Set in Southwest Wyoming, Star Valley is a culturally, historically and geologically diverse valley, bringing together a number of quaint towns and long stretches of scenery and wildlife. From Alpine to Smooth, the valley covers a naturally-rich area between the state’s Salt River Range and the Webster Range of Idaho, with ranging altitudes reaching 7,000 feet. The towns of the valley leave plenty of activities for travelers around the year. Here are 6 of the best attractions to visit in the rare gem of Wyoming.
Star Valley Scenic Byway
Stretching along Lincoln County in Wyoming, the US Highway 89 moves through stunning scenic passageways from Salt Canyon to Salt River Pass and further descends through the valley. The route is filled with magnificent viewpoints, each unique in its atmosphere. Some spots overlook ranches and hay fields, while others perch over small towns. All three of Greys, Salt and Snake River meet at the Palisades Reservoir and make for splendid panoramas not to be missed.
World’s Largest Elkhorn Antler Arch
The antler arch in Afton, Wyoming, is considered to be the world’s largest, an 18-feet sculpted arch with a width of 75 feet which was put together in July 1958 and costed 2,500$ at the time. The arch is made up of over 3,000 elk antlers, weighing an estimated 15 tons. The idea behind this attraction emanated from diminishing elk herds with the town’s expansion as elks found it increasingly harder to find nourishment in the state. This resulted in the formation of the National Elk Refuge of Jackson, that gathered antlers and eventually used them to create the arch on a steel frame over four road lanes. Today the elk antlers’ price has soared to amount to 170$ each, meaning thousands worth of dollars for the entire structure.
Greys River Road
A paradise of winter sports, Greys River Road is the ideal destination for snowmobiling with mesmerizing alpine views. In the warmer months, the well-graded dirt road is a must-visit trail for ATV rides or dirt bikes, a treat for off-trail riding fanatics. Running alongside Grey’s River, the outdoor activities possible in the area are plenty, from cross-country skiing, to relaxing in the river picnic areas or even camping at the Murphy Creek. Surely, hikers will have a spectacular time exploring the forest trails in the summer season, and enjoying the vistas of the open meadows.
Star Valley Wyoming Temple
Inaugurated in 2016, the Star Valley Wyoming Temple was the first of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the state initiated by its president Thomas S. Monson, located on a farm land by the Salt River Mountain Range. The temple's architecture against the mountain ranges creates a serene landscape, with its beautiful three-story building of 17,000 square feet. The landmark is considered to hold the great heritage of the town and the communal values, a sacred space in the heart of the valley.
Periodic Intermittent Spring
Another world-class wonder is the Periodic Spring near Afton that drifts along the Swift Creek canyons through a trail into the Salt River Range. The trail is filled with cliffs, stones and vertical formations wrapped with oak, aspen and fir trees of bright green colors in the summer and orange hues in the fall. While the vistas are remarkable, it is worth visiting the intermittent spring to observe its irregular flow cycles, pouring water of ice-cold temperature in intervals before it subsides and restarts the cycle.
Melvin Brewing Company
Specialized in IPA brews, the Melvin Brewing Company’s production brewery in the Alpine is the ultimate stop for beer lovers that has won multiple awards from the Brewers Association including Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year in 2015. The brewery has a 30-barrel system in a 20,000 square foot facility, and is rooted in community projects and events to strengthen its ties to the town and give back through charitable events. Their fresh and young branding attracts friend groups and campers looking for an exceptional food and drink stop in the scenic Valley.
The Stars Valley is both a majestic and cozy escape in Wyoming, encompassing unequalled views, trails and outdoor experiences with its sublime vistas and special landmarks. The towns throughout the valley pride themselves for their respective unique personalities, charming explorers seeking the thrill of unspoiled natural beauty and hidden treasures.