Students in the Cowboy State can visit attractions that celebrate nature and preserve the Old West. Exploring museums and national parks, groups will learn about the history of Wyoming and the nation as well.
3 Places Trips Back in Time
Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum
A premier cultural and historical center, Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum in southeast Wyoming is a must-see attraction. The museum houses collections of carriages, historic clothing and memorabilia associated with Cheyenne Frontier Days, a rodeo and celebration of the West. Docent-led tours of the museum, focus on the history of Wyoming and the lure of the West.
Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site
Formerly a federal penitentiary, Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site in Laramie is restored prison dedicated to sharing the history of prisons in Wyoming and the West. Student groups can see the cell blocks, prison grounds and other facilities.
Old Trail Town
Experience the Wild West first-hand at Old Trail Town in Cody, where the lifestyle and history of the Frontier West is preserved. Student groups can tour the original cabins used by Old West outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a saloon frequented by Cassidy’s “Hole-in-the-Wall Gang” and the log cabin home of “Curley,” a Crow Indian army scout who helped guide Lt Col. George Custer. The town boasts historic artifacts and gravesites of several notable Western figures.
3 Locations For Nature Exploration
Grand Teton National Park
With mountains rising 7,000 feet and a rich cultural history reflected in old homesteads and cattle ranches, Grand Teton National Park offers breathtaking landscapes and educational fun. Ranger-led tours of the park take groups on a snow-shoe hike through the footprints of the wildlife and to explore Teton rocks, glacial moraines and maps to discover geological processes of the Teton Range.
Float down the famous Lunch Counter and Big Kahuna rapids on the Snake River with Barker-Ewing Whitewater in Jackson Hole. Groups can choose to go on a rafting adventure or on a float trip with a narration of the river’s history.
Yellowstone National Park
America’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming is home to colorful hot springs, mud pots and one of the world’s largest collections of geysers. Ranger-led tours take groups on hikes through the park to explore and learn about its ecological processes and the diverse wildlife. With geological wonders like Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs, many adventures await student groups.
3 Attractions Dedicated to Preserving History
Museum of the Mountain Man
Learn about the history of the Rocky Mountains fur trade at the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale. Exhibits take students into the era of the Plains Indian, the Oregon Trail and the mountain man. Every May, the museum has a living history month where students can see demonstrations on black powder firearms, Native American sign language, beaver skinning and constructing tipis.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
With five different museums dedicated to aspects of the West, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody has many opportunities for students to explore. The Buffalo Bill Museum is the flagship museum and tells the story of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, a noted guide, scout and frontiersman. Groups learn about the Native American tribes of the region at the Plains Indian Museum, western art at Whitney Western Art Museum and firearms at the Cody Firearms Museum.
National Historic Trails and Interpretive Center
Explore exhibits related to names that are truly legendary in Western history, and learn about the Oregon, California and Pony Express trails at the National Historic Trails and Interpretive Center in Casper. Through interactive exhibits, student groups can learn about those who journeyed westward in the late 19th century.
By Caroline Rabin