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.

Nov 01

[ARCHIVED] Nordic Trails Condition Update

The original item was published from November 1, 2019 9:55 AM to June 22, 2020 2:21 PM

Nordic Trails Conditions Update for October 30, 2019
  • Nearly 40 inches of new snow over the last 10 days. 
  • All trails except View were groomed or packed on October 29th or October 30th.
  • There is still some vegetation sticking through the trail surface, be aware and ski with caution.
  • The Maze lights are on.
  • Being very early in the season, the ground under the snow is not yet frozen, and with warmer temperatures in the forecast, the Natrona County Parks Department will only be grooming/packing fresh snowfalls until temperatures stabilize, the ground freezes, and we build enough trail base with fresh snow not to damage existing trails or grooming equipment.
  • 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 or have your season pass receipt with you.