Grand Teton National Park
The wildlife is spectacular, but it's the peaks that bring hikers to Wyoming's crown jewel. Thrusting up from the Snake River plains, the jagged Teton Range offers a dozen steep spires above 12,000 feet, all of them laced together with 200 miles of trail. A sustained high-country hike with killer views and campsites is the 39-mile Teton Crest Trail. From Teton Pass, trek across Death Canyon Shelf, through magnificent Alaska Basin, past the three Tetons, and finish in Paintbrush Canyon.
Contact: Grand Teton National Park, (307) 739-3300; www.nps.gov/grte.
Wind River Range
This hundred-mile-long chain of glaciated peaks contains 63 active glaciers, 47 summits above 13,000 feet, more than 1,200 lakes, three huge wilderness areas, and an Indian reservation within its million acres. You'll need a lifetime of trips to see it all, but get started with the 75-mile Highline/Fremont Trail network, between Green River Lakes and the Big Sandy entrance.
Contact: Pinedale Ranger District, Bridger-Teton National Forest, (307) 367-4326; www.fs.fed.us/btnf.
Yellowstone National Park
Matchless wildlife, myriad geysers, pristine trout streams, and massive wilderness highlight the world's first national park. Yellowstone's 60-by-40-mile reserve contains 1,000 miles of backcountry trail and 16 separate wolf packs. Hike the lofty 17-mile Specimen Ridge Trail for vistas of the Absaroka Range and good wildlife viewing down into the Lamar valley.
Contact: Backcountry Office, Yellowstone National Park, (307) 344-2160; www.nps.gov/yell.