TAKE A SCENIC DRIVE
LOCATION: Casper Mountain, Alcova, Surrounding Areas
Wyoming is synonymous with scenic drives that take visitors along an often surreal view of pristine, untouched landscape. Casper’s central location offers hundreds of driving routes to parks and landmarks throughout the state. Your vacation won’t be complete without a drive up Casper Mountain, a trip around Alcova Lake and Pathfinder Reservoir or a ride to Independence Rock. The Black Gold Byway takes travelers along a 42-mile stretch that follows the history of the Salt Creek Oilfield during its heyday when the area was one of the largest oil producers in the nation. The Byway runs from Casper to Midwest and Edgerton via I-25. Another spectacular countryside drive is the South Big Horn/Red Wall Scenic Backway, which takes you through an open range that connects to Hell’s Half Acre and the Seminoe to Alcova Backcountry Byway.
MAKE THE TREK TO INDEPENDENCE ROCK
LOCATION: West of Casper
More than 150 years ago, when America was still in its infancy, emigrants forging West toward the promise of a new, brighter future passed through Central Wyoming. Along the way, many stopped at a large granite formation located about 50 miles southwest of Casper. As a testament to their journey, they carved their names into this behemoth rock that stands 136 feet tall and covers an area of 24.81 acres. Today it’s known as Independence Rock (wyoparks.state.wy.us), a poignant reminder of the sacrifice and fortitude of those who knew a better future lay before them. Take an afternoon to visit this national historic landmark where you might just find the names of some of your ancestors.
FRESHEN UP YOUR FALL
LOCATION: Central Wyoming Fairgrounds, Downtown Casper
Skip the grocery store this summer and head to Casper’s local farmers markets for fresh produce and delicious goodies. The Master Gardener’s Farmers Market (NFMD.org) is held each Saturday between August and September at the ARLC Building near the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds. You’ll find heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, fresh basil and more. Vendors are on hand selling fresh, homemade jellies, jams, honey and grass fed beef. For an experience that goes beyond fresh veggies, the Downtown Casper Farmers Market is held every Tuesday outside of the Nicolaysen Art Museum from mid-July though September. This outdoor event features dozens of food vendors with produce and baked goods, live entertainment, kids activities and more. It’s the perfect place to pick up fresh produce and friendly advice to create the upcoming week’s culinary delights.
GET MORE THAN YOU PAID FOR
LOCATION: Across Casper
A getaway to Casper doesn’t have to be an investment in anything but fun. With so many opportunities to connect with nature, a weekend here can cost as little as a hotel room and trip to the grocery store or farmers market. Pack your bikes for a trek across the Platte River Parkway, and finish with a picnic at Crossroads Park Playground. Visit the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, Tate Geological or Werner Wildlife museums, all of which offer free admission. Satisfy your wanderlust by exploring Muddy Mountain or a remote beach near Alcova.