June 28, 2017

Headed south to Colorado after your Yellowstone vacation? There will eventually be a long stretch of prairie between Wyoming’s Wind River Country and I-25, so we suggest front-loading your stops while you’re still in the Wild West. Take highway 26 east from Moran Junction for a culturally rich, scenic route home.

Togwotee Pass Scenic Overlook

About 15 miles east of Moran Junction, and 11 miles before cresting the Continental Divide, you’ll get a parting look at the Teton Mountains. Turn left into the scenic overlook parking area, which looks down into the Bridger-Teton Wilderness and offers breathtaking views.

Photo by Bill Sincavage

Falls Campground

Brooks Waterfall, located at the Falls Campground, an impressive clean mountain stream crashing through a rocky gorge, is another 16 miles down Highway 26. Turn left off the highway at the Shoshone National Forest Service sign, find a parking spot and take a short walk to a breathtaking view of the Brooks waterfall.

Dubois Museum, Dubois

Explore the history of the upper Wind River Country and the ancient Sheepeater Indians, mountain men, tie hacks, and historic dude ranches in what may be the most adorable and impressive little museum you’ll ever enter. It’s part of the visitor complex that also houses the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center, a city park, and a pedestrian path along the Wind River.

Crowheart Store, Crowheart

Crowheart Butte. Photo: Scott Copeland
Crowheart Butte. Photo: Scott Copeland

This village of 141 souls, located on the outer edges of the Wind River Indian Reservation, typically hosts one big event each September: The Festival of the Cowboys. Whether you’re in town for the festival or not, make a point of stopping in at the character-rich Crowheart Store. You’ll find Native American beadwork created by locals, tack for your next horseback ride, snacks for the road, old-timey post-office boxes and many more treasures you might not find anywhere else.

You can also find authentic, locally made artwork on the Wind River Native gifts website.

Native American dancing exhibition, Riverton

Dancer at Northern Arapaho ExperienceSwing by the Wind River Hotel and Casino for the Northern Arapaho Native American song and dance every Tuesday evening June through August. Take in traditional Native American Indian dances in full regalia, including the popular hoop dance, and traditional, live singing with a drum group. Visit the Wind River Experience Room for a cultural perspective on the history and lives of the Arapaho people.

Boysen State Park, Shoshoni

Boysen State Park and Reservoir juxtapose high-plains desert with hundreds of acres of deep blue water and 76 miles of shoreline, creating a surreal landscape for anglers, picnickers, campers, and travelers passing through to enjoy. There’s no place like Boysen to stretch, get some space, and enjoy the outdoors mid-road-trip.

Posted in Notes From the Field