Lander, Wyoming, is a captivating destination within the rugged splendor of the American West. The city beckons adventurers and history enthusiasts alike.
With a rich history dating back to the late 1800s, this charming town has evolved into a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, drawing visitors from across the globe.
Lander is located in Fremont County and holds a unique place in the hearts of travelers, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Its fascinating history is intertwined with the Wild West era, as it served as a critical stop on the Oregon Trail and later became a significant center during the Gold Rush.
Today, its historical landmarks and preserved pioneer spirit continue to captivate those seeking a glimpse into the past.
Annually, Lander welcomes approximately 150,000 visitors, thanks to its diverse attractions. The town’s allure lies in its breathtaking natural beauty, boasting places like Sinks Canyon State Park, a haven for hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
The weather in Lander varies greatly throughout the year. Summers are warm and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 90°F, making it an ideal time for outdoor adventures.
However, winter transforms Lander into a snowy wonderland, attracting winter sports enthusiasts. With its versatile climate, Lander truly is a year-round destination, offering something unique in every season.
For those who want to experience the best of Lander, the months of June through August are considered the prime time to visit, with mild weather and a bustling atmosphere that truly showcases the town’s charm.
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a history buff, here are the 10 most fun things to do in Lander, WY.
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1. Sinks Canyon State Park
Sinks Canyon State Park in Lander, Wyoming, is a natural wonder that has intrigued visitors for generations. It’s named after the mysterious “sinks,” where the Popo Agie River disappears underground, only to reappear downstream.
The park’s history dates back to 1970 when it was officially established. However, its geological wonders have fascinated people long before that. Native Americans and early settlers marveled at the river’s vanishing act.
One of the park’s most unique features is “The Rise,” where the river resurfaces. It’s a popular spot for visitors to witness this natural spectacle and experience something new things to do in Lander.
Sinks Canyon State Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. You can go hiking, rock climbing, or just enjoy a scenic picnic. There’s also excellent fishing in the river.
Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and other wildlife that call the park home. The park has a visitor center where you can learn more about its geology and history.
Whether you’re into geology, outdoor activities, or simply want to enjoy the beauty of nature, Sinks Canyon State Park is a must-visit destination in Lander, Wyoming.
3079 Sinks Canyon Rd, Lander, WY 82520, United States
2. Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel
Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel offers a unique blend of entertainment, gaming, and hospitality to its visitors.
It’s a relatively new addition to Lander’s attractions as it was established in 2007. The casino is owned by the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and has become a significant economic contributor to the local community.
The casino offers a variety of gaming options, including slot machines, table games, and poker. It’s a popular spot for those looking to try their luck.
The Shoshone Rose Casino also features a restaurant where visitors can enjoy a delicious meal. In addition to gaming, the complex includes a hotel with comfortable rooms for those planning to stay and explore the area.
The casino occasionally hosts live entertainment, making it not just a gaming destination but also a place to try some fun things to do in Lander.
It’s conveniently located near Sinks Canyon State Park, making it a great stop for travelers exploring the natural beauty of Lander.
Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel provides a modern and entertaining option for visitors to Lander, Wyoming, offering gaming, dining, and a comfortable place to stay in this picturesque part of the state.
5690 Us Hwy 287, Lander, Wyoming, 82520, United States
3. Fremont County Pioneer Museum
The Fremont County Pioneer Museum stands as a treasure trove of the region’s history, showcasing its rich heritage and cultural significance.
The museum was founded in 1947 and has been preserving and presenting the history of Fremont County for decades. It’s a testament to the community’s dedication to preserving its past.
The museum’s vast collection includes artifacts, photographs, documents, and exhibits that offer a glimpse into the area’s pioneer days, Native American heritage, and more recent history.
Visitors can step back in time and explore the daily lives of early settlers, with displays depicting homesteading, mining, and the challenges of life in the Wild West.
The museum also celebrates the rich heritage of the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes through exhibits and artifacts.
In addition to its static displays, the museum offers interactive exhibits that engage and educate visitors of all ages.
The museum hosts special events and programs throughout the year, making it an engaging destination for both locals and tourists to try some different things to do in Lander.
The Fremont County Pioneer Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of Lander and Fremont County. It’s a place where the past comes alive, offering a deeper appreciation for the area’s unique heritage.
1443 W Main St, Lander, WY 82520, United states
4. Popo Agie River
The Popo Agie River is a natural gem that has been captivating residents and visitors for generations. The river’s name, “Popo Agie,” is derived from the Shoshone word “Papu Agie,” meaning “popo” (bubbling) and “agie” (water).
The river has played a significant role in the region’s history, serving as a vital water source for Native American tribes and early settlers.
One of the most intriguing features of the Popo Agie River is its mysterious “Sinks” and “Rise” in Sinks Canyon State Park. Here, the river vanishes underground, only to resurface further downstream—a geological wonder that has puzzled and fascinated onlookers for centuries.
The river offers excellent opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, including fishing, hiking, and picnicking along its banks. Anglers can cast their lines in the river’s clear waters in search of trout and other freshwater species.
The Popo Agie River and its surrounding ecosystem provide a habitat for various wildlife species, including bighorn sheep, making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Its meandering path through Sinks Canyon and the Wind River Range offers breathtaking scenery, making it a must-visit for those seeking natural beauty and outdoor adventurous things to do in Lander, Wyoming.
The Popo Agie River is a vital part of Lander’s identity, offering both recreational opportunities and a connection to the area’s rich history and geological wonders.
260 Buena Vista Dr. Lander, WY 82520, United States
5. Museum Of The American West
The Museum of the American West is a captivating institution that immerses visitors in the history, culture, and heritage of the American West.
The museum was established in 1948 and has been a cornerstone of Lander’s cultural landscape for over half a century. It was founded by the Pioneer Association of Fremont County and has since grown into a renowned institution.
The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that celebrate the pioneer spirit of the American West. From Native American heritage to the era of westward expansion, it offers a comprehensive look at the region’s history.
Visitors can explore life on the frontier through interactive displays and preserved historical structures. The museum’s pioneer village is a particular highlight, showcasing authentic log cabins and historical buildings.
The museum hosts a variety of events, educational programs, and workshops, making it an engaging destination to try new things to do in Lander for people of all ages.
One of the museum’s prized possessions is the ‘Sacajawea’ teapot, believed to have been owned by the famed Shoshone guide who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition.
The Museum of the American West is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of the American West. It’s a place where the spirit of the frontier comes alive, offering a deeper understanding of the region’s storied past.
1445 W Main St, Lander, WY 82520, United States
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6. Popo Agie Falls
Popo Agie Falls is a natural wonder that beckons adventurers with its scenic beauty and refreshing cascades. The falls are nestled within Sinks Canyon State Park, a place rich in history.
Popo Agie Falls were carved by the relentless force of water over thousands of years. The falls tumble down a series of rocky steps, creating a picturesque and tranquil setting.
To reach the falls, visitors can embark on a short, scenic hike along a well-maintained trail. The path offers opportunities to admire the surrounding flora and fauna.
The base of the falls forms a natural swimming hole, making it a perfect spot for a refreshing dip on a hot summer day. There’s also a picnic area nearby, where visitors can relax, enjoy a meal, and take in the serene ambiance.
Popo Agie is derived from the Shoshone word “Papu Agie,” meaning “bubbling water,” a fitting name for these captivating falls.
Whether you’re a nature lover, hiker, or just seeking a tranquil escape, Popo Agie Falls is a natural gem in Lander that offers a refreshing and beautiful experience in the heart of Wyoming.
P4HR+MV5, Lander, WY 82520, United States
7. South Pass City
South Pass City is a well-preserved ghost town that takes visitors on a journey back to the vibrant days of the Gold Rush era.
It was founded in the 1860s during the height of the Gold Rush. At that time South Pass City was a bustling hub for miners and prospectors in search of their fortune. It was named after the nearby South Pass, a crucial landmark on the Oregon Trail.
At its peak, South Pass City had thousands of residents, numerous businesses, and even its own newspaper. However, as gold deposits dwindled, the town gradually declined and became a ghost town by the early 1900s.
In the 1960s, South Pass City was restored and turned into a living museum, preserving its historic buildings and recreating the atmosphere of the Old West.
Today, the town welcomes visitors who want to step back in time and explore its well-preserved buildings, including saloons, a schoolhouse, and a general store.
South Pass City is located at the southern end of the Wind River Mountains and played a crucial role in the westward expansion of the United States.
South Pass City offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to experience the bygone days of the Gold Rush and experience some interesting things to do in Lander.
148 S Pass City Rd, Lander, WY 82520, United States
8. Lander Brewfest
Lander Brewfest is a lively and flavorful celebration of craft beer that has become a beloved annual event in the town.
The Brewfest had its inception in 2010 when a group of local beer enthusiasts came together to create an event that would showcase the thriving craft beer scene in the region. It has since grown into a significant and highly anticipated gathering.
Lander Brewfest is a beer lover’s dream, featuring a wide variety of craft beers from local and regional breweries. It’s a chance for brewers to share their unique creations with the community.
In addition to beer tastings, the event offers live music performances, delicious food vendors, and a festive atmosphere that draws visitors from near and far. The Brewfest is a community-focused event that supports local charities and organizations.
While beer is the star of the show, the festival also features activities for families and non-drinkers, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy new things to do in Lander.
Lander Brewfest is not only a celebration of craft beer but also a showcase of the town’s vibrant cultural scene and community spirit.
Lander Brewfest is a must-attend event for beer enthusiasts, offering a taste of the local craft beer scene and a lively, fun-filled atmosphere in the heart of Wyoming.
1443 West Main Street, Lander, WY 82520, United States
The Cowfish has a fascinating history and some intriguing facts. This unique geological formation, known as “Cowfish,” gets its name from its peculiar shape resembling a cow’s head and back. It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike.
The Cowfish was created over millions of years through natural erosion processes. Wind, water, and ice shaped the sandstone rocks into their distinctive forms. It stands as a testament to the power of nature.
Visitors to the Cowfish can explore its nooks and crannies, often discovering fossilized imprints of ancient marine creatures embedded in the rocks. These fossils provide a glimpse into the area’s prehistoric past.
One of the most interesting features of the Cowfish is its natural amphitheater-like shape, which makes it an ideal spot for gatherings, picnics, and even small concerts. Many people come here to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Wind River Mountains that surround Lander.
In conclusion, the Cowfish in Lander, Wyoming, is a geological wonder with a rich history and plenty of natural beauty to offer. Whether you’re interested in its formation, fossil discoveries, or simply seeking a scenic spot for relaxation, the Cowfish has something for everyone to appreciate.
148 Main St, Lander, WY 82520, United States
10. Holy Rosary Church
The Holy Rosary Church holds a rich history and boasts some intriguing facts. This historic church has been a spiritual cornerstone in the community for many years.
Holy Rosary Church was built in the late 1800s by early Catholic settlers who were drawn to the region during the westward expansion. The church’s architecture reflects the Gothic Revival style, with its striking stained glass windows and tall spire that can be seen from a distance.
Holy Rosary Church has an enduring presence throughout the years. It has weathered storms, changes in the community, and the passage of time, remaining a place of worship and reflection for generations of local residents.
The church’s interior is equally impressive, adorned with beautiful religious artwork and a serene atmosphere that invites prayer and contemplation.
Today, Holy Rosary Church continues to be a place of spiritual significance and a testament to the enduring faith of the people of Lander, Wyoming.
It welcomes visitors to admire its historical beauty and to participate in the vibrant Catholic community that still gathers here and experience some religious things to do in Lander.
The Holy Rosary Church in Lander, Wyoming, is a cherished landmark with a storied history and timeless appeal, making it a must-visit destination for those interested in both faith and local heritage.
163 Leedy Dr, Lander, WY 82520, United States
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Lander, Wyoming, offers a delightful blend of outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, and historical significance. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Lander has something for everyone.
Plan your visit to this charming town and immerse yourself in the beauty and excitement of the American West and experience charming things to do in Lander, WY.