Lander is a charming city in the west central part of Wyoming that is home to just over 7,500 residents. The city lies on the eastern edge of the Wind River Mountains along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River in the Wind River Valley area. Wit its beautiful high mountain scenery, outdoor recreation opportunities and nearby dude ranches, Lander is a popular tourism center.
Whether you live in this majestic area or are thinking of visiting, here are seven things that you might not know about Lander.
1. The Site of the First Paid Rodeo
Lander was the site of the first paid rodeo – ever. The Lander Rodeo is an ongoing event dating back to 1894 that takes place each year on during the 4th of July week. Show up to watch bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, ladies barrels, and more.
2. End of a Railroad Line
Lander was the western terminus of the Chicago and North Western Railway line. The line was complete in 1906 and was termed the "Cowboy Line." It was originally destined to go all the way to either Eureka, California or Coos Bay, Oregon, but it was abandoned in Lander, and the slogan was coined "where rails end and trails begin." Service on the rail line ended in 1972.
3. State's First Oil Well
Just southeast of downtown Lander, off U.S. Route 287, lies the site of Wyoming's very first oil well. Oil springs were located here as early as the 1830's near Dallas Dome and the first oil well was drilled in the area in the 1880's.
4. Rock Climbing Mecca
The Lander area offers several world-class rock climbing destinations within easy reach of the city. The town has hosted an International Climbers' Festival every July for over 20 years. Popular sites near Lander include Sinks Canyon, Wild Iris, the Wind River Range, and Sweetwater Rocks.
5. Fishing & Hunting Paradise
If you consider yourself a sportsman, or sportswoman, Lander is the place to be. The area is a top destination for fishing and hunting. Fly Rod & Reel Magazine named Lander the "Number One Trout Fishing Town in the Northern Rockies."
The area is close to over 600 high mountain lakes and over 2,000 miles of rivers and streams. Lander also offers access to big game hunting for elk, bear, deer, antelope, moose, and mountain lion with guided trips through some of the local outfitters. The annual One Shot Antelope Hunt is also a unique hunting event not to be missed.
6. Mountain Wonderland
The towering Wind River Mountains lie to the west of Lander. The range, which is part of the Rocky Mountains, has over 40 named peaks over 13,000 peaks. 19 of Wyoming's 20 tallest peaks are in the Winds.
7. Outstanding Hearing Health Care
Lander is home to Lander Regional Hospital and Intermountain Audiology is pleased to serve the region in our Lander hearing clinic. Located at 125 Main Street, our Lander audiologists and hearing specialists have over 50 years of combined experience.
Lander is not only home to beautiful country and friendly, caring people, but it is also an area that has a unique history and provides a wealth of outdoor and recreation activities for residents and visitors alike.