January 16, 2019
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. 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.
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.
Photo Credit: Scott Copeland
Hike 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.
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 pioneer living from 1880 to 1930.
Native American Dancing
Every Wednesday night in the summer, the Eagle Spirit Dancers feature Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho dancers. (Summer dance exhibitions are offered Wednesday nights in June, July and August.)
Photo Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism
Lander’s Main Street
Stroll historic Main Street and enjoy numerous art galleries, unique shops and a variety of restaurants offering local beef, microbrews and more.
Go Rock Climbing
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.
Photo Credit: Zach Snavely
Mountain and Road Biking
The network of single-track and off-road trails in Wind River Country is worthy of the most adventurous. The terrain ranges from easy to extreme, and surroundings include mountains, alpine meadows and high desert bordered by red cliffs. Road touring Togwotee Pass at 9,000’ and South Pass offer two very different views, and both are exceptional. In the winter, there are groomed trails for fat biking, which makes Lander a four season biking destination. Local shops provide rentals.
Photo Credit: Wind River Country/Kirk Rasmussen