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 First National Bank Museum - Meeteetse

Sep 11, 2013
Meeteetse Museums

The Bank Museum is located in the newly restored First National Bank of Meeteetse Building, which served as Meeteetse’s bank from 1901 and 1975. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is full of interesting artifacts from years gone by that tell the story of the bank and Meeteetse. Exhibited artifacts include vintage office furniture, the bank vault and safes, an early telephone switchboard, dictaphones, and photographs.

A History of the First National Bank of Meeteetse

Charles Belden Museum

The Belden Museum features the photographic works of Charles Belden, most of which document daily life on the Pitchfork Ranch from about 1914 to 1940. The Belden Museum also exhibits the personal memorabilia of the photographer and the Phelps and Belden families. The new Olive Fell Gallery is also located in the Belden Museum.

Permanent Exhibits:
Charles Belden Photography Collection
Belden Family Collection

The Films of Charles Belden

The Olive Fell Gallery

A Biography of Charles Belden

Meeteetse Museum

Sep 4, 2013
Meeteetse Museum

Meeteetse Museum contains exciting exhibits that tell the story of Meeteetse and the surrounding area. These include “Mike Crocker’s Wild Sheep of North America,” “Made in Meeteetse: the Black-Footed Ferret,” the Forest Service Cabin, the “Meeteetse Mercantile,” and the Saddle Room. Meeteetse Museum is also home to a number of important western sculptures by the late Harry Jackson.

Public Programming

Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park – Meeteetse

Sep 3, 2013
Meeteetse Recreation District

Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park is located 22 miles southwest of Meeteetse, Wyoming offering the touring enthusiast the opportunity to be part of a spectacular mountain area in the Shoshone National Forest.

The Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park has 25 kilometers of groomed trails, ranging from the scenic and gentle South Fork Trail to the thrilling Brown Creek Trail as well as back country trails. The park features a warming hut at the trail head equipped with tables, stools, maps, and a wood stove.

Hot Springs - Saratoga

Aug 30, 2013
City of Saratoga

The historic hot pool, located on the banks of the Platte River, is a natural hot springs once believed to possess healing properties.  Indian tribes would lay down their weapons to partake of the waters healing powers in peace.  Today, it brings that same relaxing ambiance.

The pool is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week year round.  The Hobo Pool temperature ranges from 108 to 119 degrees.  The Not So Hot Pool maintains a temperature around 100 degrees.

Grand Encampment Museum – Encampment

Aug 22, 2013
Grand Encampment Museum

Grand Encampment Museum preserves and interprets the history of the Upper North Platte Valley. It provides the public with access to historical sources and experiences, as well as a place for research and to educate all generations.

Sierra Madre Winter Carnival – Encampment

Aug 20, 2013
Encampment Winter Carnival

Encampment’s Sierra Madre Winter Carnival is held the last weekend in January. The annual event starts Friday night with a Treasure Hunt. Saturday events include the Sled Races, the VFW Chili Feed, Saucer Bowling and a Snow Sculpture contest. The Xi Beta Delta Sorority hosts a Casino Night event for adults in the evening. Sunday events are the Sixth Street Sprint which is a snow machine race, Turkey Curling, Snow Golf and a Chili and Bread Cook-off. The Sierra Madre Winter Carnival has something for all ages.

Saratoga Museum

Aug 1, 2013
The Saratoga Museum

The Saratoga Museum is a delight for all ages. Located in Saratoga, Wyoming, nestled between the Snowy Range and Sierra Madre Mountains, the Saratoga Museum has one of the largest geology collections in Wyoming.

Bison bones discovered at The Casper Site are also a part of the museum's collection. Long-time board member Rod Laird was one of the discoverer's of the site. Laird has been the driving force behind the museum for the last 20 years and he held the first World Atatl Atatl contest.

Whitewater Park – Green River

Jul 30, 2013
Green River Recreation Department

At Expedition Island Park, made famous by the launching point of John Wesley Powell’s historic expedition of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon in 1869, you will find an amenity for floating river users and swimmers of a wide range of abilities. The Whitewater Park and North Channel Tubing projects were completed in the summers of 2008 and 2009. These projects have enhanced the river that splits and surrounds the island.  In the north river channel, directly adjacent to the City’s outdoor splash park, the City created a 1,200 feet long lazy river/tubing channel.

Green River Wild Horse Tours

Jul 18, 2013
Green River Wild Horse Tours

View wild horses in their natural environment as well as a host of other wild creatures that make the high desert of Wyoming their home.

Visitors can enjoy seeing the magnificent vistas  at every turn. Tours will take visitors around Sweetwater County viewing the wild horses, wild life and scenic vistas that make this corner of the world a beautiful and unique experience.

The vehicle that Green River Wild Hours Tours uses is unusual, the Australian made, Pinzgauer holds ten passengers. This machine gives participants the outdoor experience without walking,

Green River Arts Council

Jul 2, 2013
Green River Arts Council

The Green River Arts Council provides access to the arts for the citizens and visitors of Green River.  The Council offers community-wide opportunities to celebrate creativity through frequent and fun events and festivals.  

Sweetwater County Historical Museum - Green River

Jul 1, 2013
Sweetwater County Historical Museum

Discover the rich cultural heritage of southwestern Wyoming at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum. Established in 1967 to preserve and present the history of Sweetwater County, the museum is located in a renovated 1931 post office building. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The museum contains long and short-term exhibits, a large historical photograph collection and local history materials.

Pronghorn & Fremont Lake - Pinedale

Jun 25, 2013
Zachary Wheeler

The drive to Pinedale from US-HWY 189 or US HWY 191 is along one of the greatest migrations in North America.  Each fall and spring, 300-400 Pronghorn migrate 170 miles from their summer birthing grounds in Grand Teton National Park to their winter grounds in Pinedale, Wyoming.  This great migration, named by biologists as the “Path of the Pronghorn” is remarkable and one of the last long-distance animal migrations in the world.

Green River Rendezvous – Pinedale

Jun 11, 2013
Dawn Ballou

Pinedale’s oldest and longest standing cultural event is held annually the second weekend in July and is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.  Vendor Street Fair, Museum of the Mountain Man specialty tours and demonstrations, Kids’ Fishing Derby, “Spirit of the Winds” Fireworks Show, 3-on-3 Rendezvous Basketball Tournament, Rendezvous Parade, nightly rodeos, live music, and Native American Dance performances makes this Pinedale’s biggest summer event.

Museum of the Mountain Man - Pinedale

Jun 6, 2013
Dawn Ballou

During the years 1824-1840, the Pinedale region was at the heart of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade, which supplied precious beaver pelts to the fashion industries of Europe and the eastern United States. Mountain men like Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Thomas Fitzpatrick and William Sublette carved their legends here, and opened the way for the pioneers of the Oregon Trail. The Museum of the Mountain Man shares a comprehensive collection of Rocky Mountain fur trade journals, relics such as Jim Bridger’s Rifle and the finest Native American sheep horn bow still in existence. 

Pinedale Fine Arts Council - Pinedale

Jun 1, 2013
Pinedale Fine Arts Council

The Pinedale Fine Arts Council, a community based non-profit 501(c)3 corporation serving Sublette County (WY), has provided high-quality performing arts events, visual and literary arts programs and artist residencies since 1976. Largely through volunteer efforts and consistent community support, PFAC helps connect a dynamically growing corner of Wyoming to the rest of the world.

Each June, PFAC presents its annual Soundcheck Mini-Music Festival which features free live music in Pinedale's American Legion Park.

Northwest College Outdoor Program – Powell

May 30, 2013
Northwest College Outdoor Program

It’s called adventure education for a reason. You’ll immerse yourself in beautiful Yellowstone country, taking only one class at a time in NWC’s Outdoor FOCUS. You’ll learn:

Heart Mountain – Powell

May 29, 2013
Okumoto Collection, HMWF

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) was formed in 1996, and in August 2011, completed the construction and opening of a world-class Interpretive Center  located on the site of an internment camp for Japanese and Japanese Americans near Powell, Wyoming. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center opened in August 1942 and imprisoned more than 14,000 people during its three-year existence.

Homesteader Museum - Powell

May 7, 2013
Homesteader Museum

Celebrating one of the nation’s first Reclamation Land and Dam Projects, the Homesteader Museum features the pioneering spirit that built a western town and turned barren sagebrush fields into fertile land.  With hundreds of exciting vintage displays, the museum has been described as “the best hidden treasure in Wyoming!” Step into homesteader cabins, let your kids climb aboard the Burlington Northern caboose and experience exhibits that will take you back in time.

Come learn about Homesteading History!

Mountain Plains Heritage Park – Buffalo

May 1, 2013
Mountain Plains Heritage Park

The Mountain Plains Heritage Park is a unique crossroads of the history of the American West. Across this park land many different cultures have lived, traveled, and traded, each leaving a distinguished mark on the land. The park typifies the spectrum of harmonies and conflicts between cultures and nature. Today the park provides for the many interests and abilities of visitors to consider the past and enjoy the present.

Located at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains on the confluence of three high plains creeks, this land has been the common ground for many Americans:

Historic Cowboy Carousel - Buffalo

Apr 25, 2013
Arts Along the Bighorns

The Cowboy Carousel, manufactured at North Tonawanda, New York in 1925, ran for 63 years on Gillian’s Fun Deck in Ocean City, New Jersey. The horses that are now on the carousel are fiberglass reproductions of original wood carvings by local renowned Buffalo artist and wood carver, Bill Jennings.

Sheridan College Johnson County Campus Art – Buffalo

Apr 12, 2013
Sheridan College in Johnson County

The Sheridan College in Johnson County Art Gallery is located in the college commons at 235 Main Street in Buffalo Wyoming.  As you enter the main doors, walk down the stairs to reach the commons area.  The 2012 display was from the collection of Todd Cornell  titled “20 years in China”. Artwork that he collected during his time there was on display through the eend of May 2012 in the commons of the college.  Todd also taught Chinese 1010 for Sheridan College in Johnson County in the fall of 2013.

Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum – Buffalo

Apr 1, 2013
Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum

In May of 1900, pharmacist Jim Gatchell opened a drugstore in Buffalo, Wyoming. That facility became a regional landmark for over fifty years.  An avid historian as well, Gatchell was acquainted with many famous and colorful characters from the Big Horn Mountain – Powder River Basin frontier area.

Rendezvous Balloon Festival – Riverton

Mar 15, 2013
Riverton Rendezvous Balloon Festival

A burst of color hits the sky at dawn when hot air balloons inflate and loft off !! Spectators at the launch site witness the event as the balloons drift upwards around them. A fantastic event you don't want to miss.

The Hot Air Balloon Rally is the third weekend in July. They try to take off at dawn if the weather permits.

For more information visit http://www.rivertonchamber.org/visit .

Central Wyoming College

The rare and valuable Stewart Collection of clothing, toys, tools, weapons and other artifacts was donated in 1996 to Central Wyoming College by Pat Stewart of Lander and her son, Lynn Stewart, of Dubois.

Wind River Indian Reservation

Mar 7, 2013
Wyoming's Wind River Country

Wyoming’s Wind River Country is home to the seventh largest Indian reservation in the country. Encompassing more than 2.2 million acres, the Wind River Indian Reservation is home to the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho tribes.

CWC Peck Arts Center – Riverton

Mar 1, 2013
Central Wyoming College

The Robert A. Peck Arts Center was built in 1983 and is one of the finest visual and performing arts facilities in the region. The facility has several performing spaces, including the 942-seat theater, a music rehearsal hall, and a black box theater/dance studio. The theater is fronted by a 6,000 square foot gallery space which leads into the Art Wing.

Wyoming Pioneer Museum – Douglas

Feb 13, 2013
Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

Open year 'round, the Pioneer Memorial Museum is located on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas, Wyoming. The museum collects, preserves, interprets and displays historical and cultural materials related to the westward expansion, to Wyoming pioneers in particular and the west in general.

Wyoming Public Media

Wyoming Public Media captured the oral history of Wyoming’s families, farms and ranches during the 2012 Wyoming State Fair. WPM set up a booth giving away fans for the hot summer day and did a live broadcast with Grady Kirkpatrick’s Morning Music featuring an acoustic performance from Wyoming’s Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band.  WPM recorded Wyoming Oral Histories of fairgoers that stopped by to chat. Enjoy a few of these engaging stories on the link below…

State Fair Interviews

High Plains Old Time Music Festival – Douglas

Feb 1, 2013
Courtesy Douglas Budget Newspaper, Adam Herrera

High Plains Old Time Music Festival is a two-day competition with the largest variety of categories in the region.  Some of the categories include: fiddle, vocal, banjo, vocals, piano, variety and guitar.  Preliminaries are on Saturday and the finals are on Sunday.  Over $3,000 will be offered in cash and prizes!  The location has changed to Eastern WY College in Douglas, WY.  Events start at 9:00 am both days.  There is also a Saturday Night Showcase of Talent with a Strut Your Stuff and Band Scramble categories and live entertainment that night.  This festival is enjoyed by competitors an

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