When I got engaged, my now husband proposed to me on the deck of a yurt, with piles of snow around me, a clear, star-filled sky above me, and nothing but the soft glow from my headlamp to cast a light on that unforgettable moment. It was romance stripped down to a simplistic beauty; an instance set on a stage that was somehow boundless and intimate at the same time. It was Wyoming romance at its finest.
In Wyoming, breathtaking landscapes, intimate spaces and off-the-grid locations all come together to create the perfect options for Valentine’s Day getaways, anniversary trips, honeymoons or couples-only retreats. While there are many ways to experience romance in the Cowboy State, I’ve listed five romantic getaways under Wyoming’s big blue skies.
1. Find Winter Adventure in Jackson
The gorgeous mountain views that surround the Jackson area will immediately set the stage for a romantic getaway. From here you and your partner can create a choose-your-own-adventure vacation filled with a variety of outdoor activities, from downhill skiing to wildlife watching and everything in between. Ski Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or hop on a fat bike to ride snow-covered trails. For a more relaxing time outdoors, take a sleigh ride at the National Elk Refuge or wind through a winter wonderland on a dog sled. Visit downtown Jackson for a little shopping and a romantic dinner before retreating to the warmth of your lodging.
2. Discover Old West Romance in Cody
Experience romance in the historic western town named after the legendary “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Become immersed in the history of the Wild West with a stay at Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel. Over the years, this hotel housed some of the West’s most famous figures, including Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane and, of course, Buffalo Bill. Be sure to explore more of Wyoming’s past by visiting Cody’s museums and galleries highlighting the state’s rich history and culture.
If you crave outdoor adventure, plan to snowmobile in the country’s first national park: Yellowstone.
Located just 52 miles west of Cody, the park’s east entrance is closed to vehicles during the winter months but accessible by snowmobile, allowing you and your loved one to explore a snow-covered Yellowstone National Park in one of its most perfect–and most undiscovered–times of year. Guided and non-guided rentals are available through Rimrock Ranch’s Gary Fales Outfitting.
3. Unwind in Saratoga’s Hot Springs
There is nothing quite as relaxing–and romantic–as a rejuvenating soak in a natural hot spring. Saratoga offers the ultimate hot springs experience, with both free and paid hot springs options to choose from. Saratoga Resort and Spa delivers the romance with a resort featuring a full-service spa, microbrewery and restaurant. The resort also includes five intimate, teepee-covered hot pools of differing temperatures and one large pool situated under the stars.
If you’re on a tighter budget, check out Saratoga’s free Hobo Hot Springs. Choose from a handful of hot pools or venture into hot sections of the North Platte River for a more natural soak. Round out your stay by dining at Bella’s Bistro or strolling through Saratoga’s quaint downtown cafes and boutiques.
4. Experience a Winter Wonderland in the Snowies
Looking for snow-filled fun in southeast Wyoming? Plan a winter escape to the Snowy Range, located near Laramie. This beautiful mountain range hosts a wide variety of winter activities sure to spark romance or add a bit of adventure to your weekend getaway. Take in the serenity of a fresh snowfall by snowshoeing or cross-country skiing along the area’s various trails. For a bigger thrill, rent a snowmobile and take off along over 300 miles of groomed and ungroomed routes. Hit the slopes without spending a fortune at the quaint, Snowy Range Ski Area.
When you’ve had your fill of mountain adventure, head into Laramie to experience a variety of restaurants, museums, microbreweries and more. Choose lodging in town or retreat to a secluded cabin like the ones offered by Albany Lodge, Aspen Creek Cabin or Double Mule Shoe Ranch.
5. Enjoy Cozy Accommodations in Sinks Canyon
For a rustic outdoor accommodations unlike any other, book a yurt stay in Sinks Canyon State Park near Lander. A mix between a cabin and a tent, a yurt is a round, heated structure built by wrapping thick canvas around a latticework wood frame. These intimate accommodations are perfect romantic getaways for couples who enjoy roughing it year-round. Located in Sinks Canyon, the aptly named Sinks Canyon State Park features four yurts available for booking year-round. Explore the park’s unique geological features during the day, then return to your yurt for some cozy together time.
Add some excitement to your Sinks Canyon experience by making time for a day of rock climbing. Avid climbers will have a hard time choosing from over 400 routes, including bouldering, traditional and sport climbing options. First-timers can have fun trying this exhilarating sport with the help of Wind River Climbing Guides. When you’re finished playing on the rock head into Lander to explore museums, peruse shops or grab a bite to eat.
Whichever part of Wyoming you escape to, it’s sure to be filled with romance. That incredible yurt engagement was far from the last romantic experience my husband and I have had in the area. The hot springs, mountains and cozy lodging offered in Wyoming have us falling in love with each other and this state over and over again.
For more ideas on planning a romantic getaway to Wyoming, order your free Official Travelers Journal or tweet us at @WyomingTourism.