Lander WY is situated 146 miles from Casper in central Wyoming, south of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Before being named after explorer General Frederick W. Lander, the town had been known as Pushroot, Fort Brown, and Fort Auger. The town, incorporated in 1890, prides itself on being the location of the first known paid rodeo. Railroad companies had originally intended for the Chicago and North Western Railway to pass through Lander on its way to Coos Bay, Oregon, and Eureka, California, but building halted, and Lander became the last station of the Cowboy Line in 1906.
Outdoor Recreation Image: Ryan Harvey (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
Outdoor activities are popular in Lander WY, drawing in considerable adventure tourism annually. The town’s location at the foot of the Wind River Mountains inspires rock climbers, hikers, fishing enthusiasts, and hunters. The Wind River Mountains boast over 40 peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation, including Gannett Peak, 13,804 feet high. Six miles southwest of town is Sinks Canyon State Park, offering a stunning underground limestone cavern. Nearby Shoshone National Forest features over two million acres of protected forest. Anglers enjoy Wind River, the Popo Agie River, and one of the region’s many lakes for excellent large-mouth bass and walleye fishing. Golfers enjoy a round or two at the Lander Golf and Country Club.
Museums & Historic Sites
Museums & Historic Sites Image: Museum of the American West
Visitors to Lander WY can visit the Museum of the American West (pictured), a non-profit organization dedicated to education about local history. This museum offers unique displays indoors and outdoors, and focuses on the Wind River Valley, as well as the South Pass part of the Rocky Mountains. Younger visitors to Lander can spend an afternoon at the Lander Children’s Museum, established in 1999. This museum is mostly hands-on, teaching children aged three through 12 subjects such as math, science, and art.
Lander WY Lodging & Camping
Lander WY Lodging & Camping Image: Sleeping Bear RV Park and Campground
Lander offers several basic hotels for visitors. Camping enthusiasts may prefer the Sleeping Bear RV Park and Campground, equipped with tent sites, RV hookups, and rental cabins. There are also several dude ranches in the area from which to choose, including Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch. Besides comfortable log cabins, Allen’s also offers guided trips through the surrounding Wyoming countryside.
Top image: Show Us Your Togwotee (flickr)