With 15,145-acres of land surrounding a 19,560-acre reservoir, Boysen State Park stands as both the largest state park in Wyoming and home to the state’s largest reservoir. Bordered to the west by the Wind River Reservation, Boysen State Park is best-known for its fishing and boating opportunities, but the park also offers swimming, wildlife viewing, hunting, and more—making it a great destination for your next RV trip.
The park and reservoir owe their names to Asmus Boysen, who built the original dam in 1908. History buffs can check out parts of the original dam, which can still be seen adjacent to the tunnels on the Lower Wind River Campground. The existing dam was completed in 1951, and Boysen became a state park just a few years later in 1956. Today, visitors are drawn to this Wyoming state park for its stellar fishing opportunities on Boysen Reservoir—which contains walleye, crappie, perch, and more—as well as its miles upon miles of stunning boating opportunities, with five boat ramps for visitors to choose from. Visitors can also enjoy swimming at the park’s swim beach, spotting some of the park’s diverse plant and animal species, and hunting within designated areas.
Boysen State Park offers hundreds of RV and tent sites spread across multiple campgrounds, and while these sites do not offer any hookups, the campgrounds are well-equipped with facilities to allow for a comfortable stay. The park is open year-round, but the varied seasons bring different activities, so visitors should plan their trip accordingly: boating is generally available from March to December, swimming is available from May to October, and ice fishing becomes available once the reservoir freezes in the colder winter months.
Located just off of Highway 20 in Wyoming, Boysen State Park is relatively easy to reach by RV or car, with the proper planning and research. This Wyoming state park sits about 100 miles from Casper and is bordered by the Wind River Reservation to the west.
When navigating to the park, visitors should keep in mind that some of the roads nearing the park often experience adverse conditions such as black ice and falling rock, so it is advisable to check the park website for updated road conditions before mapping out a trip. Signage near the park is limited, so visitors should be vigilant when nearing the park, so as not to miss a turn.
Once inside the park, visitors can stop by the convenience store located at the marina near Tamarask Campground for food, supplies, fishing licenses, and a boat mechanic. For more extensive needs, visitors can find some restaurants, gas stations, and shops in the nearby town of Shoshoni; but, for more extensive options for restaurants and grocery stores, visitors can stop by the town of Riverton to the southwest and the town of Thermopolis to the north.
Boysen State Park boasts hundreds of RV sites, spread across four distinct campgrounds. Lower Wind River Campground, which sits at the far northern end of the park, is home to sites 1-48. These sites do not offer any hookups, but visitors can take advantage of water hydrants located throughout the campground, restrooms in multiple spots throughout the campground, and the dump station located at park headquarters.
Guests staying in the Lower Wind RIver Campground can also take advantage of two playgrounds in the campground, while enjoying easy access to the river. The campground offers a mix of back-in and pull-through sites, and the sites are a mix of about half reservable and half first-come, first-serve.
Upper Wind River Campground is located right next to Lower Wind River Campground, and is home to sites 63-112. These sites do not offer any hookups, but visitors can make use of the water hydrants located in multiple convenient spots throughout the campground, restrooms in multiple spots throughout the campground, and the dump station located at park headquarters. Visitors can choose from either back-in or pull-through sites. Upper Wind River Campground also offers close proximity to the river. Similar to the sites in Lower Wind River Campground, the sites in Upper Wind River Campground are a mix of reservable and first-come, first-serve, though most of these sites are first-come, first-serve.
Visitors will find even more campsites in Tamarask Campground, which is located on the northeastern side of the reservoir, near the park headquarters. Tamarask Campground is home to sites 181-209. Most of the sites in this campground are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, though a handful of them can be reserved ahead of time. These sites do not offer water, electric, or sewer hookups, but visitors can take advantage of the nearby dump station located at the park headquarters, and make use of the multiple restrooms throughout the campground. Most of these sites are back-in, but a few are pull-through for easier access. Guests at Tamarask Campground can also enjoy a playground, picnic shelters, and easy access to Boysen Reservoir.
Visitors will find additional RV sites down at Tough Creek Campground, which is located on the eastern side of the reservoir. Tough Creek Campground is home to sites 283-355, which are mostly first-come, first-serve, though a few can be reserved ahead of time. These sites do not offer any hookups, but visitors can take advantage of the dump station located at the park headquarters, restrooms and drinking water in the campground, and the additional facilities located in the other campgrounds nearby. Most of these sites are back-in only, though a couple are pull-through, for easier access. Guests staying in Tough Creek Campground can also enjoy easy access to a boat ramp that opens them up to the many opportunities on Boysen Reservoir.
Boysen State Park’s central feature is the 19,560-acre Boysen Reservoir, which stretches as the largest reservoir in the state of Wyoming. Luckily for visitors, this sprawling reservoir is more than just a pretty body of water—it is also a boater’s paradise. Boaters can take their boats out onto the reservoir and explore its many miles, launching from the boat ramps at Brannon, Tough Creek, Lakeside, Fremont and Cottonwood Bay. All ramps, except Lakeside, have a boat dock available with the ramp. Boating is open year-round when there is not ice, which generally translates to March to December.
In the hot summer months, one of the best ways to cool off at Boysen State Park is through jumping into the refreshing water of Boysen Reservoir. Visitors eager to swim in the park’s primary feature will be happy to learn that the park has one designated swim beach, located at Brannon Campground on the north end. The swim beach is available from May to October, so visitors eager to swim around in the reservoir and sunbathe on the beach should make sure to plan their visit for the warmer months.
As a massive state park spanning diverse landscapes, Boysen State Park boats a wide range of plant and animal species waiting to be discovered by the patient observer. With species ranging from reptiles and upland game birds, to deer and antelope, to waterfowl and bighorn sheep, this Wyoming state park has plenty to offer wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors can plan to learn more about wildlife viewing opportunities by stopping by the Visitor Center and checking out the viewing area located at Lakeside, near the southern end of the reservoir.
One of the main attractions of Boysen State Park year-round is fishing in the park’s 19,560-acre reservoir, which is home to a diverse fishery. Anglers can try their luck at catching walleye, crappie, perch, rainbow trout, and brown trout as the major sport species, and can also hope to find mountain whitefish, channel catfish, brook trout, bluegill, stonecat, black bullhead, and splake. The reservoir also contains non-game species including river carpsucker, fathead, minnow, plains killifish, and golden and sand shiners. Anglers can enjoy fishing year-round, as ice fishing in the winter is very popular at Boysen State Park.
As Wyoming’s largest state park, Boysen State Park is home to a diversity of animals throughout its more than 15,000 acres. With such a diversity of animals and a wide area to explore, the park makes a great spot for hunting, and hunters will be glad to hear that hunting is allowed in the park so long as you are at least 400 yards from facilities and campground areas. As always though, visitors hoping to hunt during their visit to Boysen State Park should confirm with park rangers that they have the necessary licenses and permits and have paid the appropriate day use fees.
With 15,145 acres of land and 76 miles of shoreline, Boysen State Park has miles upon miles of stunning vistas, diverse wildlife, and challenging terrain for visitors to explore. Hikers eager to explore the park by foot should pack their hiking boots and the appropriate layers, if they plan to hike in the colder winter months. Visitors can hop on trails from the park’s headquarters. The park occasionally offers guided hikes, so visitors hoping for a guided experience should check the park’s events page for more information prior to their visit.