If you know anything about Wyoming, you may see that it’s pretty big and empty. Of course, wide-open spaces are a significant part of Wyoming’s appeal, as a state many know for cowboy culture and some of the nation’s most famous national parks.
Beyond the rodeos and beautiful scenery, the Equality State is also home to some of the country’s most charming settlements that you shouldn’t miss. So saddle up as we tour the best small towns in Wyoming.
Are There Small Towns in Wyoming?
In some respects, you might say every town in Wyoming is a small town. It’s the nation’s least populous state, with just over 580,000 residents across nearly 98,000 square miles.
Wyoming’s largest city is the capital of Cheyenne, which is home to only about 65,000 people. Only ten towns in the state have more than 10,000 residents!
Therefore, those interested in visiting small towns will have no shortage of choices in Wyoming.
Which Town in Wyoming Has the Smallest Population?
Wyoming has many small settlements, but people generally consider the smallest town to be Lost Springs. Lost Springs is in Converse County in the eastern half of the state.
It may be hard to believe, but Wyoming’s smallest town has a population of between one and six, depending on the survey and measuring methods.
Van Tassel, Wyoming, also claims to be one of the smallest towns, with a current population of around 18. Previously, Buford had a single resident until the early 2010s. It is now empty.
Traveler’s Tip: To keep exploring remote areas in the west, stop in and visit the 7 Best Small Towns In Utah.
Best Quaint Small Towns in Wyoming
Not every small town is worth a visit. However, we’ve roamed the highways, mountains, and plains of Wyoming to find the five best small towns. They are full of western culture and small-town charm.
About: As far as small towns in Wyoming go, Cody is practically a metropolis with roughly 10,000 residents. Though it’s not populous by other states’ standards, it’s brimming with Western history and style.
Sitting in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, it’s convenient to Yellowstone National Park and other famous public lands. Its name originates from the legendary “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the frontiersman and entertainer who helped found it.
In addition, you can explore and grab a bite to eat in the historic downtown and maybe even catch an old west gunfight reenactment! There’s plenty of incredible nature to explore, from hiking at Yellowstone to the area’s many scenic drives.
About: Lander is in central Wyoming, south of the Wind River Indian Reservation. It’s one of several small towns in Wyoming that take their names from a noteworthy explorer.
General Frederick W. Lander is its namesake and helped survey and construct significant portions of transcontinental trails. Approximately 7,500 people call Lander home, a number that has grown from fewer than 200 in the 1880s.
What Makes it Quaint: Lander bills itself as “where the rails end and the trails begin,” a reference to its railroad history and access to the Wind River Range, Sinks Canyon State Park, and other wild spaces.
Spend your time hiking, biking, fishing, or soaking in nature, then unwind with dinner and drinks downtown. The town is home to many local guides if you’re not confident heading out on your own or need a little support.
About: Resting between Yellowstone and Grand Teton to the west and the Wind River Reservation to the east, Dubois is a town dating to the 1870s. It hasn’t grown much in the intervening 150 years, with fewer than 1,000 permanent residents. However, the town swells in the summer with many vacationers and part-time residents.
What Makes it Quaint: Experience authentic western style at one of the area’s many guest or dude ranches. Summer visitors can enjoy a weekly rodeo!
You can also learn the history of one of the area’s most notable natural residents at the National Bighorn Sheep Center. Adventure lovers will enjoy Dubois, well-known for incredible hiking, fishing, ice climbing, and other outdoor activities.
About: Southern Wyoming’s Centennial can be a gateway to Medicine Bow National Forest’s Snowy Range Mountains. The area has been a center for railroad and timber camps, a mining town, and now, a launching point for local skiing, snowmobiling, and other outdoor pursuits.
What Makes it Quaint: When considering small towns in Wyoming, it rarely gets much more minor than Centennial’s roughly 270 residents. Accommodations include historic hotels, cabins, and campgrounds. While outdoor activities might be top of the list here, there are also scenic drives and tasty restaurants to check out!
About: Another relatively large “small town” with nearly 18,000 inhabitants, Sheridan, is set near Wyoming’s northern border with Montana, close to the Bighorn Mountains. Like much of Wyoming, it dates to the latter half of the 19th century. It’s best known for its mining and rodeo heritage and has a long history of supporting western tourism.
What Makes it Quaint: Gorgeous natural scenery is once again the star of the show. Hiking, camping, and skiing are all top options. You can also stroll Sheridan’s historic downtown.
It was even a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway, who reportedly finished his classic “A Farewell to Arms” at the town’s Sheridan Inn Hotel. For the more cinematically inclined, the nearby Bighorn Mountains were the inspiration for the setting of the iconic Wyoming story, “Brokeback Mountain.”
Are Small Towns in Wyoming Worth Visiting?
Small towns aren’t for everyone. Some people crave the excitement of the big city. Others couldn’t imagine a trip without many restaurant and nightlife choices or other cosmopolitan conveniences. Wyoming may also not be for everyone, especially those who prefer beaches and island life to mountains and cowboy culture.
But for those who love the charm, style, and attractions of America’s local communities, there are few better places to experience it all than in small towns in Wyoming. The Equality State is full of small towns proudly commemorating their western history and lifestyle.
Remember to check out these top choices, but do some extra exploring to find that small town of your dreams! Which of these small towns will be on your next itinerary?
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