December 30, 2016

By Casey Adams
In the next week or two, many of our conversations will revolve around setting—and actually achieving—New Year’s resolutions. We know that goals surrounding fitness, living life more fully, financial security, and traveling top resolution lists, and while we sit here in Wyoming’s Wind River Country, toasting with local brews and planning snowy adventures, we thought we’d help you stick to your resolutions with a grin.

1. Travel more
adam-long-snowmobile-2-brooks-lakeSee more of the country this winter, in a unique fashion! Buzz along on the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail, and you’ll be as far from any interstate as any traveler would hope to find him or herself. This trail system, a star among snowmobile routes, stretches from Togwotee Pass and the entrance to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, down the spine of America along the Continental Divide to Lander. Over 600 miles of groomed trails and thousands of acres of pristine snow wait to satisfy your wanderlust and sense of adventure. Every mile is part of the destination when you travel by snowmobile on the Continental Divide Snowmobile trail.

2. Get away from it all (on a road trip on actual roads)
Wyoming’s Wind River Country is the epitome of the open road. Highways stretch for hours across ever-changing scenery, punctuated by cultural, historical, and geological waypoints. Lose yourself in the vistas, find yourself on the road. Pick up a self-guided driving tours for directions, distances, highlights, and locals’ secrets, or review your options here.

3. Get fit

Calories fly when you’re having fun! Why set yourself up for misery and an abandoned resolution in January by making the sweating and groaning obligatory? Spend a week hiking or cross country or back country skiing through the breathtaking mountains, awe-inspiring deserts, and romantic forests of Wind River Country, and you’ll find you’ve developed a lightness to your step without once checking your watch to answer the question, “How much longer do I have to do this today?”

Photo: Matt Wendling

4. Get strong
It is possible to get pumped while you get a tan (and some fresh air and vitamin D) and love out a thrilling and unique adventure. Lander is home to world-class rock climbing—even hosting the International Climbers Festival each year—and new routes are being developed every week! No crowded gym. No sweaty steam. Just fresh air, functional strength, and a new healthy habit.

5. Improve your financial situation
“Save more, spend less” sounds so boring when you could just pass a little time sitting by a beautiful river and panning for gold to line your pockets. One of Wyoming’s oldest towns, Atlantic City, Wyoming, and neighboring South Pass City have a rich history in gold fever. Though the boom and riches of yore have faded, the memories and the occasional fleck of gold still shine bright. Though you won’t bring home a fortune, you’ll leave Atlantic City and South Pass City State Historic Site feeling a little richer.

6. Dance more
Native American Dancing in Lander Photo: Jennie HutchinsonWe all want to enjoy life a little more fully and join in to dance more. Why try to fulfill a New Year’s Resolution with a metaphor when you can, in fact, dance more? The Native Americans who call Wind River Country home invite you to share in their culture, songs, dances, stories, and smiles with guests and locals. These dance exhibitions take place twice a week all summer long. Learn something, share in a
laugh, then get on your feet to learn a new dance, hand-in-hand.

7. Finally be a cowboy/girl
Since you were six, you’ve had a dream, though you’ve pretty much lost sight of it in recent years. Why not revive that goal to be a cowboy or cowgirl as your 2017 resolution? Find yourself swaying gently to the rhythm of your horse’s stride, your thoughts harmonizing with the sound of his steps, the songbirds, and the breeze through the aspens. Whether your resolution is to live out a childhood dream, get away from it all for a while, or to learn to ride a horse, you can experience the authentic West in Wyoming’s Wind River Country dude ranches and backcountry outfitters.

Trail Riding at a Dude Ranch Photo: Kristin Foster

8. Get outside of your comfort zone
Sure, Wyoming is still cowboy country, and yes, it’s still necessary to clarify if you mean horses or bikes when you invite a friend out for a ride. However, rugged and wild Wind River Country isn’t necessarily any better suited to four hooves than two wheels. With an active cycling community building trails and events across the county, you’re sure to find a mountain bike trail network that will thrill and challenge you just enough.

Photo: George Grossman

9. See the world
Wyoming’s tallest peak, Gannett Peak, reaches up 13,804 feet into the sky. From that elevation, and after accomplishing that climb, you feel as if you can see the world. This mountain sits deep in the Wind River Mountains for which Wind River Country is named. It’s an expedition and an accomplishment worth celebrating in your year-end wrap-up.

10. Spend less, save more
Okay, so maybe the whole “strike it rich in a historic boom town” thing isn’t realistic enough to count as an answer to your fiscally responsible resolution. But Wyoming’s Wind River Country can. Find all that the West has to offer without the expense of spending an entire week based in an expensive resort. The Circle the Continental Divide driving itinerary will take you through Wyoming’s only Indian reservation, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, to rodeos and powwows, on hikes and horseback rides, and much more. Discover all that the West has to offer on an affordable vacation option. You won’t feel like you’ve missed out—in fact, you’ll realize you’ve discovered something special.

11. Spend more time with family and friends
Wind River Country is an incredible place for families to come together and create some remarkable memories. You just might discover your kids love hiking—especially if the hike leads to a wild waterslide down a waterfall! Dude ranches, square dances, bike trails and fishing tales will keep everyone in the crew smiling.

Kids activities at the horse corral. Photo: Kristin Foster

12. Read more
Find more ideas for fulfilling 2017 vacation plans by subscribing to our Wind River enewsletters!
Wind River Country Newsletter (monthly)
Wind River Country Winter Newsletter (weekly in the winter)
Wind River Eclipse Newsletter (Get ready for Aug. 21, 2017 with this monthly email)

Posted in Notes From the Field