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.

Feb 23

[ARCHIVED] Come Play In Our Backyard! Its pretty amazing!

The original item was published from February 21, 2020 7:55 AM to June 22, 2020 2:18 PM

Outdoor Recreation opportunities  for February 23, 2020
  • Nearly all trails were groomed on Saturday Morning 2/22/2020. Only some of the short connectors and cutoffs were left off. Please be advised that Aged snow is firm and slick, especially with the temperatures going up and down. The Longer sunny days also will sometimes cause the trails to be more slick. More snow is expected tomorrow.  Stay safe out there today!
  • Take advantage of a great Winter Day and Go Cross Country Skiing or take a kid Ice Fishing. Today would also be a great day to enjoy Nature Photography. What are you waiting for? Come Play IN Our Backyard!
  • Spread the word, Natrona County Parks, Recreation, and Leisure services is currently hiring for an administrative assistant. Follow this link to find out more;
  • Beautiful day to put on your winter gear and Snow Shoe, Ski, or enjoy a Fat Tire Ride. 
  • Be respectful of all trail users.
  • If you don't have a pass, please stop in at our trail center to purchase one. 
  • Ski passes are required for all that use the mountain trail system. Funds generated from ski pass sales go to maintaining and grooming trails. Day passes are available at both trailheads and online or have your season pass receipt with you.
  • Get out and play in our backyard today!
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Trails and Facility Information

Questions or Concerns? Please call (307) 235-9325 or email