Living in Natrona County

Wyoming’s plains are the historical home to many nomadic tribes including the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Shoshone and Sioux. Today, about 6,000 Shoshone and Arapaho continue to reside on the 2.3 million acre Wind River Reservation, northwest of Natrona County.

In 1812, John Jacob Astor established Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia and sent Robert Stuart east to start what was hoped to become a network of trading posts. Stuart found South Pass by following a Crow Indian trail and entered our region. Near Bessemer Bend, Stuart and his small band erected the first white man’s hut in 1812. Although Astor’s plans failed when the British captured Astoria in 1812, trappers and scouts continued to explore our high plains and develop transit routes. On July 4, 1824, some of these trappers named Independence Rock.

In 1840, Father Jean Pierre DeSmet began spreading the gospel among area Indians. Father DeSmet was the first to carve his name on Independence Rock and give it the name, “The Register of the Desert.” In 1843, John C. Fremont (known as “The Pathfinder”) chiseled his name on Independence Rock and later with Kit Carson as his guide, went on to explore the country along the Platte and Sweetwater Rivers.

Jun 20

[ARCHIVED] Bridle Trail Maintenance Taking Place This Week

The original item was published from June 20, 2017 2:38 PM to June 22, 2020 2:22 PM

The Central Wyoming Trails Alliance will be helping out the Bridle Trial this week.  On Wednesday June 21, the Alliance will start conducting trail maintenance on the western side of the area.  Primary focus will be on making the trail safer as well as making it more definable.  There are several areas where hikers have cut corners on switchbacks or initiating new trails that are causing problems including increased erosion.  All hikers are reminded to stay on existing trails and refrain from trail blazing.  No only is it against Park Rules, but it causes damage to the area.  The trail crosses several generous private landowners property so please be respectful.  Hikers are also reminded that all pets must be on leashes and please clean up after them. 
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Natrona County Parks Department.