/287. For a more up close and personal look at these cliffs and mountains, one need only climb Buffalo Fork Peak, which is one of the Brooks Lake Cliffs. This mountain is not at all far from the road or civilization, but after a few steps onto the rugged wilderness of this trail, it’s easy to forget the world outside Buffalo Fork. Summiting this peak requires an 11-mile round trip that is mostly Class 1 and 2 hiking, with one or two sections that fall under Class 3 due to steep scree fields.
20. Hazelton Pyramid
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Powder River Pass, in the Bighorn National Forest, is home to a quartet of mountains at its southern edge. The tallest of these four is Hazelton Pyramid, at 10,534 feet. The trail to the summit of Hazelton Pyramid is not difficult, but in certain places it is not marked very well and can prove challenging to find, but from the top you can see the other mountains in the quartet as well as views of the Bighorn National Forest and the Cloud Peak Wilderness. As the peak lies within the Bighorn National Forest, camping is allowed anywhere on Hazelton Pyramid.
21. Peak Angeline
Peak Angeline is not the most difficult mountain on this list, nor is it the most beautiful or well known in Wyoming, but it is a great climb nonetheless. Situated in the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area, Peak Angeline is 12,100 feet at its summit, and the hike up is done almost entirely in the wilderness. There is no official trail, nor are there cairns or a summit registry at the top, so the journey up Peak Angeline feels very wild, as though you are the first person to ever traverse those slopes. The way up leads past some picturesque lakes, including Mirror Lake and Lost Twin Lakes, and at the ridge of the summit, there are views of Cloud Peak Wilderness Area and the nearby Mather Peaks.
22. Missouri Buttes
Located just a few miles from the more famous Devil’s Tower, the Missouri Buttes are a group of four buttes with rocky sides that are much less sheer than their famous neighbor. But from the summit of these rock formations, especially from the tallest of the four, the northwest butte, visitors can see the famous Wyoming prairie stretch on for miles in all directions, and gain some great views of Devil’s Tower. Getting to the top doesn’t require too much time or skill, and only involves a little bit of scrambling over some rock fields.
23. Mount McDougal
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Mount McDougal is a major peak in the Wyoming Range; at 10,780 feet at its highest point, McDougal has four major summits and a smattering of minor summits as well. Hiking the entire mountain and all four of its bigger summits can be done on a 9-mile loop, and hiking just the main summit can be achieved in about 2 miles, one way. There is about 2,000 feet in elevation gain from the trailhead, and McDougal is classified as Class 1 hiking, through woods, ridges that remain snowy well into the summer and, near the top, a band of scenic cliffs.
24. Sepulcher Mountain
At the northern edge of Yellowstone National Park, right against the border with Montana, two tall peaks dominate the skyline. One of these is Sepulcher Mountain, which draws its name from the tall, eerie rock formations at its summit, which looked to early explorers a lot like sepulchers, or gravestones. In all directions there is a fantastic view from the summit of Sepulcher Mountain, like Electric Peak to the west all the way to the Tetons down to the south. There are two approaches to the summit of Sepulcher Mountain, and they are both very different. One, from Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone, leads up through forests until it reaches a ridgeline, and the other, which starts from the Fawn Pass Trail, follows a creek through a wooded canyon until it ascends with switchbacks up the side of the mountain.
25. Druid Peak
Druid Peak, located in Yellowstone National Park, is not a particularly difficult or technical mountain to summit. But this peak, which summits at 9,584 feet, offers a secluded, peaceful hike through some truly gorgeous nature. Hikers on Druid Peak will pass through Lamar Valley, also known as America’s Serengeti for its abundance of different wildlife, such as bison, moose, bear, elk, and wolves. Because most of the hike is through low brush and plains, Druid Peak also offers a near endless supply of views of the surrounding area, so visitors to this little-traveled but very beautiful place are likely to see not only the beauty of the land surrounding it, but lots of animal life as well.
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