September 12, 2023
Fall is beginning to make its presence known in Wyoming’s Wind River Country. The colors of the landscapes are starting to change from greens to yellows, oranges and reds. The days are still warm and sunny, while cooler nights bring crisp air to the region. Fall is the perfect time to get out and explore Wind River Country and attend a few fun fall-themed events and festivals. Here is a list of some of the events taking place in Wind River Country this fall.
Fall Festivals and Annual Traditions
Wind River Country’s fall festivities have something for everyone, and many feature special activities and offerings just for kids. These events provide a chance to be outdoors in the beautiful fall weather and learn about the communities, while offering food and entertainment.
Shoshoni Senior Center Street Fair Fundraiser — September 23
Shoshoni Senior Center’s Street Fair Fundraiser takes place at the Town Plaza (E. 2nd St. and Main St.) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hamburgers and hot dogs, side dishes, chips and drinks are available for $10 per plate. There will also be several vendors selling Senior Center crafts and other items. For more information, call (307) 876-2703.
Riverton Fall Harvest Festival — September 23
The Riverton Downtowners Main Street Alliance presents the annual Fall Harvest Festival from 12 to 6 p.m. along Riverton’s Main Street. Enjoy music, vendors, food, a kids’ bike rodeo at 1 p.m., a beard contest at 2 p.m., a cupcake contest at 2:30 p.m. and a cakewalk at 4 p.m. There will also be a Riverton Historic Walking Tour at 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.rivertonfallfest.com.
Lander Pioneer Museum’s 4th Annual Apple City Festival — September 30
Lander was known as the “Apple City” for the high number of orchards and the apples that were produced there. Apples were an important part of the agricultural economy in the area for many years, and the Apple City Festival pays tribute to this part of Lander’s history with speakers, an apple pie contest (with cash prizes), local apple cider and apple samples, kids’ crafts and a petting zoo. The Pioneer Museum, located at 1443 W. Main St., hosts this event in honor of Lander’s long history as a hub of apple orchards. This event takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. and is free.
9th Annual Fall Fun Fest — October 28
Join the Riverton Museum for the 9th Annual Fall Fun Fest. This is a great opportunity to get out and visit the museum, located at 700 E. Park Ave. Make harvest and Halloween themed crafts and snacks, and play some classic kids’ games from 2 to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Contact the Riverton Museum at (307) 856-2665 for details.
30th Annual Bighorn Bash — November 4
Join the National Bighorn Sheep Center for their largest single fundraising event of the year. The Bighorn Bash is held at the National Museum of Military Vehicles Poolaw Building (6419 Hwy. 26, Dubois). Meet the locals, enjoy fine dining, live and silent auctions, games and more. Doors open at 5 p.m. Dinner is prime rib and will be catered by The Canteen. Dinner tickets are $60 per person. Call (307) 455-3429 or email [email protected] for dinner tickets and reservations.
Fall Outdoor Recreation and Celebrations
There are a wealth of outdoor fall activities that are unique at this time of the year in Wind River Country. From pumpkin patches and getting lost in a corn maze to hiking amongst the falling leaves on local trails, get outside and enjoy the weather before the snow flies.
Fremont Area Road Tour Group Ride — September 18, 25 and October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Join the weekly Fremont Area Road Tour Group Ride with local legend Chuck Schuster, the first President of the Lander Cycling Club. Meet at Gannett Peak Sports (371 Main St.) in Lander every Monday at 5:45 p.m. Group cycling ride starts at 6 p.m.
83rd Annual One Shot Antelope Hunt — September 13 to 16
Every September, hunters gather in Lander and compete in the One Shot Antelope Hunt – a competitive hunt that puts eight three-man teams against each other. The task of each team member is to harvest a pronghorn antelope with one shot. The One Shot Antelope Hunt is an 83-year-tradition with a powerful alumni list. Participants come to shoot, hunt and raise money for wildlife conservation. This is a ticketed event held at several locations. The public is welcome at the Friday night blessing of the bullet ceremony, which is hosted by Shoshone Indian Tribal Elders. For details, go to www.oneshotantelopehunt.com.
Sinks Canyon Bam Bam 5K Fun Run/Walk — September 16
Enjoy a morning run or walk through beautiful Sinks Canyon State Park on this newly reimagined run/walk. This year, the 5K run/walk begins and ends near the Visitor Center (3018 Sinks Canyon Rd., Lander) and takes place on the North Slope Trail and Nature Trail Loop. These are well established, marked trails through conifer forest, open meadow and riparian habitats. Runners begin at 9 a.m., and walkers begin at 9:05 a.m. All participants are entered to win door prizes. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for youth (ages five to 12). Proceeds from this event go to Sinks Canyon Conservancy to support education and interpretive programs in Sinks Canyon. Register at https://wyoparks.info/BamBamRun.
Gas Hills Uranium Adventure Trek — September 16
On September 13, 1953, uranium was first found in the Gas Hills, almost 70 years ago to the day. On this Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek, the Riverton Museum and historian Zach Larsen take participants to the Gas Hills for a tour of the historical sites that shaped Wyoming’s uranium industry. This trek requires a good amount of walking, so please dress accordingly. Bring a sack lunch and water. Cost is $10 per person. Meet at the Riverton Museum (700 E. Park Ave.) at 9 a.m. Call the Museum for details at (307) 856-2665.
Business After Hours and Community Event — September 21
The Wind River Visitors Council has joined forces with Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce and Wyoming Economic Development Association to host the Wyoming Working Together Conference’s Thursday evening reception as part of the Lander Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours. The reception will serve as an informative celebration of Lander-South Pass City’s designation as a Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Gateway Community. This ties in directly with one of this year’s conference themes, the economy of outdoor recreation. The Business After Hours portion of the evening will be catered by Bunks BBQ and takes place at Centennial Park (209 Main St., Lander) from 5:30 to 7 p.m. From 7 to 9 p.m. the event will move across the street to the Coalter Loft (126 Main St., Lander) where hiker Danny Knoll will share some of his experiences on the Continental Divide Trail.
Run The Red and Wyoming Public Lands Day — September 23
Head to South Pass City State Historic Site for a day filled with joy and entertainment. Run the Red offers two distinct challenges – a half-marathon and a 50K – both designed to expose runners to the many shades and shapes of the Red Desert. The Red Desert is a uniquely Wyoming Landscape, blanketed with sage, carved with colorful badlands, rich with wildlife and steeped in cultural and historical significance. The 50K check-in is at 6:30 a.m., with the race starting at 8 a.m., and the half-marathon check-in is at 8:30 a.m., with the race starting at 10 a.m. Awards take place at 3 p.m. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., there is live music and celebrations, including food trucks, beverages, tours of the Carissa Mine, nature trails, gold panning and an Oregon Trail presentation. For more information, visit runthereddesert.com.
The Historic Ed Young Apple Orchard and Ranch Trek — September 23
It all started in 1882, when Lander rancher Ed Young planted his first apple trees, the first planted in Wyoming, on his homestead on the Little Popo Agie River. By 1904, Young’s orchard of more than 2,000 trees was said to produce 60,000 pounds that season. That same year, the newspapers and promoters began calling Lander “Apple City,” and Ed Young the “Apple King of Wyoming.” The Pioneer Museum’s “Historic Ed Young Apple Orchard and Ranch Adventure Trek” visits the site of the apple orchards that made Lander “The Apple City.” Cost is $12 per person. Meet at the Museum (1443 W. Main St.) in Lander at 1 p.m. to take a bus to the site. Reservations are required. Call the Pioneer Museum for details at (307) 332-3339.
Fremont County’s communities like to go big for Halloween, providing costume events for kids and pumpkin walks, haunted tours and eerie stories, to name a few. Enjoy the spooky season and celebrate Halloween with the towns and cities of Fremont County, as well as the Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum.
Riverton Fremont Haunts by Alma Law — October 4
Visit the Riverton Museum (700 E. Park Ave.) from 6 to 8 p.m. for one of the most popular annual talks in Fremont County. Local educator and collector of ghost stories, Alma Law, presents some of the most eerie, interesting and entertaining stories and urban legends from Riverton and the surrounding areas. This event is free and open to the public, however, it sometimes becomes standing room only, so make sure to show up early.
Pioneer Museum’s Halloween Night at the Museum — October 13 to 14
Head to the Pioneer Museum (1443 W. Main St.) in Lander for an evening filled with frighteningly cool decoration, spooky stories, crafts, hay rides, hot cocoa, treats and a campfire from 6 to 9 p.m. Costumes are encouraged. Children of all ages are welcome. Cost is $5 per person. Call the Pioneer Museum for more information at (307) 332-3339.
Pumpkin Trail — October 14
Join the Riverton Museum for its third annual Pumpkin Trail from 5 to 8 p.m. Tour around the museum (700 E. Park Ave.), and enjoy the many carved pumpkins donated from businesses in Riverton and throughout Fremont County. The museum will begin lighting the pumpkins at 5 p.m. Vote for your favorite pumpkin. Admission is free. Hot chocolate and popcorn are available with a donation.
Haunted Downtown Walking Trek — October 14
The Riverton Museum is always excited to host the spooky Haunted Downtown Walking Trek. In this Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek, local educator and collector of ghost stories, Alma Law, guides participants around downtown Riverton and visits the sites where some of his favorite ghost stories occurred. After the walk, return to the museum and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa. This event starts at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $10 per person, and spots are limited. Warm coats and walking shoes are recommended. Call the Riverton Museum for details at (307) 856-2665.
Halloween at the Museum — October 28
Get dressed up and go to the Dubois Museum (909 W. Ramshorn St.) for games, stories, treats and fun. The Halloween celebration starts at 3 p.m. and is presented by Kiwanis of Dubois, Friends of the Dubois Museum and the Dubois Museum. This event is free for all.
Pre-Halloween Party at the Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel — October 28
Head to the Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel for the Pre-Halloween Party at 7 p.m. Featuring music by Sten Joddi, the Indigenous hip hop artist and actor from Reservation Dogs. Tickets are $30. Located at 5690 Hwy. 287, just outside of Lander.
Shoshoni Recreation District #24 Haunted House — October 27 to 28
Every year, the Shoshoni Recreation District hosts an annual haunted house in the basement of the Senior Center (214 E. 2nd St.). Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $5 per person, or $3 with a canned food donation. Stop by for a spooky time Friday or Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Lander Main Street Trick-or-Treat — October 31
Trick-or-treaters in Lander can celebrate Halloween along the entirety of Main Street. Main Street businesses traditionally start handing candy out between 3 p.m. and when school lets out at 3:30 p.m. The festivities last until candy runs out, or the businesses close, usually between 5 and 6 p.m.