Wind River Canyon Highway


Wind River Canyon is a magnificent channel carved more than 2,000 feet deep by the rushing waters of the Wind River. Engineers designed US 20 to be constructed by literally blasting it from the rock and tunneling through solid granite in three places. Unusual rock formations highlight the canyon walls, which are identified in terms of geological era and formation by strategically placed highway signs. One of the canyon's most prominent landmarks is Chimney Rock, about 10 miles south of Thermopolis. At the south end of the canyon is Boysen Dam, another engineering achievement.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:A treaty between the Shoshone and Arapaho nations and the United States specified that the waters of the hot mineral springs at Thermopolis would be available free of charge to everyone. The agreement continues to be honored at the Hot Springs State Park. Thermopolis provides access to the scenic highway US 20 along Wind River Canyon.