January 16, 2019

Lander Wyoming
Photo Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism/Keith Turbitt

Incorporated in 1890, Lander was named for Frederick W. Lander, the engineer responsible for the Lander Trail, a wagon road traveled by thousands of people heading West.

Lander is the gateway to the Wind River Mountains, which are a vast, pristine wilderness. Lander, WY has top attractions for nature enthusiasts. It’s no wonder that this mountain town is best known for outdoor activities, often bordering on the extreme. If you want to give any of it a try, you’ll find the region offers terrain for a range of abilities and locals who are happy to help you learn.

Discover Must-Visit Attractions & Fun Things to Do near Lander, WY

When exploring the Wind River Reservation and searching for fun things to do in Lander, Wyoming, you’ll be captivated by the area’s rich cultural experiences and stunning natural beauty.

1. The Hidden Gem of Sinks Canyon

Head to Sinks Canyon State Park Visitor Center for an introduction to the natural history of the canyon and wildlife. Stroll outside, where the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie plunges underground into a great limestone cavern called the Sinks. Take a short walk to watch it bubble up into a calm pool a quarter mile downstream at the Rise, where you can feed giant brown trout swimming in the pool below.

Sinks Canyon Wyoming
Photo Credit: Scott Copeland

2. Discover Lander’s Best Kept Secret Trails

One of the most popular things to do in Lander, WY is to explore the Wind River hikes, including the Falls Trail just outside of Sinks Canyon State Park. This three-mile, easy to moderate hike, surrounds a series of waterfalls and cascades with the longest vertical fall about 60 feet high.

3. Travel Back in Time at Fremont County Pioneer Museum

Explore the Fremont County Pioneer Museum. The Museum collects, preserves and interprets artifacts from prehistory through the 1920s. It is home to a Pioneer Village, which features 10 historic buildings depicting pioneers living from 1880 to 1930.

4. Experience the Vibrant Native American Dances

Every Wednesday night in the summer, the Eagle Spirit Dancers feature Eastern Shoshone Powwow and Northern Arapaho dancers, making these performances one of Lander, WY’s best attractions for cultural experiences. (Summer dance exhibitions are offered Wednesday nights in June, July and August.)

Spirit Dancer

5. Strolling Through Lander’s Charming Main Street

If you’re looking for more top things to do in Lander, WY, don’t miss a leisurely stroll down historic Main Street, and enjoy numerous art galleries, unique shops and a variety of restaurants offering local beef, microbrews and more.

6. Why Lander Rocks for Climbers!

Lander is known around the globe for its rock climbing. Sinks Canyon State Park, Wild Iris, Wolf Point and many more locations have been developed for sport climbing, and Lander is home to the International Climbers’ Festival. Trad climbing, bouldering and ice climbing also call to climbers—novice to expert. Head out on your own or hire a local guide.

Ice Climbing Lander

7. Pedal Your Way Through Lander’s Scenic Routes

Pedal through Lander’s breathtaking landscapes, where every turn unveils the rugged beauty of the Wind River Mountains, making biking a premier activity for those seeking both challenge and tranquility.

Mountain Biking

The network of single-track and off-road trails in Wind River Country ranks among the best things to do near Lander, WY for the most adventurous. The terrain ranges from easy to extreme, and surroundings include mountains, alpine meadows and high desert bordered by red cliffs. In the winter, there are groomed trails for fat biking, which makes Lander a four-season biking destination. Local shops provide rentals.

Road Biking

Road touring Togwotee Pass at 9,000’ and South Pass offer two very different views, and both are exceptional. Local shops provide rentals.

Fat Biking Snow
Photo Credit: Wind River Country/Kirk Rasmussen
Posted in Notes From the Field