Wind River Canyon

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Coordinates: 43°31′13″N 108°10′50″W / 43.520267°N 108.180442°W / 43.520267; -108.180442

View of Wind River Canyon
Wind River Canyon.
Wind River Canyon in January, 2008.
Wind River Canyon.

Wind River Canyon is a scenic Wyoming canyon made from tectonic plate shifting, not carved by the Wind River.[1] It is located between the cities of Shoshoni and Thermopolis and is a popular stop for visitors to Yellowstone National Park. It is accessible by U.S. Highway 20 and Wyoming Highway 789. It was designated as a Wyoming Scenic Byway in 2005.

U.S. 20/Wyo 789 travel through the canyon, at times level with the canyon floor. The scenic route offers views of the canyon and landmark natural structures like the Chimney Rock. The canyon is at times as much as 2,500 feet deep.

The southern mouth of the canyon is near the Boysen Dam in Boysen State Park several miles north of, and about half a mile east of, the state park's borders with the Wind River Indian Reservation. The canyon includes a number of homes along the highway and a Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad line. The north end of the canyon is at the Wedding of the Waters, where the Wind becomes the Bighorn River. The Scenic Byway continues for several miles through Thermopolis and ends at T Hill on the north end of that town in Hot Springs State Park.

The Wind and Big Horn flow north out of Boysen Reservoir, through the canyon, into Thermopolis, and onward to points north.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-04-22.