Best of Wyoming

Explore innovation throughout the state of Wyoming!

WPM’s ‘Best of Wyoming’ offers snapshots of creative and inspirational ventures in communities across the state. If you have recommendations for this page, please e-mail Best of Wyoming’s curator (ddenison@uwyo.edu) or post upcoming events in the Wyoming Public Media calendar.

Each month a different community is featured. The pages below feature Artists, Performers, Wyoming Heritage and the Great Outdoors in each community. For other nonprofits in the state, visit the Wyoming Nonprofit & Charitable Organizations page. Listen to local history on the WPM Wyoming Stories page, and view the Best of Wyoming Listener Favorites & Photo Contests Pages.

The Brinton Museum – Big Horn

Aug 6, 2014
The Brinton Museum

The Brinton Museum invites you to experience the lifestyle of a 1920s and 30s gentleman’s working ranch. Take a guided tour of The Brinton Museum’s Main Ranch House, view the Native American Gallery and the featured art exhibitions in the gallery.  Stroll around the grounds and outbuildings including Little Goose Creek Lodge, Mr. Brinton’s hunting cabin.

Black Mountain Lookout – Big Horn

Aug 5, 2014
Black Mountain Lookout

Black Mountain Lookout is on the Bighorn National Forest 20 miles west of Sheridan and was constructed in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and used until the 1980’s. The lookout is an L4 or “Aladdin” design on a stone foundation.  Located on an exposed rock pinnacle the tower is in need of maintenance and repair.  The Bighorn National Forest and HistoriCorps are: re-shingling the roof, repairing the log railing and catwalk, replacing two doors, and staining the building exterior and the shutters.

Bozeman Trail Museum – Big Horn

Aug 4, 2014
Bozeman Trail Museum

Built in 1879 by the Rock Creek Stage Line, the Blacksmith Shop, now home to the Bozeman Trail Museum, originally satisfied the needs of the nearby Bozeman Trail, connecting southeastern Wyoming to Virgina City, Montana. It had been 1878 when O.P. Hanna decided to build his cabin near a clear creek, in a sheltered meadow with a magnificent view of the Big Horn Mountains. This was to be the first homestead cabin in what is now Sheridan County. By 1881, pioneer families started settling in Big Horn City, a name chose by O.P. Hanna.

Rock in the Glen – Glenrock

Jul 21, 2014
Photo by Mary B. Rookstool / Town of Glenrock

The Continental Pipeline Company donated the Rock in the Glen Park property to the Town of Glenrock in August 1982. The park property has direct access from the Glenrock Jaycee Park on the west edge of Glenrock.

The Rock in the Glen still has the names of the some of the emigrants that passed through Glenrock carved into its face stones.

Sign’s inscription:

“On July 26, 1842 John C Fremont’s first expedition to the far west guided by Kit Carson with Joseph Bissonette as interpreter also L. Maxwell as hunter camped in this rocky glen.

Deer Creek Museum - Glenrock

Jul 15, 2014
Deer Creek Museum

Glenrock, Wyoming's social history museum. Preserving Glenrock’s past and promoting its future.

The Deer Creek Museum features two new exhibits. The Pony Express exhibit will feature the mochilla or mail bag and Olympic torch carried by the reriders for the 1996 Olympics as well as the local history and involvement in the group. The Mormon exhibit provides a more accurate time line of Glenrock’s Mormon history and its connection and relationship with the present community.

Explore the story of Glenrock, a small town with a big history!

Glenrock Paleontological Museum - Glenrock

Jul 1, 2014
Glenrock Paleontological Museum

The Glenrock Paleontological Museum was formed in 1995 after Sean Smith, Director of Paleontology, found a Triceratops on a local ranch.  Since then, the museum has continued to grow, adding fossils from Cretaceous, Jurassic and Oligocene time periods including marine reptiles, sauropod dinosaurs, theropod dinosaurs and mammals in addition to many other fossils.  All fossils were found in Wyoming and will remain here for the enjoyment of visitors of all ages.

Oyster Ridge Music Festival - Kemmerer

Jun 4, 2014
Oyster Ridge Music Festival

2014 marked the 20th year anniversary of the Oyster Ridge Music Festival! The Festival’s humble beginning was a single man’s dream to start a festival in Kemmerer, Wyoming (thank you Keith Chasteen!). After a lot of hard work and perseverance, that dream became a reality. They had a handful of fans gather to watch the artists they could afford on a very limited budget. Year after year, through good times and bad, the Oyster Ridge Music Festival learned, grew into an event attended by thousands, and morphed into what it is today.

Fossil Butte National Monument - Kemmerer

Jun 2, 2014
Fossil Butte National Monument

Fossil Butte National Monument preserves one of the richest fossil deposits in the world. Fifty two million year old fish, insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, and plants are nearly perfectly preserved in limestone.

Visitor center exhibits include over 300 fossils featuring a thirteen-foot crocodilian, the oldest complete bats and a mass mortality of 356 fish. Also, enjoy two video programs, interactive exhibits, and a book store.

Dennison Lodge – Dubois

May 28, 2014
Dennison Lodge

The Dennison Lodge is an historic lodge which was moved to Dubois and is used for many social events. The Live from the Dennison concert series, held at the Dennison Lodge, is an innovative concept drawing musicians from across the country.

For more information visit www.dennisonlodge.org .

History

(Excerpts from A Brief History of the Dennison Lodge by Eugenia Christensen)

The Dubois Museum – Wind River Historical Center

May 21, 2014
Dubois Museum

The Dubois Museum is a living history museum that preserves and interprets the history of the Upper Wind River Valley. Museum exhibits focus on the Mountain Shoshone who were the first inhabitants of the valley, the homesteaders who settled in the late 1800s, and the Scandinavian loggers (tie hacks) who cut railroad ties for the nation's railroads in the national forests near Dubois.

Exhibits

Charlie Moore

Headwaters Arts & Conference Center - Dubois

May 13, 2014
Headwaters Arts & Conference Center

The Headwaters Arts & Conference Center Features a meeting and conference facility in the beautiful Wind River Valley. Nestled in the Wind River Mountains with the looming grandeur of majestic peaks and the serenity of calm, crystal clear lakes and streams offering many additional activities.

The Headwaters Arts and Conference Center is a year-round conference facility for national conferences, educational, art and music workshops, and corporate retreats.

The National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center - Dubois

May 1, 2014
© Stephen Jay Lunsford / Images of Wyoming

The National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center is a wildlife exhibit and interpretive center located on the main street of Dubois, Wyoming. The mountains just outside of town are home to one of the world’s largest herds of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. Realistic habitat dioramas, full-size taxidermy mounts, interactive exhibits and films draw the visitor into the world of the bighorns. It’s a wildlife experience the whole family will love.

Keyhole State Park – Sundance

Apr 21, 2014
Wyoming State Parks

Keyhole offers many attractions and is located on the western edge of the famed Black Hills, between Sundance and Moorcroft, and is easily accessed off I-90 at exit 165 or take exits 153 or 154 in Moorcroft then Hwy 14 north six miles then Hwy 113. Within sight of Devils Tower, Keyhole State Park is situated along the southeast shore of Keyhole Reservoir and offers excellent fishing for walleye, catfish, small mouth bass and northern pike. Keyhole is also a mecca for both resident and migrating birds of all species.

Vore Buffalo Jump - Sundance

Apr 14, 2014
Vore Buffalo Jump

The Vore Buffalo Jump is on the interface between what were once great bison pastures of the northern Great Plains and the Black Hills, making it highly attractive to various groups of buffalo hunters. In about 300 years, the site was used by five or more tribes.

The rich cultures and fascinating history of the Plains Indians developed around the immense bison herds and grasslands and of western North America.

Many Native American groups believe the Black Hills have spiritual properties as well as important material resources.

Crook County Museum & Art Gallery – Sundance

Apr 3, 2014
Crook County Museum & Art Gallery

Come see the Black Hills of North Eastern Wyoming.  History doesn’t have a state line; the historical aspects of the west can be seen in the Crook County Museum & Art Gallery in picturesque Sundance, Wyoming right off of interstate 90.

Anna Miller Museum – Newcastle

Mar 7, 2014
Anna Miller Museum

The Anna Miller Museum puts Weston County’s history on display with numerous exhibits covering coal camps such as Cambria, western legends and early Wyoming life.

The Bird Cage Theatrics Company - Newcastle

Mar 3, 2014
Bird Cage Theatrics

The Bird Cage Theatrics Company of Newcastle, Wyoming was born in 2011 from a desire to produce sophisticated, artistic entertainment.  Their main mission is to offer a variety of plays on a consistent schedule, drawing on local talent in all areas of theatrical production.  The company continues to grow with each production, with newcomers to the stage and behind-the-scenes.  Productions to date include:

Wheatland Wilderness

Feb 21, 2014
Dan Brecht

Wheatland is located on I-25, and travel/ tourism has long been an important industry in the area.  During the summer months, thousands of boaters, campers, fishermen, and water skiers from Cheyenne, the panhandle of Nebraska and the Front Range of Colorado rely heavily on both Glendo State Park and Guernsey State Park as well as Grayrocks Reservoir for outdoor recreation, and Wheatland is an important refueling stop and shopping center for many of these outdoor enthusiasts.  In addition, the Medicine Bow National Forest to the west provides many opportunities for hunters, campers, bikers,

Platte County Art – Wheatland

Feb 17, 2014
Dan Brecht

Wheatland is blessed with many talented artisans, including sculptors, painters, and crafters.  Probably the art form you will notice most when in Wheatland (and especially downtown) are the many murals on the walls of government and private buildings.  For the most part, these wonderful murals which tell the history of Wheatland and Platte County so well are due to the talent and hard work of the Platte County Art Guild.  The Pocket Park, which is located one block south of the Courthouse in downtown Wheatland, has murals that were done by Joe Arnold of Laramie in 2000.  In addition there

Wheatland Green Harvest Festival - Wheatland

Feb 3, 2014
Dan Brecht

Wheatland’s Green Harvest Festival takes place over about 7 days toward the end of August every year and is a combination of free public concerts at the city’s band shell (emphasis is on bluegrass, folk and eclectic music) as well as lots of kids’ games and activities, a quilt show, a garden walk, an open air vendors and farmers market, a pet parade (lots of fun.. They’ve had everything from goats to goldfish) and a runaway veggie contest.

The Hoofprints of the Past Museum – Kaycee

Jan 14, 2014
Hoofprints of the Past Museum

The Hoofprints of the Past Museum was founded over 20 years ago by a group of local volunteers to preserve the unique cultural heritage of Kaycee and the surrounding countryside. That unique western history includes:

Hole in the Wall – 40 miles southwest of Kaycee

Jan 2, 2014
BLM Wyoming

The Hole-in-the-Wall is a colorful and scenic red sandstone escarpment that is rich in legend of outlaw activity in the late 1800s, most notably Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch Gang. The “hole” is a gap in the Red Wall that, legend has it, was used secretly by outlaws to move horses and cattle from the area. The area is primitive in nature, with no services. Visitors should be skilled in cross-country travel and take adequate water, food, and fuel.

Meadowlark Ski Area – 20 miles east of Ten Sleep

Dec 13, 2013
Meadowlark Ski Lodge

Meadowlark Ski Lodge offers a wide variety of services for your winter recreation enjoyment in the Big Horn Mountains:

Ski Runs & Ski Lifts:

Meadowlark operates 2 lifts with 14 runs. The runs are 1/3 green-beginner, 1/3 blue-intermediate and 1/3 black for advanced. They boast 300 acres of skiable terrain with the elevation of the Meadowlark Ski Lodge at 8,500 feet and the top of lifts located at 9,500 feet. Meadowlark also has the capability to make snow if needed.

Ski Lodge Resort Services:

Castle Gardens - Ten Sleep

Dec 9, 2013
BLM Wyoming

This area of fantastic rock formations is located at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains at an elevation of 4,500 feet. Two picnic sites with tables, grills, fire rings, and a restroom are provided, however, water and trash pickup are not available. Use of the area is free. The Castle Gardens Scenic Area is open from May through October.

The turnoff to the Castle Gardens Scenic Area is approximately 2 miles west of Ten Sleep on U.S. Highway 16. From there a dirt road heads south for approximately 6 miles to the site.

Jalan Crossland

Wyoming and Ten Sleep based musician, Jalan Crossland has been playing music, touring both as a solo artist and with the Jalan Crossland band, for more than 20 years. He has recently released a new solo album, Portrait of a Fish. Anna Rader produced this profile.

(Click here to listen to his Artist Profile)

Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site is a 400 meter long, near vertical cliff with more than 92 prehistoric petroglyph panels and over 300 petroglyph figures. While the site is not extensively promoted, Legend Rock is already a world-renowned petroglyph site. Legend Rock has been a sacred site for Native Americans of this region for thousands of years. Local concern for the preservation and protection of the site led to acquisition of the property as a Wyoming State Petroglyph Site in 1973. During the same year, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thermopolis Photographer – Jessica Lippincott

Nov 7, 2013
Jessica Lippincott

Jessica Lippincott was one of the winners of Wyoming Public Media’s 2013 Photo Contest. Her photo ‘Lonesome Highland’ received listener votes for the ‘Wyoming’s People’ Category.

Hot Springs County Museum & Cultural Center - Thermopolis

Nov 1, 2013
Hot Springs County Museum & Cultural Center

When the new town of Thermopolis was founded in its present site in 1897, Mr. Skinner built an 18' x 32' cabin close to the corner of 5th and Arapahoe. Mr. Skinner had become a popular figure in town and his saloon was usually bustling. A sign on the front of the building read "free drinks served at all hours" but, anyone inquiring about it soon learned that the free drinks came from a well by the front door. His business was so profitable that he had a new two story building constructed, that covered 1 1/2 lots. Beside his saloon the building housed a cafe, barbershop and hotel. Mr.

Wyoming State BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Festival – Worland

Oct 31, 2013
Wyoming State BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Festival

The annual BBQ/Bluegrass Festival takes place each August in Worland, WY. They are the Wyoming State BBQ Championship sanctioned by KCBS. Each year 30+ BBQ cookers come from all the nation to compete for each year's prizes. Participants spend countless hours preparing and cooking favorite recipes for Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Ribs, and Chicken.

Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site – 45 miles north of Worland

Oct 24, 2013
Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site

Medicine Lodge is home to a large sandstone cliff that displays hundreds of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs. This rock art is directly associated with the human habitation of this site dating back more than 10,000 years. Information about the archaeological digs and further research of this site can be found in the visitor center and library.

Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site Video

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