Founded in 1897, the town of Thermopolis lies at the southernmost point of the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. Thermopolis is an important recreational and tourist community with attractions such as Hot Springs State Park, the Historic Downtown District, the Wind River Canyon, and the nearby Boysen Reservoir.
Thermopolis has a small town feel and rightfully so, with a population of about 3,000 people. Thermopolis boasts the only stoplight in Hot Springs County, whose total population is around 4,800.
Especially known for Hot Springs State Park, much of which is situated within the town’s borders, Thermopolis receives many visitors each year seeking the hot mineral springs. The highlight in the park is the “World’s Largest Mineral Hot Spring,” where swimmers can enjoy a number of indoor and outdoor hot water pools, slides, steam caves and activities. Thousands travel here each year for their annual mineral soak.
About 48 kilometers northwest of Thermopolis is the Legend Rock Petroglyphs, where you can witness at least 283 different drawings on 92 rock panels; some of them date back 10,000 years.
Buffalo roam freely in designated areas around the state park and can be spotted easily from the car. In the summer months, the park is alive with the sounds of music and events, such as free concerts, the Gift of the Waters Pageant and the Big Horn Basin Folk Festival.
The Wind River Canyon and Boysen State Park are located south of Thermopolis. Here and along the Big Horn River, visitors can enjoy world-class fishing and hunting. Waterfowl, pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, bear, big horn sheep, moose, and upland fowl are also plentiful for wildlife watchers.
Thermopolis features a nine-hole golf course with outstanding views of Roundtop Mountain and the town. There’s plenty to keep you busy, including tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, rodeo arenas and fairgrounds.
The Hot Springs County Museum and Cultural Center, open year round, has been reviewed as one of the very best in the area. There are many exquisite exhibits of all types depicting life in the west, including the Hole in The Wall Bar that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid often frequented.
The Wyoming Dinosaur Center provides a unique opportunity for visitors to discover the prehistoric world, and walk the same ground as ancient dinosaurs. This world-class museum is open year around with dig sites open during summer months.
Wyoming’s first (legal) whiskey distillery, Wyoming Whiskey is located 19 kilometers north of Thermopolis in the town of Kirby. Visit the gift shop and enjoy tours of the distillery all year.
With so much to see and do in this small corner of Wyoming, you may want to spend several days, and then come back again!