Western heritage, Native American culture and natural history; Wyoming’s remarkable narrative has carved the West and provided a look into pre-historic America.
“From the first national park to the women’s suffrage movement, Wyoming’s rich history and heritage helped define the west and the United States as a whole with many firsts,” said Piper Singer, public relations & media manager at the Wyoming Office of Tourism.
As groups travel to, from or through the Cowboy State, whether a day trip or a multi-day adventure, make sure to stop by historic sites and attractions highlighting human and natural history.
Rediscover the Old West
Groups can explore pioneer and Native American heritage through historic frontier sites and live reenactments, among other experiences.
Carbon County’s Grand Encampment Museum boasts over a dozen historical buildings telling the history of Wyoming, the city of Grand Encampment and the Upper North Platte Valley. Visit a blacksmith shop, the Palace Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor, and the Livery Stable.
Enjoy chuckwagon dinners, horse rides, saddle creation demonstrations and exclusive tours available to large groups at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody.
Among the center’s five museums is The Plains Indian Museum. Galleries include artifacts, art and life-size exhibits relaying the rich culture of the Plains Indian people.
Visit the famed outpost where U.S. Army soldiers, emigrants and Native Americans worked and collided at Fort Laramie National Historic Site in southeastern Wyoming.
“Begin your tour at the visitor center located in the restored 1884 Commissary Storehouse with an 18-minute orientation film before entering the museum and browsing the bookstore,” Singer said.
Groups will encounter individuals dressed is period appropriate attire and see demonstrations. The grounds also include a trail that leads from the Old Iron Bridge to the meeting of the Platte and Laramie Rivers.
Criss-crossed by a number of America’s famous trails, Wyoming hosted travelers on the Oregon, California, Mormon and Pony Express trails — to name a few. Sweetwater County boasts mile upon mile of still-visible trails. Visit Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism Board’s website to find helpful tools for planning visits to historic sites near the trails and spots where groups can see evidence of the traveling pioneers, like wagon ruts.
Roam through pre-historic Wyoming
Evidence of Earth’s age and ever-changing makeup is located throughout The Cowboy State. It has one of the most expansive fossil records in the nation and also boasts an official state dinosaur, the triceratops. From ancient footprints to geological wonders, the abundant natural history and pre-history point to Wyoming’s diverse environment.
Located in Thermopolis, the Wyoming Dinosaur Center allows visitors to watch lab technicians prepare newly discovered fossils. The museum houses 20 full-size skeletons at 200 interpretive exhibits, as well.
While in Thermopolis, make sure to check out the geological wonder of Hot Springs State Park, home to the world’s largest single mineral hot spring, which channels into pools and bathhouses.
“During your visit, you might even catch an awesome view of Wyoming wildlife; herds of majestic buffalo are said to frequently roam the red hills just behind the main portion of the park,” Singer said.
Beyond dinosaur fossils and remains, the Green River Formation boasts an abundance of fossilized fish, which can be collected at Fossil Safari’s private quarry in Kemmerer. Groups rates are available for groups of 10 or more.
Groups will see fossilized fish, insects, mammals, birds and reptiles at Fossil Butte National Monument — also in Kemmerer. The Visitor Center includes more than 300 fossils. Book the Porch Talk or the Timeline Talk with a park ranger, then take a hike on the maintained pathways through the park.
A monumental first
Wyoming has roots in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, being the first state to allow women to vote and hold office in 1869. Visit the Wyoming House for Historic Women in Laramie to learn about many Wyoming women who have impacted the world!
Visit Travel Wyoming’s website to find more listings of historical attractions around the state.