Aerial view of the Shoshone River near Cody, Wyoming.

7 Most Charming River Towns in Wyoming to Visit in 2024

Although it is the tenth-largest state by landmass, Wyoming is also the least populated, making this vast state an amazing place to get lost in nature. Home to several major rivers, like the Yellowstone River and the Green River, it is no wonder that many of the few towns that do exist in Wyoming rest at their banks. Originally used as highways before the rise of automobiles, these rivers now provide a source of natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. Moreover, the many towns taking advantage of Wyoming’s natural allure also boast cultural charm, lively events, and intriguing heritage. Thus, let's take a look at seven riverside towns and see if they are worth adding to your 2024 vacation list.


Aerial view of Buffalo, Wyoming.
Aerial view of Buffalo, Wyoming.

Along the clear waters of the aptly named Clear Creek, Buffalo has a serene charm that captures the essence of Wyoming's natural beauty. With a population of just around 4,500, this quaint town is a peaceful retreat for travelers seeking solace by the riverbanks. History buffs will appreciate the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, showcasing artifacts from the area's pioneer days. Nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby Bighorn Mountains, while art aficionados can browse the local galleries featuring Western-themed artwork.

Don't miss a stroll down the main street, lined with historic buildings and cozy cafes, offering a glimpse into the town's rich heritage. Whether you're casting a line into the creek or immersing yourself in its small-town charm, Buffalo promises a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


View of the Shoshone River in Cody, Wyoming.
View of the Shoshone River and the Rocky Mountains from Cody, Wyoming.

Enveloped by the meandering Shoshone River, Cody is surrounded by fantastic parks and Wild West allure. With a population of 10,000, this riverside town has a surprisingly vibrant cultural scene that is anchored by the renowned Buffalo Bill Center of the West, where exhibits celebrate the legacy of the legendary frontiersman. Similarly, history comes alive in the heart of downtown Cody, where authentic Western storefronts and nightly rodeos will take you back in time. Those visiting in June will rejoice at the array of events, such as Jake Clark Mule Days and Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls.

Anyone looking to get outdoors can go on scenic rafting trips or venture into Yellowstone National Park, which is just a stone's throw away. The park spans over 2 million acres, with mountains, lakes, and rivers beckoning adventurous tourists. Explore the rugged beauty of the river canyon or savor a walk by its tranquil banks - in Cody, adventure awaits at every turn.


Pine Street in Pinedale, Wyoming.
Pine Street and nearby Rockies in Pinedale, Wyoming. By Tarabholmes - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Pinedale, tucked away amidst the majestic Wind River Range, is a wild place for those seeking solace near the remote waters of the New Fork River. This charming little town of around 2,000 people is about as rustic as it comes, with sweeping mountain vistas and a laid-back atmosphere every which way. Adventurers flock to nearby Fremont Lake for fishing and boating, while those looking to learn more about this rugged area can explore the Museum of the Mountain Man, chronicling the region's storied past of trading, resource, extraction, and much more.

Be sure to take a trip downtown for a more leisurely time, where locally run stores and restaurants can provide a taste of Western living. Whether you're hiking in the shadow of towering peaks of the nearby Rockies or simply soaking in the sights of the meandering Pine Creek, Pinedale has something for all who visit.


Brooks Lake area near Dubois, Wyoming.
Brooks Lake area near Dubois, Wyoming.

Dubois is a haven for those in search of both adventure and respite in Wyoming's untamed landscapes. Resting along the rippling waters of the Wind River, this tiny town of around 900 residents is a bit of a blast from the past, evident in its well-preserved historic buildings and authentic cowboy culture. Effortlessly wander through the rustic streets, where artisan shops sell their craftsmanship or immerse yourself in the cowboy culture at the annual National Day of the Cowboy celebration.

Be sure to explore nearby natural attractions like the breathtaking Togwotee Pass or the iconic National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center. A short drive away, anglers can cast their lines into the pristine waters of the Wind River for a chance at a trophy trout.


Canoes along the banks of the North Platte River near Saratoga, Wyoming.
Canoes along the banks of the North Platte River near Saratoga, Wyoming.

Saratoga is a destination full of natural beauty and thermal hot springs, a perfect place to relax away from the big city. Outdoor hobbyists have ample opportunities, such as fly fishing along the North Platte River. For a more relaxing time, one can soak their sore feet in the mineral-rich pools of the Saratoga Hot Springs Resort. It would be hard to miss the riverwalk, where the stunning sights of the mountains provide a jaw-dropping backdrop to your visit.

After the natural activities, those interested in learning more about this unique area should consider exploring the Saratoga Museum, which chronicles the town's past. Also, be sure to browse the local art showcases, which feature rotating works by various regional artists.


View of Main Street in Riverton, Wyoming.
Main Street in downtown Riverton, Wyoming. By Vasiliymeshko - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Riverton rests on the confluence of the Wind River and Little Wind River, offering a combination of cultural heritage and scenic parks that captivate visitors year-round. This bustling town serves as a gateway to the Wind River Indian Reservation, where travelers can immerse themselves in the traditions of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. Those looking for adventure outside will find plenty to explore in the surrounding area, from leisurely walks along the river close to town to more difficult nearby hiking trails offering stunning viewpoints of the Wind River Range.

Historical destinations can be found at the Wind River Heritage Center, which celebrates the region's Native American heritage and pioneer history. Continue through town to the lively downtown area, which contains ample local shops, hotels, and places to eat, making any vacation enjoyable.

Green River

Green River Visitor Center along the Green River in Wyoming.
The Green River visitor center on a cliff overlooking its namesake, the Green River in Wyoming. Editorial credit: Victoria Ditkovsky /

Sitting along its namesake river, the town of Green River is a place to go for anyone looking to get lost in Wyoming's rugged backcountry. There is no shortage of activities, from rafting and fishing on the Green River to hiking in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.

This charming town boasts a significant cultural scene, which was made popular by the annual River Festival, which celebrates the town's connection to the waterways that flow through it. Take a day trip to Expedition Island, where John Wesley Powell launched his famous exploration of the Green River and Grand Canyon in 1869, or visit the Sweetwater County Museum to learn more about the area's original American and European pioneers.


There's no better way to spend a hot summer day than by a river, and Wyoming is the perfect place to do so. "The Equality State" is both remote and home to some of the most charming riverside towns in the country. Each town has a unique side to share, from the hot springs in Saratoga to the history of exploration embedded in Green River. Thus, be sure to add these small towns to your list the next time you plan to travel through the area.

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