Guide to Curt Gowdy State Park Photos

Curt Gowdy State Park is one of my favorite places in southeast Wyoming. Trail running, mountain biking, wildflowers, paddleboarding…I live in Wyoming for the outdoor opportunities, and Curt Gowdy doesn’t disappoint!

When I have clients get in touch wanting an iconic Wyoming view, Curt Gowdy State Park is at the top of my list. Pine trees, big skies, aspens, sagebrush – all the best parts of Wyoming! It’s also a relatively short drive from Cheyenne (30 minutes) and is easy to find.

Location Details

  • Pass required? Yes. $7/vehicle for WY residents, $12/vehicle for non-residents
  • Address: 1264 Granite Springs Rd, Cheyenne, WY
  • Hours: 24 hours for park entry, 9 am – 5 pm for visitor center
  • Accessibility: Off-road foot travel required
  • Time of Day: Late afternoon and evening sessions only
  • Cell service: Sometimes (depends on location)
  • Dogs permitted? Yes, but must be leashed

Pass Information

A day use pass can be purchased at the visitor center between 9 am and 5 pm, or by using the credit card kiosk at the bottom of the hill, near the start of the campground (Google pin).

Annual passes can be purchased at this link, and are good for any of Wyoming’s state parks through Dec 31st.


Indoor bathrooms are available 24/7 on the lower level of the visitor center.

While most sessions take place within ¼ mile of the parking area, off-road foot travel (uneven ground, cactus, sagebrush, loose gravel) is required for most sessions. I would not recommend this location for anyone needing a mobility device or who isn’t comfortable on uneven ground. You and your family must be okay with at least a 10-15 minute hike from the car for your session.


Dogs are required to be leashed at all times. Curt Gowdy State Park does lease out their land for grazing, and during certain times of the year there are cow herds in the park, along with moose and deer. I’ve watched a moose try and trample a dog, and I promise you, it’s no fun for anyone!

Cell Service

Cell service is available at the visitor center, but is spotty once you enter the park. If you aren’t quite sure where you’re going, please make sure to ask ahead of time, as I may not get your text if I’m already at the meeting spot!

Seasonal Considerations

Curt Gowdy State Park is at ~7200′ elevation, with a mix of aspens, pines, and large rock formations.

  • Summer: Summer is the most flexible time for photos at Curt Gowdy, with a mix of woodland (aspen) and foothill (pine and sagebrush) locations.
  • Fall: Fall color typically peaks during the first week of October, and most leaves are gone by October 15.

Due to the wind and the lack of protection from said wind, I typically schedule sessions at Curt Gowdy State Park from June 1 through November 1.


Like many mountain locations, the weather at Curt Gowdy State Park can be very unpredictable! It tends to be colder and windier than in Cheyenne, with a higher chance of pop up thunderstorms.

While most sessions take place within a 10-15 minute walk from the car, if it looks like there might be thunderstorms in the area, we may find a location closer to the parking area (or reschedule/find a location in town). I have a VERY healthy respect for lightning, and it’s not worth the risk!

Clothing Suggestions

I recommend bringing layers, especially in early summer and late fall, when the weather can be even more unpredictable than usual. It wouldn’t hurt to plan on a light jacket layer for kids, at least as backup.

Closed toes shoes are also recommended, especially for kids. Curt Gowdy has lots of “sneaky” cactus, hidden in the gravel and the rocks. In the aspen groves there can be a lot of branches and rosebushes, perfect for stabbing little feet! For maternity clients: feel free to bring a pair of nice shoes to slip into for photos, but more comfortable shoes with traction for walking between shooting locations.

Bring a small bag/diaper bag for your session. It’s a great place to stash keys, sunglasses and phones, as well as a waterbottle (and snacks for little ones!).

More Information

For more information on booking photos at Curt Gowdy State Park, use the links below:

Family Session

Maternity Session

Senior Session