Big Land and Small Pleasures: 15 Incredible Moments in Goshen County
Nestled along the Nebraska border in southeastern Wyoming, Goshen County is the gateway to the West, where covered wagons once rumbled across the open prairies on the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer and California trails. Today, Goshen County is home to the Oregon Trail Historic Byway and more than 60 historic markers and memorials. Feel at ease as you watch geese soar through clear skies, cattle grazing in pastures and the sunset against an endless horizon with fields of corn and hay as far as the eye can see.
Start your visit at the Goshen County Visitor Center, and then start collecting incredible moments of your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Stroll the grounds once walked by fur trappers, Native Americans, pioneers, miners, and soldiers during the Western expansion.
Originally established as a fur trading post in 1834, Fort Laramie National Historic Site eventually became the largest military post on the Northern Plains. Take the audio tour, watch a live reenactment, have the kiddos participate in the Fort Laramie Junior Ranger Program, or sip sarsaparilla and birch beer at 1883 Soldiers Bar (open select days and weekends).
2. Stroll along historic main streets and stop in mom-and-pop shops along the way.
Find one-of-a-kind gifts in Torrington, such as crafting supplies at Covered Wagon Quilt Shop, trendy women’s clothing at Farm Girls Boutique, hidden gems at Old Moose Mercantile, western apparel at Home on the Range, Wyoming gear from Heartland Embroidery, and crystals and jewelry at Torrington Rock Shop. In Fort Laramie, shop home décor at Haystack Hills Trading and antiques at old Fort Laramie Frontier Trading Post.
3. Get a first-hand look at Wyoming’s robust ranching industry.
Experience the excitement of a bustling cattle auction at the Torrington Livestock Markets. Sit among modern-day cowboys as you watch one of the live auctions, and then walk the outdoor catwalk above the livestock pens.
4. Take in views of dramatic bluffs set against a sprawling reservoir.
Whether you’re sunbathing on the sandy swim beach, casting a fishing line, or enjoying lunch in the picnic area, the views at Hawk Springs State Recreation Area in Hawk Springs are spectacular.
5. Learn the stories of pioneers and early residents.
See exhibits, photographs, interactive displays and artifacts—such as Goshen County’s first automobile—at the free Homesteaders Museum , housed in the historic Union Pacific train depot in Torrington. Walk the grounds to see vintage train cars, antique farm equipment, a homestead shack and a one-room schoolhouse. Seasonal attractions include the Terror Train Escape Room, Afternoon at the Boo-seum, and the Polar Express.
6. Perfect your golf swing amid verdant landscapes.
Lush greens and towering cottonwood trees create an outdoor oasis for golfers at Cottonwood at Torrington Golf Course, a public 18-hole golf course with a driving range, putting greens, sand bunker, and chipping areas.
7. Witness the past at an active archeological site.
Located near Guernsey, Hell Gap National Historic Landmark is where you’ll see Paleoindian archeology research in action, as professional crew and volunteers uncover life on the Plains from up to 13,000 years ago.
8. Stand among picture-perfect rows of grape vines.
Sip your way through award-winning wines and enjoy the scenery at Table Mountain Vineyards in Torrington. For date night, make a reservation for the wine and painting experience at the onsite TMV Art Studios.
9. Share a smile with local farmers and artisans at the monthly farmers market.
Meet the makers when you stock up on just-picked produce and freshly made foods—as well as handcrafted artwork and jewelry from independent vendors—at the Torrington Farmers Market, every Thursday on Main Street from June – October.
10. Enjoy the scenery and stillness of nature as you drop in a fishing line.
With 90 bodies of water—from small creeks to sprawling reservoirs—this is the place to catch crappie, largemouth bass, walleye, perch, catfish, and trout. Get your fishing license before heading out to the waters.
11. Go bird hunting amid wide-open grasslands and wetlands.
Enjoy the crisp fall air during pheasant and goose hunting season in southeast Wyoming at Springer/Bump Sullivan Wildlife Management Area near Yoder.
12. Bring the whole family for fun on the farm.
At Ellis’ Harvest Home, just 2 miles west of Lingle, let little ones loose in the fresh air as they run through the hay maze, navigate the corn maze, enjoy the petting zoo, jumping pillow, and find the perfect pumpkin in the pick-your-own-pumpkin patch.
13. Top off your visit with a satisfying meal at a family-owned restaurant.
You’re sure to find local flavor in Goshen County, with more than 40 restaurants, bars, bakeries and more. Don’t miss a stop in Torrington, where the Bucking Horse Grill serves up mouthwatering steaks, and seafood; The Bread Doctor lures folks in with freshly baked breads and cakes; and AJ’s Soda Shop offers coffee, ice cream and baked treats. Enjoy craft beer at the Open Barrel Brewing Company, or stop by The Emporium, featured on the TV show “Restaurant Impossible.”
14. Feel the thrill of target shooting.
Bring your family (and your competitive spirit) to Goshen County Sportsmen Club, the largest trap shooting facility in Wyoming. Choose from the outdoor rifle range, pistol range, archery range, and skeet fields.
15. Spot wildlife on a hike along a nature trail.
Where to Stay in Goshen County
Get the authentic Wyoming ranch experience when you stay in the guest house at The Bear Creek Inn in La Grange. Or, bring your RV to nearby spots such as Chuck Wagon RV in Fort Laramie or Pony Soldier RV Park in Lingle. In Torrington, stay at hotels such as Cobblestone Hotel & Suites or Holiday Inn Express & Suites.
Start dreaming up your next Goshen County getaway with a free brochure.
For tips on traveling mindfully and responsibly through Wyoming’s big, open spaces, visit WY Responsibly. Just remember: Leave natural spaces cleaner than you found them, keep a safe distance from wildlife and respect the health and safety of everyone you encounter by social distancing and wearing a mask.