July 30-Aug 5, 2019
Lander, WY was the last stop for our summer vacation.
Getting to Lander from Island Park had us back-tracking as we headed south on Hwy 32 through Idaho.
It was a gorgeous drive...
|Those beautiful Tetons.|
over Teton Pass between Victor, ID and Wilson, WY...
|We were above the clouds!|
with a quick peek at The Tetons...
|Teton NP is the only NP with an airport.|
before heading southeast through the Shoshone NF on Hwy 26 (a section of the Oregon Trail Historic Byway) from Moran to Lander.
Our home base for the week was Sleeping Bear RV Park.
We first heard about Lander in 2016 from MonaLisa and Steve's blog. We love small towns, had a week to spend somewhere before Joe's MOHs surgery (in Salt Lake City on Aug 7) so why not go to Lander.
Lander was established in 1884. This small town is located in central Wyoming along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River. It is named after Gen. Frederick Lander who explored the Oregon Trail's Lander cutoff. Lander also claims to have held the first paid rodeo in 1893...an annual tradition they still celebrate.
|Wyoming history of the bucking bronco dates back as early as 1918. It is popularly known as the "Cowboy State".|
1. Popo Agie Falls (July 31)
Our first hike in Lander had us following the Popo Agie River in the Shoshone National Forest. It's an in-out, 3.5 mile (RT) hike through some gorgeous vistas.
The first part of the trail is lined with huge boulders on the right...
and the Popo Agie River on the left.
As we followed the trail (with a steady elevation gain) we could see a huge cascade that plummets into the river. But, this is not the end !
The falls is not one big fall, but is a combination of cascades ending with a swimming hole.
|It is quite "the thing" for the adventurous,to slide down the rock into the very cold swimming hole.|
(Aug. 2) is situated in the Wind River Mountains on the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie river.
The park is named after a distinct geological phenomena in which the Popo Agie River disappears into a limestone cavern...
...and reappears a 1/4 mile down canyon in a pool filled with rainbow trout.
(Aug 2) is a 3.3 mile loop, but we included the Popo Agie Nature Trail for a total of 5 miles RT. It's a nice hike along the river, through aspen groves, and canyon meadows. Walking through the meadow was especially rewarding.
|A hungry Robin|
Our first stop was Frye Lake. This popular camping and fishing lake is also a storage reservoir for irrigation water.
Shortly after Frye Lake, the pavement changes to a gravelly/washboard road. The forest is denser, except in places where logging has been allowed. It wasn't very spectacular, but we wanted to reach Fiddlers Lake which is at the highest elevation (9411').
|There is one in every crowd...reminds me of my Kindergarten days!|
and over slick rock. I love slick rock !
One last look back at the slick rock reef as we continued up the hill.
Thanks Pam and John for including the Bus Loop in you blog and especially for the great directions !
This impressive state park has 24 historic structures, more than 30 "period" room exhibits, a visitor center, picnic areas, and nature trails.
Our first stop was the Dance Hall/Theater/ Community Center/ and Sunday school building. We watched a short video and were given a walking guide pamphlet.
Beginning in the 1860s, Pony Express stations and trails created by emigrants heading west were established. South Pass City was born after gold was discovered there in 1867. While some came for the gold, others settled in the area to farm on public lands open to homesteading, and others saw opportunity as merchants and professionals and so a town boomed.
The blacksmith shop had remains of tools, billows and old wagon wheels.
Up the hill from the structures is a cemetary. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there were only three graves and they were all children.
Also, South Pass City was home to Esther Morris, the first woman to serve in a judicial office in the U.S.. She was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1870 and served as judge.
This is the last post from our summer adventure. Exploring new places, awesome weather, great hikes, and gorgeous landscapes made for a very nice get away.
Until next time...
HAPPY TRAILS !
P.S. Kudos to Wyoming...We loved their signs !