The geography of Wyoming is, at the same time, alluring and intimidating. A complete tour of all the Wyoming Brokeback sites covers almost 2,000 miles (3,200 km), touching every quadrant of this huge state. Use “Entering Wyoming” to identify the places that interest you the most and to plan your route. As you may note, we have included several locations that are not directly related to Brokeback Mountain but which we feel may be worthy of your time. This interactive map will help you to organize your trip: Wyoming Map.
One circuit that works well is Salt Lake City (Utah), Sage, the Tetons, Riverton, Worland, Ten Sleep, Brokenback Mountain, Sheridan, Lightning Flat, Owl Canyon (Colorado), Laramie, Centennial, Saratoga, and Salt Lake City.
Another option, starting in Denver (Colorado), is Owl Canyon, Lightning Flat, Sheridan, Brokenback Mountain, Ten Sleep, Worland, the Tetons, Sage, Saratoga, Centennial, Laramie, and Denver.
If you are in a hurry, or simply want to see as many Brokeback Wyoming locations as possible, you can make the full circuit in four long days. If you want to enjoy the sublime and, at times, overpowering beauty of this place, consider giving yourself a week or ten days.
A special note about the Tetons: Annie Proulx made one incidental reference to these awesome mountains in her story. McMurtry and Ossana gave them low-profile treatment, as well. But the Tetons are a world-class attraction and, coupled with neighboring Yellowstone National Park, attract over 4 million visitors annually, many from abroad. If you can check your Brokeback obsession for just a few days, seriously consider enjoying these must-see places while you are there.
Most Wyoming visitors will find it easiest, and most economical, to fly to Salt Lake City (near the southwest corner of Wyoming) or Denver (near the southeast corner). Although regional air service is available to Wyoming cities, both airfares and car rental rates there tend to be much higher. Try Kayak.com for major carrier airfares and separately check Southwest.com. As it always does, flexibility in your travel dates and routings can save you a considerable amount of money.
You’ll need a car. Use Travelocity.com or Expedia.com to get a good rate. Then, to save even more money, use Priceline.com and try for a rate 20% less than your best rate from the other two. Many of the Wyoming Brokeback locations are accessible from paved or well-graded gravel roads. The principal exceptions are the last two miles leading up Brokenback Mountain and the 0.2 mile driveway leading to the old Childress place. These are both easy walks, but if that sounds unappealing consider renting a high-profile vehicle.
Gas stations are not plentiful in Wyoming once you leave the Interstates. Fill your gas tank at 50%, especially when you are travelling to the desolate area near Rockypoint and Lightning Flat.
A PDF version of “Entering Wyoming” is available in Downloads. We recommend that you print a copy to take with you. Note that the pages of the PDF are arranged in map order, just like the website, starting on the western border at Sage. However, you can enter Wyoming wherever you choose and still find the locations easily, moving either frontward or backwards from your starting point in the PDF. Used in conjunction with a good state roadmap, you should have no trouble making your way around in the state. The official state highway map of Wyoming is available free of charge, as is the Wyoming Travelers Journal, at http://www.onefulfillment.com/rack/WyomingTourism/. State roadmaps are also available at most gas stations. And, though it is not necessary, a GPS receiver is a terrific and useful road travel aid. Remember to bring along water and snack foods.
Summer motel rates tend to be high, especially in the heavily touristed areas of western Wyoming. Accommodations in the two parks (Grand Teton and Yellowstone) are especially expensive. Consider staying outside of the parks proper. Motels are abundant in towns such as Afton, West Yellowstone, Alpine, and Dubois, but, even there, summertime bargains are rare.
Travel search engines like Travelocity.com and Expedia.com are a good starting place for lodging searches. Most Wyoming towns have a Super 8 motel which tends to be a reliable, if uninspired, option. (Super8.com) If local motels or guesthouses are an option, you might also want to consult www.wyomingtourism.org/planning/stay/hotels_motels.php.
A list of some of the motels we stayed at in July 2010 follows. Please let us know if you have any others to suggest.
By far the most comfortable (and consequently the most crowded) months to visit Wyoming are July and August. Early summer and early fall can be lovely, but plan your wardrobe accordingly.
Wyoming is perhaps the only state in the U.S.A. without a gay bar. If you decide to make friends elsewhere, be careful.
“Truth is” you will be in much greater danger of being hit by a drunk driver while driving down the highway than of being bitten by a snake or attacked by a bear. Nevertheless, consult rangers and heed their advice before hiking in parks. Snakes are common in locations such as Sage, Lightning Flat (the old Scott place) and East Ulm (the old Childress place). Watch your surroundings. If you have cowboy or hiking boots, wear them in open areas.
Should you find yourself inside old buildings, be especially careful. Floorboards may be weak, missing, or loose. Railings may be missing or insecure. You may need a flashlight.
Of course, always secure permission of owners before entering private property. Leave property as you find it.
Here is a short list of things often forgotten that may be useful to Brokeback travelers: sunglasses, Neosporin, lip balm, Q-tips, Post-its, a hat, medicines, water bottles, address book, chargers for cameras and cellphones, extra batteries and memory cards.
This site was assembled by volunteers who feel strongly that Brokeback Mountain is an important film which has a deep and unique power to touch lives and improve understanding. We urge you to absorb as much of the Brokeback travel experience as you possibly can and to share it with those around you. Have a great trip!
No guide is perfect. We have undoubtedly made mistakes and need your help in correcting them. Please let us know which locations you found and if there were any sites you looked for but did not find. If you encounter problems with the directions or the information contained here, we would be grateful for a chance to correct our mistakes. Moreover, if you know of a way to make this resource more useful, or have other suggestions, please email and let us know!
Revised 17 March 2011