The first time I drove up through the Wind River Canyon was a dramatic and amazing experience. We were driving from Casper, going north to Thermopolis, WY on Highway 20 (Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway). The scenery was very dry and kind of like a desert. I thought ‘well, you can’t grow much right in here’; then all of a sudden we came over a hill and the first thing that opened up in front of us right out of the desert was Boysen Reservoir! It is really large and beautiful, much bigger than I would have thought; it is also considered some of the best fishing in the state.
And then right in front of me was entrance to the canyon rising dramatic and solid in front of us! As you meander into this wonderland you will encounter some tunnels cut into the rocks and driving through them is rather a neat experience, who doesn’t love a tunnel, even as a child I loved tunnels!
Then the cliffs rise up and the river runs through it and as you come around each curve there is something new to look at and new rock formations, as you drive there is also signs that explain the rocks or the time period they probably are from.
As you approach this place, the sides of the Wind River Canyon jut up into 2,500 foot walls swallowing the basins on either end. The canyon is about 10 miles in length and over a billion years of geology is exposed in the canyon between Thermopolis and Boysen Dam. There are several signs that explain where the layers are from Precambrian to the Cambrian and so on. I will not try to explain this as geology is not my specialty but needless to say, it is most interesting to look at those walls and see where the layers break and change visibly
There is a lot of geology here but to me the main thing was the drama of the cliffs and scenery which was a wonderful emotional delight at every turn and look. It was an emotional experience and made me think with wonder at how God made this world with such different and varied scenery and it never fails to touch me and move my heart into unbelievable fullness. That every view you take in with your eyes you want to absorb it and take it with you forever or never leave. It was so amazing that I felt like crying and words cannot describe it.
The only regret I have is that a camera cannot do justice to what one’s own eyes can see. It does not express the grandeur or depth or height of a place or even the true panorama but it’s always worth the try.
If you ever get a chance to see this little spot of Wyoming I hope you will take the time, it’s well worth the drive!