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The Thermopolis Destination, located in the state of Wyoming, is home to the city of Thermopolis, the Bighorn National Forest, the Thunder Basin National Grassland, and the Hot Springs State Park. Within these main attractions are various opportunities. Museums in Thermopolis are an example of such activities in the region.[1] The Bighorn National Forest allows for overnight camping, picnicking, and other activities.[4] Like the Bighorn National Forest, the Thunder Basin National Grassland has various campsites, along with a boat ramp.[5] The Thermopolis Destination has a general desert environment with very few forested areas. Cities within the destination include Sussex, Wright, Buffalo, West River, Worland, and Clearmont. Moving along state borders between Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, the frame has a unique shape that follows a generally rectangular pattern. The weather fluctuates throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from an average low of about 17 degrees Fahrenheit to an average high of approximately 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain falls for most of the year, but never in large amounts. Humidity levels are low compared to other states in the United States of America. The city of Thermopolis does not receive snow.[6] Plants and animals located within the region are turkey vultures, white-tailed prairie dogs, American bison, black-footed ferrets, blue spruces, common soapworts, salt lovers, and burrowing owls.[7]

What Thermopolis is known for

Thermopolis, the Bighorn National Forest, and the Thunder Basin National Grassland are the main attractions within the Thermopolis Destination. The city of Thermopolis is home to the world's largest mineral hot spring. Founded in 1897, the city acts as a home for various activities.[2] Thermopolis is known for containing Hot Springs State Park and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. These things reportedly draw visitors to the city more than other features.[3] The Wyoming Dinosaur Center was founded in 1995 to contain the fossils found in the hills outside Thermopolis. Around twenty thousand dinosaur bones were dug up from the Thermopolis bonebeds. Visitors have the opportunity of visiting the active excavation sites. The Hot Springs State Park, which is located in the Big Horn Hot Springs State Reserve, is home to mineral hot springs. The hot springs flow over the park's terrace at a constant temperature of around 128 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, at the park are options for fishing, boating, and hiking. Other features in Thermopolis are the Legend Rock Petroglyph, the Thermopolis Golf Course, and the Hot Springs County Museum.[1] (this source doesn't work?)

Thermopolis has a population of 2,473 people, which is bigger than other cities in the destination.[9] Tourists have been known to come to the town at various times throughout the year. July is often the busiest time of year, followed by June. August and March are the other relatively popular times of the year to visit Thermopolis. November and December receive the least amount of tourists, though it does not mean that no tourists come at all. Summer is the most popular time to visit the region, specifically during the months of June, July, and August.[6] 

The Bighorn National Forest is one of the primary attractions of the Thermopolis Destination. It is one of the only forested areas within the district. At the national forest, there are multiple campgrounds, a recreation area, a lookout, and an interpretive site. Because of the many campgrounds, it can be a busy place. The Sheep Mountain Lookout is located on the top of a forested mountain. It was constructed in 1950 at an elevation of 9,600 feet above sea level. From the lookout, it is possible to see the results of the fires that happened years ago. The Shell Falls Interpretive Site, located in the visitor center, is a stop along the Bighorn Scenic Byway. At the site is a trail where Shell Falls is visible from. Situated on the banks of Ranger Creek is the Ranger Creek Recreation Area. It is a group site that can accommodate up to 150 people for picnicking or overnight camping. Within the recreation area are a campfire ring, shelter, frill, drinking water, vault toilet, and trash collection.[4] 

Another popular attraction in the Thermopolis Destination is the Thunder Basin National Grassland. Though it may appear quiet and empty, there is actually a large number of landforms, wildlife, and vegetation. Campgrounds have the highest availability in the national park, followed by a boat ramp. Similar to the Bighorn National Forest, the Basin National Grassland provides opportunities for overnight stays and hiking trails. Wildlife watching is a common activity on the national grassland.[5]


The Thermopolis Destination, located in the state of Wyoming, has around 47 cities, two national parks, and a couple of lakes. Because of where it is positioned in Wyoming, a lot of the territory is made up of desert terrain. Greenery in the district is relatively small and less noticeable. On the northwestern side of the region is the largest patch of forest, most of which is associated with the Bighorn National Forest. Overall, the Thermopolis Destination has a rectangular shape. The north side of the destination goes up against the state line between Wyoming and Montana, while the east side goes along the state line between Wyoming and South Dakota. The southern edge of the destination is fairly linear, though a small divot breaks this pattern and includes the city of Riverton. To the west, the boundary goes upward and curves until it meets the state Wyoming-Montana state line. Cities that act as borders of the district include Riverton, Casper, Ammon, Van Tassell, Newcastle, Colony, Ranchester, Parkman, and Greybull. 

Thermopolis, the main city in the Thermopolis Destination, is located in the southwest region of the territory. Within and near the city are multiple environmental attractions, the main one being Hot Springs State Park. The hot springs act as a home to various plants and animals, mainly birds. There are 212 sighted birds that live in the area, some of which are burrowing owls, northern flickers, downy woodpeckers, belted kingfishers, turkey vultures, greater sage-grouses, ring-necked pheasants, and Franklin's gulls. Mammals have the second-largest amount of species that are known in the area. Out of the 68 mammals, some of the most common are cottontails, various kinds of squirrels and chipmunks, yellow-bellies marmots, white-tailed prairie dogs, American beavers, North American porcupines, and mice. Less commonly found mammals are American bison, pronghorn, water voles, and black-footed ferrets. There have been a total of 61 plants that have been observed near the hot springs, including limber pines, blue spruces, alfalfas, plains prickly pears, common soapworts, and salt lovers.[7] 

The best time of the year to visit Thermopolis, based on weather conditions, is reported to be from the end of May to the end of September. This is due to a lack of rainfall, temperature fluctuations, and humidity during that time. The chance of precipitation is low in Thermopolis, with the highest chance of rain averaging around 20% in May. February, January, March, and December receive little to no rain. October and June share the second-highest chance of rain, followed by September and April. Temperatures in Thermopolis tend to range from an average low of around 17 degrees Fahrenheit to an average high of about 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Mid-July is commonly the hottest part of the year, followed by August and July. December tends to have the coldest nights and days, and January isn't far behind. Humidity in Thermopolis drops in July and rises so that it is the highest in December. Overall, the city has very little to no humidity and instead is dry and relatively cold.[6]


Thermopolis, a city in the Thermopolis Destination, was founded in 1897. Named by Joe Magill and Dr. Julius Schuelke, Thermopolis' name comes from the Greek words that mean "hot baths" and "city." The name is referenced to the Greek pass Thermopylae, where Leonidas sacrificed himself and his men to preserve the city of Sparta.[8] Located at the southernmost point of Bighorn Basin, Thermopolis is a recreational and tourist community with multiple historical sites.[2] 

One of the most well-known historical events that occurred in Thermopolis was the arrest of Jim McCloud. In July 1903, Sheriff John J. Fenton, who was from Big Horn County, took Jim McCloud into custody. McCloud was suspected of murder and was also wanted by the federal government to help answer questions about the robbery of the Basin City post office. Twice the sheriff started going to Basin City, and both times he had to retreat back to Thermopolis when he was confronted with outlaws seeking to free McCloud. McCloud was also suspected of having been a central figure in a brewing war between cattlemen and sheepmen. Because of his crimes, McCloud was sent to Cheyenne and put in the same jail that Tom Horn had been in. Like Tom Horn, he managed to escape the prison but was caught and taken to Rawlins to serve out the rest of his sentence. After a few years, McCloud and multiple inmates in the Basin City jail were killed in an attempt to end outlawry.[8] 

Bighorn National Forest, which is also located within the Thermopolis Destination, has a cultural history. Archaeological findings indicate that people have lived in the area where the Bighorn National Forest is now located for at least 10,000 years. Today, these pieces of evidence are preserved through rules and regulations in the area. It is illegal to remove arrowheads or other artifacts from the park. Currently, archaeologists are working to survey and document the forest's heritage sites for the benefit of future generations. Locations where archaeological finds can be found are not disclosed to the public.[4] 

At the Thunder Basin National Grassland are also multiple findings indicating that Native American Tribes lived in the area for years. Similar to the Bighorn National Forest, these artifacts are being preserved through rules and regulations. The Thunder Basin National Grassland was initiated in 1934 as the Northeastern Wyoming Land Utilization Project, which was run by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the Soil Conservation Service, and the Bureau of Agriculture. The land was transferred from the Soil Conservation Service to the Forest Service in 1954. In 1960, the area was designated as a National Forest.[5]

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Empire Lodge

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Empire Lodge

Empire Lodge is located in Pine haven, Wyoming. A total of 16 sites are available to guests, which entail both cabin and RV sites. Apart from the reservable units, the four-acre expanse of land on which the establishment is situated additionally features a main office, laundry facility, and shower house. The property's current owners have been running the business for the past two years; however, the RV park itself has been in operation for around 30 years. The owners of Empire Lodge have the goal in mind to help their guests feel "at home." Patrons can visit some of the nearby attractions and activities during their stay, many of which may vary in the duration of travel time from the RV park. Recently, the Empire staff has begun offering visitors a guided fly-fishing tour for an extra fee.

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Known for its hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling, the city of Sundance, Wyoming, is home to the Bearlodge Mountain Resort. Sundance—which is a comparatively small town—is surrounded on all sides by forests and mountains, making the city very nature-based. The mountainous terrain that encompasses Bearlodge makes accessing the property reasonably difficult. Visitors to the area during the winter months will likely require a vehicle with four-wheel drive in order to arrive safely. Bearlodge Mountain Resort is made up of seven cabins and one luxury condo that all sit on five acres of land. The primary demographics of visitors to the property are large hunting groups or couples seeking a romantic getaway.

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