Hot Springs State Park is located in Thermopolis. The Tepee Fountain greets visitors shortly after entering. Early settlers of Thermopolis created the fountain by piping mineral water up through the ground and straight into the air. As the water evaporates it leaves behind travertine deposits that create this large landmark.
Water from mineral hot springs flows over Rainbow Terraces along the Bighorn River. They claim to have the World’s Largest Mineral Hot Spring.The park has free pools (one inside and one outside) for the public to soak in. We soaked in each one for 10 minutes. There are signs not to soak more than 20 minutes due to the hot temperature. There are also 2 other much larger pools in the park with slides and such (more for families) that charge a fee to enter. I believe I read the mineral water is cooled down so those pools can be enjoyed for longer periods. Since we were already wet we decided to walk out in the river. The mineral water mixing with the river water felt perfect! Then I felt the water flowing over the terrace expecting it to be hot, but it felt great (it must cool down along the way). So I decided to sit for a bit ~ I liked that much better than the very hot pools.
There’s a nice boardwalk thru Rainbow Springs lined with informative signs.
Other features of the park include unique rock formations.
In another part of the park we came across this flow from a spring (that we could not trace). FYI... It felt hot! We could see where it entered the river.
Spiny softshell turtles ~ the two together also have spots on their shells, but they are very hard to see when dry. Their shells are rubbery, unlike most turtles.
There are roads thru the park to take in some of the “dry” scenery.
Hot Springs SP also has a small bison herd.
Heading up T Hill across the road from Hot Springs State Park.
Moving on to Greybull, WY All of the photos below were taken in various areas outside of Greybull. The constantly changing landscape is amazing!
Off to look for herds of wild mustangs. We couldn't find any in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, but we sure found some gorgeous scenery. Believe it or not, the remaining photos were taken at the recreation area which straddles the border between WY and MT.
We finally spotted a handful, but they were very far away. Thank goodness for our wonderful zoom lense!
Although we were happy to find some wild mustangs, we really hoped to see a herd. So another day we set off in a different direction where the owner of the campground informed us they are known to hang out. Driving to the area we were fortunate to see more amazing scenery. Then we began our search for a herd on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land when we finally saw this loner. He encouraged us to keep looking!
After driving for a while, we came upon this. Normally I wouldn’t be happy about a pile of horse manure, but I knew we were getting closer to more horses! Shortly, we popped over a knoll, and there they were! What a successful day ~ in this case, persistence paid off!
I roughly counted 150. It was very exciting to sit in the jeep and watch them! They seemed to follow one another in smaller groups while eating and walking.
The entire herd surrounded us at one point; we did not appear to bother them in the least.
In Sinks Canyon State Park the Middle Popo Agie River flows into Sinks Cave and vanishes underground. It emerges a quarter mile down the canyon in a pool called the Rise. The exact route is unknown, but dye tests have shown that it takes more than 2 hours to make the journey.
Large trout hang out at the Rise. No fishing is allowed, but there is an observation deck for viewing and throwing in fish food.
We took a hike in this area to see cascades, rock formations, and waterfalls.
What a nice seat to view this fall from!
We explored the ghost town of Miners Delight where about 15 log cabins still stand.
Moving on to our last stop in WY Kemmerer is home to the first J.C. Penney Store. The 9 foot bronze statue of James Cash Penney stood in the lobby of the J.C. Penney headquarters in Texas for 30 years. Due to slumping sales and some poor management decisions the company closed about half of its stores and declared bankruptcy in 2020. Headquarters also moved to a smaller space to cut costs, but the statue was too large for the smaller quarters so it was donated to Kemmerer. The city decided to cover the cost of the move, and it now stands in Triangle Park across the street from the Mother Store. FYI: The two investors who purchased the company have decided to keep the remaining stores open for now.