Nestled in Wyoming’s Wind River Country is the seventh largest Indian reservation in the country. Encompassing more than 2.2 million acres, the Wind River Indian Reservation is home to the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho tribes. Visitors to the area can go to powwows and museums to learn about local culture, or can recreate on thousands of acres of vast, unspoiled reservation lands (with a special permit).
11 Incredible Things to Do on the Wind River Indian Reservation
Have you discovered Wind River Indian Reservation yet? From Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone museums to fishing and audio tours, there’s always plenty of things to do.
1. Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary
Enjoy a guided wild horse tour while learning about Native American culture at the Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary, which is home to over 250 wild mustangs. Family-operated by the Oldham family, the Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary is one of four public off-range pastures in the United States and the only one located on an Indian Reservation. The Sanctuary’s educational interpretive visitor center includes curated panels and displays and a small gift shop.
2. Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative
See hundreds of buffalo that were reintroduced to the Wind River Indian Reservation as part of the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative. The initiative has led to buffalo conservation, management, training and community revitalization. In addition to being essential in the spiritual ceremonies of the tribes, buffalo provided clothing, food and shelter.
3. Eastern Shoshone Tribal Cultural Center
Explore the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Cultural Center, where you can take a dive into the history and culture of the Shoshone people. See artifacts, artwork, photography, maps and even treaties. The Center sells beadwork and other locally made Native American goods.
4. Northern Arapaho Experience Culture Room
Located inside the Wind River Hotel & Casino, the Northern Arapaho Experience Culture Room offers visitors the chance to see the past, present and future of the Northern Arapaho. They also offer tours, language lessons and storytelling.
5. Hines General Store
Have a picnic with supplies from the deli in Hines General Store in Fort Washakie, and walk your purchases to the tables across the street at The Path of Honor. The Path of Honor – Wind River Veterans Memorial is a tribute to all military service members who live within the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation.
6. St. Stephens Indian Mission and Heritage Center
Make your way to St. Stephens Indian Mission & Heritage Center. Founded in the late 1800s, St. Stephens Indian Mission holds mass and services and is worth a visit, especially as the church is painted with colorful Native American designs.
7. TravelStorys Audio Tour
Hop in the car for a peek into the history of the Wind River Indian Reservation through the TravelStorys Wind River Indian Reservation Audio Tour. During this tour you’ll visit significant sites such as Sacajawea’s gravesite, while enjoying the beauty of the reservation and hearing stories told by the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho. Download the tour at www.travelstorys.com/tours/wind-river-indian-reservation.
8. Attend a Powwow
Feel the drum beat. Hear the singing. See the colors. Admire the detailed regalia, skilled footwork and precise movements. There are three large powwows from June through September. The Eastern Shoshone Indian Days Powwow is Wyoming’s largest powwow and takes place in June. The Ethete Celebration Powwow is held in July, and the Arapaho Powwow, held in September, is Wyoming’s oldest powwow.
9. See Native American Dancers
The Fremont County Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Wind River Hotel & Casino in Riverton host Native American dancing featuring Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho dancers from the Wind River Indian Reservation. (Summer dance exhibitions are offered in Lander on Wednesday nights and in Riverton on Tuesday nights in June, July and August.).
10. Stay at the Wind River Basin Campground
The Wind River Basin Campground is Native American owned, and camping is in tipis. Each tipi provides information about the Northern Arapaho Tribe and the Wind River Indian Reservation. Products made by the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho tribes will soon be sold at the campground.
Wind River Canyon is a Native American owned fly fishing and float trip company that has been around since 1992. They also offer guided fly fishing trips in Wind River Canyon and Crowheart.
Pro tip: Any fishing in the Wind River Indian Reservation requires a permit.
FAQ: Things to Do on the Wind River Indian Reservation
Plan Your Visit to Wind River Indian Reservation Today.
The Wind River Indian Reservation offers visitors some of the best outdoor adventure and cultural significance Wyoming has to offer. Why not find out more and book a trip to see for yourself? For more information on the Wind River Indian Reservation, visit www.windriver.org.