Fifty miles north of Pinedale (population 1,200), at the end of a long dirt road, the Green River Lakes lie cradled at the base of 12,000-foot mountain peaks at the edge of the Bridger Wilderness in Bridger Teton National Forest.
Fossil Butte National Monument is known as a “Konservat-Lagerstätten” among paleontologists because the evidence it presents of prehistoric life, all at one site, is awe-inspiring. The monument provides a unique snapshot of life that was present 50 million years ago on Earth – from one of the earliest horses, Protorohippus venticolus, to tiny insects and small flowers.
It rises like a colossal claw from the ground. On a clear day, you can see it from I-90, way off in the distance (if you know where to look). This 867-foot mass of rare columned igneous rock in Crook County, Wyo., is Devil’s Tower, a beacon for climbers, hikers and adventure-seekers, as well as Northern Plains Indians, who hold the area sacred.
From cities and towns to national parks and lesser-known landscapes, this inaugural special section has your 2022 travel through the West covered! We’ve curated a list of 52 places to visit this year – four in each of the 13 states we cover. If you travel at a breakneck pace, that’s one a week. Let this guide serve as inspiration and enjoy the West!