There are two things I love about Wyoming – The mountains and the feel of the wild west. Those are the two reasons I wanted to take my family there. With towns like Jackson Wyoming, with their wild west wooden building flair, who wouldn’t want to go for a visit? Oh, and we can’t forget Yellowstone either.
We bundled our things into the camper and set off for wild west adventure. I had my handy metal detector all tuned and ready to go, but I recall that Wyoming’s rules aren’t as friendly as some other states. I suppose that’s the rough nature of the wild west. So I decided to make a few calls to some of my favorite state parks we would visit along the way and see if I could arrange to get my permissions to detect.
When the family and I made the trek to Wyoming, we chose seven of their state parks to visit and sometimes even spend the night. These parks all require permission to metal detect, but I’ll get more into the laws later. Let’s dive into my favorite seven state parks in Wyoming to do some metal detecting.
1. Glendo State Park – Wyoming’s Best Kept Secret
Glendo State Park, with its more than 22,000-acre size, is one of Wyoming’s best-kept secrets. It’s got everything from fishing and boating to camping and hiking. It’s Wyoming’s all-around best state park, in my opinion, and a great place to take the family.
As I mentioned, this park has it all. Here are just a few of the things you can do at this park:
And here are a few of the amenities you’ll find there:
- Six boating ramps
- 45 miles of multi-use trails (non-motorized)
- Swimming beach
- Campsites for tenting & RVs
- Restrooms, playgrounds, and more!
Here’s how to find the Glendo State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/NJ9Cvrz4PkPatsaB7
I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.
- My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
- I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
- When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
- Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.
2. Buffalo Bill State Park – Camping, Fishing, And Fun
The Buffalo Bill State Park was named after the man himself, Colonel “Buffalo” William Cody. A part of the park’s land was even once owned by Bill, making it a living piece of the wild west, preserved in the state park.
There are lots to do at Buffalo Bill State Park, including fishing, camping, hiking, boating, and more. Let’s take a look and see some of the park’s highlights:
- Camping sites for tents & RVs
- Boat ramp
- ORVs (Off-Road Vehicles) allowed
- Volleyball court
You can find this wild west park here – https://goo.gl/maps/TUJSR2xWGfwJJzcNA
3. Sinks Canyon State Park – Mystery Disappearing Creeks and Adventure
If you like a little more adventure than your average campsite, Sinks Canyon State Park is an excellent getaway in Wyoming. The park is geared towards the adventurous side of things, so getting permission to metal detect isn’t typically a big deal. That’s only the formalities, though, because, at Sinks Canyon, adventure awaits!
Here are a few of the park’s activities and amenities:
- Camping sites for tents & RVs
- Rock Climbing
- Mountain Biking
You can find Sinks Canyon State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/UCWs2SxJLAL4sDRs9
4. Seminoe State Park
Seminoe State Park offers some tremendous all-around park experiences. With its large reservoir and sand dunes, the park has some spectacular opportunities to do some metal detecting along the beach. When you’re done for the day, you can pack it in at the campground with spots for tent or RV camping.
Here are some of the park’s activities:
- Beach & swimming
- Off-road vehicles (ORV) allowed
- Camping sites for tents & RVs
- Boat ramps
- Fishing pier
You can find Seminoe State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/LWUYBCqP9zhCnsGM6
5. Boysen State Park – An Oasis in The Desert
If you’re a fan of fishing or any kind of watersport, then Boysen State Park is the park for you. Sporting a vast reservoir, you can come here and use the ramp to launch your boat to do some waterskiing, or go fishing, or even just float about the water for the day. If you’re like me, then you’ll be prospecting around the park while the family plays in the water.
The park has a playground, volleyball courts, camping for tents or RVs, a beach, and a few other amenities like hiking to please you and your family.
Metal Detecting Tip: Carry a sifter with you for the beach. You can even use a strainer. The concept is to have something that can quickly and effectively sift sand so you can scoop the sand into the sifter and quickly find lost rings and coins. Sifters aren’t expensive, and they can save you a bunch of time. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/
6. Hot Springs State Park – Hot Springs and Bison
There is something very peaceful about a majestic herd of bison grazing in the distance. It offers a sense of true wilderness like there was somewhere left in the world, untainted by humankind. If peace and relaxation are your things, then the Hot Springs State Park is a must-visit destination in Wyoming.
Some of the amenities you might expect at Hot Springs State Park are hot springs. They do have a unique all-natural mineral water pool where you can soak your troubles away. With 8 miles and counting of prime hiking around the Earth’s natural heated water wonders, a sense of peace and awe at nature is practically guaranteed.
The family will love the park having things like fishing, hiking, swimming, a playground, and even hotels to stay at for the night. Still, there. Keep in mind the park is a day-use park, so you’ll need to either stay at a hotel or find somewhere else to bed for the night. But with hot springs and beautiful scenery, how could anyone not want to stop by for the day?
If you’d like more articles about metal detecting check out the links below.
- Metal Detecting Digging Tools – Tells you all about shovels, scoops and how to dig a plug.
- Where are the Best Places for a Beginner to Metal Detect? – Just like the title says, this article points the beginner to the highest probability places.
- Can You Metal Detect on BLM Land? – So many people have asked me about BLM detecting I had to write this article.
7. Keyhole State Park
The last of the state park greats of Wyoming is one of the best – Keyhole State Park. This park offers some fantastic features that your family is going to love. With a beach that’s well-used to camping areas, there are plenty of places you could find treasures with your detector. And the staff here are amicable, so getting permission to detect shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
The Keyhole State Park has many amenities. These include a beach, camping sites for tenting or RVing, a boat ramp, showers, and even an equestrian facility. Worth stopping at this park for a night or three with so much to do here!
Metal Detecting Laws for Wyoming
Wyoming has a rich history and a beauty that is hard to match. And the laws for metal detecting are as strict as the land is wild. Well, that might be a stretch, but it sounded good at the time. Wyoming has three basics you need to be aware of to keep your metal detecting on the legal side of things.
- Archeological or historic sites are not allowed.
- National forests and BLM land require special permits (not always easy to get).
- State parks and recreational areas require the written permission of the park superintendent.
As you may have gleaned from the above three things, we need to know about Wyoming metal detecting law, the state parks are the most accessible place to go metal detecting legally. The park superintendents usually have a simple form you complete, and they give you written permission. Most don’t charge for it, but times change, so anticipate a minimal administration fee.
Quick Law Recap:
Wyoming State Parks: Written permission from the superintendent is required.
Archaeological or Historic Sites: Metal detecting is not permitted.
National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service.
BLM Lands: Permit required.
Metal Detecting Clubs In Wyoming
As far as I could tell, it seems there is a need for a metal detecting club in Wyoming. There appear to be various forum threads about where Wyoming metal detectorists seek partners in adventure. Still, there doesn’t appear to be an organization in the state boasting the title of a metal detector club of sorts. There are, however, a few gold prospecting clubs, similar and may still be of interest to you:
- Casper, Wy Chapter Of The GPAA. (Gold Prospector’s Association of America) – http://www.caspergpaa.org/
- Wyoming Prospectors Association – http://www.wpagold.com/
Metal Detecting Tip: Have you ever used a pinpointer? Do yourself a favor and pick one up. They are smaller, hand-held units that work great to help you pinpoint a location during your dig. I grabbed one a few years back, and I love it. I just carry it in my pack, and when I’m digging, I can use it in one hand with my shovel in the other. That lessens my impact on the area and keeps the park rangers happy. Minimal impact is the way to go. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/
Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Wyoming
Although there aren’t any recent massive treasure stories found in Wyoming, it’s a great place to look. Yes, you’ll need to go through a bit of effort in securing your permissions but think of it this way – that effort may just pay off in gold! Many a prospector has searched for gold in the creeks and streams of Wyoming. It’s one of those states that the glaciers once left a lot of deposits behind.
Although it may be unlikely you’re going to find a sizeable gold cache, you might just find a small vein of dust or even a tiny nugget if you’re in the right place. And having your metal detector will make finding that sort of thing a lot easier.
Metal Detecting Resources In Wyoming
- MDHTALK forum has a decent resource for information about metal detecting. Check out the reference here. http://www.mdhtalk.org/home.html
- The Federation of Metal Detector & Archeological Clubs, Inc. – Wyoming state regulations regarding metal detecting – http://www.fmdac.org/wyoming-state-regulations.html
Metal Detector Stores In Wyoming For Expert Advice
- Harbor Freight Tools – Cheyenne, WY – Distributes all kinds of tools, including metal detectors. – https://go.harborfreight.com/?s=metal+detector&Submit+search=
- Sportsman’s Warehouse – Casper, WY – For a state that requires written permission to do metal detecting in state parks, they sure do have a wide variety of metal detectors. At least, they do at Sportsman’s Warehouse. – https://www.sportsmans.com/search/?text=metal+detector
David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.