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.

Jul 10

[ARCHIVED] Camping at Natrona County Parks during Eclipse

The original item was published from July 10, 2017 3:35 PM to June 22, 2020 2:22 PM

            With the upcoming solar eclipse that will pass through Casper making it a primary destination for those wishing to view it, finding a place to stay can be difficult.  Many of the people coming to Natrona County will be camping.  The Natrona County Parks Department wants everyone who uses a Natrona County campground to know that there will be some changes at several of the campgrounds and Beartrap meadow during the eclipse.  Normally, all Natrona County campgrounds are available on a first-come first-served basis for camping up to 10 days.  However, several campgrounds have been set aside for reserved camping and will not be available from August 7 - 21, 2017.  Okie and Black Beach campgrounds at Alcova Reservoir as well as Deer Haven and Beartrap campgrounds on Casper Mountain will not be available for camping during this time.  All other campgrounds will remain on a first-come first-served basis.  Additionally, there will be tent camping within the meadow at Beartrap so there will be vehicles parked in areas usually associated with the Beartrap Music Festival.


            Park personnel will be monitoring the campgrounds to make sure they remain available for those who have reserved a space.  Signs will be placed at the reserved campgrounds to remind campers.  All other campgrounds such as Tower Hill, Cottonwood Beach, Fremont Canyon, Westside and all the Pathfinder Reservoir campgrounds will remain first-come first-served but are expected to fill up fast.  However, it might be a good time to avoid camping as there will be a large number of people coming to Wyoming for the eclipse.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Parks Department at (307) 235-9311.