Amazing, Breathtaking, Beautiful, Colorful, Spectacular, Scenic, and just plain old WOW all describe the view on our drive into this little town.
We were coming from the south on State Highway 20. The highway snakes its way through the canyon, called Wind River Canyon. It then follows the bends and turns of the river and passes through three tunnels bored through solid rock. At first it looked intimidating, but we made it.
Wind River Canyon is widely known as one of the prettiest drives in the state of Wyoming and designated a Wyoming Scenic Byway. The canyon is 10 miles long and was formed by the River that flows through the canyon. If you ever get a chance to drive this route you won’t be disappointed.
As we were driving through Thermopolis on our way to Cody we saw signs about the World’s Largest Hot Mineral Springs being here. This caught our attention as did the beautiful scenery. Then right after that we passed Eagle RV Park. So we pulled over and called. They had openings and said it was big rig friendly. (Since we are driving a 45 foot coach and towing a Jeep this is very important to us.) It was a very tight park but we did fit. Unfortunately, another couple that pulled in just after us pulled a little too close to a tree and tore off their awning cover. I am so thankful that Eric doesn’t mind driving and doesn’t even appear to get too stressed out even in tight spaces. Although it was a small and tight park it worked out great for our little unplanned stop over. It is so awesome to have the flexibility in our schedule to be able to take little spontaneous detours.
After parking we immediately got into our swimsuits and headed to the Hot Springs State Park. It was beautiful! We did a little walk around the hot springs. It was laid out nice with a boardwalk and even a suspension bridge.
We did feel the water coming out of the hot springs just to see how hot it really was and WOW! It really was hot! About 135 degrees hot! I even put my foot in. OUCH! Won’t be doing that again!
There are at least 27 different minerals in the water. Native American Tribes believed these natural hot mineral springs had healing powers. It couldn’t hurt to try. Right?
There is a State owned Public bath house here where you can soak for free and two privately owned spas with slides. we chose the free one that has 2 large soaking pools one indoor and one out. The water in the bath house is cooled (with mineral water) down to about 104 degrees. It felt great!! After our soak Gage swore it worked, his sore knee was all better! Maybe the Native Americans knew what they were talking about.
The scenery all around here was truly breathtaking. The Big Horn river winds through a little valley with a train track running alongside and beautiful wildflowers scattered through out. My favorite were the Larkspurs as these were special to my Grandparents and they had lots of them on their property in Texas.
During our walk we went down some stairs to get closer to Big Horn River where the hot springs empty into. On our way back up we encountered a large snake..YIKES! Not sure what kind it was but we had to pass pretty close to it just to get back up. Luckily no one got bit!
This area is also know for the buffalo roaming free so we drove around and spotted some. What a great adventure this little detour turned out to be!