Top small towns for adventure travel and outdoor recreation in Wyoming.

From popular Jackson Hole to lesser-known Saratoga, we found some of the best Wyoming towns to visit or to live if love the great outdoors. All of these towns have something in common, they’re gateways to Wyoming national forests, public lands where everyone can play outdoors.

#1 Saratoga

With world-class fishing and hot springs that have been a draw for centuries, the town of Saratoga is an outdoor lovers dream. Located in Carbon County and with less than 2000 residents, this small town on the North Platte River is a gateway to the Medicine Bow National Forest. Thought to have healing properties, the mineral springs at Hobo Hot Pool are free. The town also boasts independently owned shops and restaurants, so you can relax and indulge prior to or after your adventures in the over million acre Medicine Bow National Forest.

Where to Stay: From downtown Hotel Wolf to Saratoga Hot Springs Resort and the Medicine Bow Lodge, this town boasts a variety of choices.

Where to Eat: Eat Italian at Bella’s Bistro, which has a nice wine list, and stop for baked goods at Sweet Marie’s Bakeshop.

#2 Pinedale

With the second-largest natural lake in Wyoming and an enviable location at the base of Wind River Mountains, Pinedale is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and it has been since the late 1800’s, when so called “dudes” came to enjoy adventure vacations- hiking, riding horses and fishing in the Wind River Mountains. On a trip down Main Street, you can easily see that the town’s roots in nature and adventure still exist. Shop for new gear at the independently owned Great Outdoor Shop, take in history at the Museum of the Mountain Man and enjoy catching trout on Fremont Lake in the Bridger Teton National Forest with its sweet Lakeside Resort. You may not want to leave.

Where to Stay: Spend nights right by Fremont Lake in newly renovated cabins at Lakeside Lodge Resort & Marina. You can rent a boat to go out on the lake or book a fishing trip with Two Rivers Emporium.

What to Eat: Make a stop at the Wind River Brewing Company where Wyoming Pale Ale, Mango Wheat and Blonde Ale are all brewed onsite from the areas glacial water and the food is tasty.

#3 Jackson Hole

Darley in Jackson Hole Wyoming

Surrounded by the stunning peaks of the Teton Mountains and Gros Ventre Range, you might have heard something about Jackson Hole. Adventurers flock here year-round to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as the vast Bridger-Teton National Forest, the third-largest national forest outside of Alaska. Accessible biking trails, great places to hike, rafting, surfing and even volunteer opportunities are just some of the draws to this stunning and cool adventure town. Where to Stay: Book early if you’re planning on staying in or around Jackson Hole. We loved the location of Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort also has many options and hiking trails onsite in the Bridger Teton National Forest.

Where to Eat: Enjoy casual goodness at Sidewinders American Grill with options to fit your whole group. Don’t feel like leaving JHMR, try some American whiskey and a burger in Teton Village at The Handle Bar. Jackson Hole has tons of dining options, but again, you may need a reservation, as this town gets busy.

Check out more great places to play in Wyoming on Wyoming Tourism’s website and more great forest adventures and resources from the National Forest Foundation.