October 12, 2017

We know that Wyoming’s Wind River Country offers plenty of room to breathe. The best way to enjoy it, of course, is to slow down and take a few deep breaths.

The growing trend of slow travel has always been the pace of choice in Wind River Country, and here are five examples you can savor throughout the year. Slow travel is about immersing yourself in the experience and culture of a place instead of trying to pack every activity and attraction into your holiday. It’s a chance to more deeply connect with a destination.

Winter: Snowmobile exploration and comfy cabin

Snowmobilers line up in the scenery during a ride.
Settle in to the snow, scenery, and smiles of a snowmobile getaway. You don’t have to drive slow for a slow travel vacation. Adam Long photo

Slow travel is less about the mode of travel and more about the mindset of connecting with your surroundings. Hundreds of miles of renowned snowmobile trails traverse Togwotee Pass between Dubois and Yellowstone National Park, inviting you to really get to know the winter pass. Off the trail are thousands of acres of public land serving as a powder playground. Stretching from Dubois up to higher elevations you’ll find lodging options to keep you snuggled up in the feeling of Christmas vacation no matter what the date. Settle in with some hot cocoa or into a hot tub—even better into a spa treatment and recount the day’s fun instead of rushing off to another item on a vacation itinerary.

Bring a snowmobile of your own or rent one in the area. Choose a room in town or a cabin closer to the Continental Divide Trail. Find your slow winter travel providers at https://www.sledwyoming.com/businesses/

Year Round: Bird Watching at Ocean Lake and Luckey Pond

Ocean Lake Wildlife Management Area near Pavillion is a remarkable birding destination. It is peaceful setting with mixed terrain, perfect for winged variety including pheasants, blue herons, and more. Ocean Lake is a prime area for settling in for days on end in a camper or tent to squeeze every last moment of bird watching out of dawn, dusk, and everything in between.

Luckey Pond is designed to host many migrating fowl. The Canada geese decorate the pond and quarter-mile trail around it with colors and sounds. The cattails, grass, and Russian Olives play host to waterfowl ranging from ducklings to blue herons. Spend your night in a boutique hotel, cabins, or other lodging in nearby Lander and take a short jaunt to the pond each day.

Extend your birding outings to Sinks Canyon also outside Lander, Boysen Reservoir near Shoshoni, Bass Lake/Lake Cameahwait near Shoshoni, Carmody Lake near Sweetwater Station, and more.

Sign at Boysen Reservoir about bird species in the area

Year Round: Yoga retreat

Lander is home to a new om—inducing space for yoga, wellness, and meditation classes. Bhava Shala is housed in the former Lander Mill elevator building, and the architecture reflects the history of the mill in Lander.

The space is built to host a variety of yummy, replenishing experiences, and it does! Keep an eye on the schedule for seminars, classes, and community events.

Summer: Dude ranch experience

Dude ranch guests sit around a campfire.
Settle in and reflect on your adventures. Vacation shouldn’t have a to-do list. Gary Kunis photo

Cowboying is a way of life in Wind River Country, and you can experience it in the way you’ve been dreaming. Each dude or guest ranch experience in Wind River Country is unique, and each provides a personalized dude ranch experience you won’t soon forget.

If you’re ready to get comfortable in Wrangler blue jeans, get a little dirty while working cattle, and learn a lot about the operations of a Wyoming ranch, a working ranch is your style. If you’re bringing family and like to have activities to keep everyone entertained and occupied, a traditional, family style ranch will feel like home to all of you.  Or maybe you’re thinking, “Hey, it’s a vacation,” and as much as you’re eager to get away from it all and breathe in some fresh air, you’re also yearning some gourmet meals and pampering. A luxury, resort-style guest ranch offers the package you crave. Find the perfect fit for refreshment in the mountains here.

Summer: Take a hike!

Solo photo of a woman on a trail
Shelli climbs toward Temple Peak. Joel Krieger photo

Pull on some boots, pack the necessities, and get away from it all! It will get you breathing hard with room to catch your breath. Here are some favorites recommended by local Shelli Johnson. No matter what Wind River Country town you stay in, you’ll find easy to difficult hiks within an easy drive.

Summer: Go back … in time to participate in the 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous

Dive into the history of the American West at the annual 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous. All are welcome to attend for as briefly as you like, but if you want to really immerse yourself in the history of trappers, the fur trade, and rugged mountain men, there will be loaner outfits to join the participants dressed in period attire. Spend a night or more in the “tin teepee” area for the full event in your modern tent, RV, or trailer, or rent a teepee. Vacation in a different time to really get away: throw a hatchet, learn to cook in a Dutch oven, watch a black-powder gun competition, trade for supplies, and more.

Slow Down in Wyoming’s Wind River Country
1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous. Photo: Wind River Country / Brad Christensen

Year-round: Art classes

The Headwaters Center in Dubois hosts several artists’ workshops each year, hosted by remarkable artists both local and from afar. For example, the Susan K Black Foundation holds its annual workshop in Dubois each year for a reason:

“If the authentic American West, the golden leaves of Aspen, abundant wildlife and majestic scenery make you yearn for an unsurpassed art adventure, this workshop and location are the place for you this fall… retreat from the world for a few days and recharge your creative batteries with an amazing selection of training classes and programs with our world-class selection of instructors,” the Susan K Black website invites.

How to get here?

Fly Denver Air Connection directly to Riverton in the heart of Wyoming’s Wind River Country to give yourself more time to slow down and get to know authentic Wyoming.

Posted in Notes From the Field