As the self-proclaimed adventure capital of Wyoming, Casper boasts one of the widest ranges of outdoorsy activities in the state. In the winter, the slopes and off-piste Nordic trails that carve their way through the northern end of the Laramie Mountains come alive with skiers and snowmobiles, while the spring time thaw opens up a generous network of criss-crossing hiking routes that wind their way past the wider base of Casper Peak. Eco-tourists and lovers of wildlife will be right at home too, and it’s possible to spot some of America’s most iconic beasts (think moose, elk and mountain bison) in the smattering of nature reserves that pepper the backcountry. Casper itself offers a host of family friendly attractions and cozy diners and restaurants, along with a line-up of cultural treats inspired by the classic old West.
This heritage and education centre does well to preserve and chronicle the old historic walking trails that were once trodden by the American pioneers more than 200 years ago. Both children and adults will love the eclectic range of temporary exhibitions that focus in on specific historical episodes of the trails’ past, or illustrate what day-to-day life was like for the first American pioneers making the journey from east to west.
This sprawling collection of timber-clad cabins is one of the most rustic and honest insights into the history of Casper available. Located strategically on confluence of several transcontinental mail routes, it was once a major hub for telegraph riders and travellers going out West. During the summer the museum is open daily and kids go free all year round.
In the winter this trails centre is the best base camp for skiers looking to explore Casper’s trademark Nordic trails. With tens of off-piste courses all over the foothills of the Laramie Mountains, there’s a wide variation of difficulty levels and terrain styles, taking skiers through the thick woods, soft, snow-covered valleys and various open campsites south of Casper.
Since its earliest beginnings the World Famous Wonder Bar has been the stuff of legends in Casper, made famous by the one-time owner’s provision of beer for both horse and rider during the 1950s. Nowadays though, guests can enjoy the big brews, stacked cheeseburgers and plenty of home-cut chips that have made this one of the top-rated gastropubs in town.
With some of the most dramatic views of the iconic red rock bluffs around, the Red Butte Ranch is a natural getaway nestled on the banks on the North Platte River outside of Casper central. For visitors looking for a rustic place to sleep in natural surroundings, the accommodations are well placed to provide quick access to a number of hiking, biking and fishing hotspots, while there’s also plenty of scope to explore the historic sites of the Oregon Trail nearby.