Best Of Wyoming

Explore innovation throughout the state of Wyoming!

WPM’s ‘Best of Wyoming’ offers snapshots of creative and inspirational ventures in communities across the state. If you have recommendations for this page, please e-mail Best of Wyoming’s curator at

Each month a different community is featured. The pages below feature Artists, Performers, Wyoming Heritage and the Great Outdoors in each community. For other nonprofits in the state, visit the Wyoming Nonprofit & Charitable Organizations page. Listen to local history on the Wyoming Stories page, and view the Best of Wyoming Listener Favorites & Photo Contests Pages.

Listen to The Modern West podcast, a monthly digest of news & cultural stories from the Mountain West.

Congratulations to this year’s Wyoming Public Media Photo Contest winners! 

We were lucky to receive many beautiful entries from all over Wyoming, and it was difficult to choose the best. The winners were chosen by listeners who voted for their favorite in each category, Wyoming’s Nature, Wyoming's People, and Wyoming’s History. We have posted the top winner in each category below.

1st Place - Wyoming's Nature Category
Kathy Milks - I Wonder If He Even Knows I'm Here

Kathleen (Kathy) Milks is a self-employed massage therapist and also works part time as a massage therapist for UW athletics. A couple of years ago Kathy took her hobby of many years, photography, and created Dynamic Endeavors Photography. She spends most of her free time wandering and exploring our many incredible public lands, capturing those things that catch her eye. 


Split Rock – Landmark East of Jeffrey City

Mar 7, 2018
William Henry Jackson - U.S. Geological Survey

The area near Jeffrey City provided a path for early settlers to cross the high plateau. The Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office offers a history and early photos of this region:

“The Sweetwater Valley contains three distinctive granite landmarks: Independence RockDevil’s Gate and Split Rock. The last of these, Split Rock, with its unforgettable gunsight notch, was visible to emigrants for two days or more as they approached and then left it behind them.”

Courtesy of, a project of the Wyoming State Historical Society.

The Modern West – Wyoming History

Nov 30, 2017
Wyoming Public Media


The Modern West Podcast #28: Tiny Town Big Bands

In the mid-20th century, the little town of Elk Mountain, Wyoming drew crowds from miles and miles away to its summer dances on the bouncy floor at the Garden Spot Pavilion.

Editor’s note: This story originally aired on Oct 17, 2017

Explore the Modern West collection of Wyoming history here.

The Modern West #12: Wide-Ranging Sounds On The Open Range

The old saw may be “We play both kinds of music, Country AND Western,” but melody in the mountains is more than guitars and campfires. If you would like to listen, click hereEditor’s note: This podcast originally aired on June 20, 2016. 

Wyoming Territorial Prison – Laramie

Sep 29, 2017
Wyoming Territorial Prison

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wyoming Territorial Prison incarcerated 1,063 outlaws, including the notorious Butch Cassidy. It’s the only federal penitentiary built in Wyoming and is one of the oldest buildings still standing. Now a museum, visitors can walk into the iron cells where convicts were locked up. Exhibited are convict photographs and displays relating to confinement. Visit the prison’s Broom Factory and watch volunteers make brooms just as the convicts did in the 1890s.

University of Wyoming Geological Museum - Laramie

Sep 28, 2017
University of Wyoming Geological Museum

The University of Wyoming Geological Museum, in the east wing of the S.H. Knight Geology Building, exhibits the story of ancient Wyoming.

University of Wyoming Planetarium – Laramie

Sep 22, 2017
University of Wyoming Planetarium

Planetarium Shows and Schedule:

The UW Harry C Vaughan Planetarium offers shows that are open to the public on Tuesday and Friday evenings as well as every other Saturday morning.  Saturday shows are geared toward a younger audience and include a free activity after the show.  Please see the schedule online at or email for more information on show titles and descriptions.


Endangered Black-Footed Ferrets Have A Chance At A Comeback

Wyoming Minutes - One-minute audio snapshots of Wyoming. 

Creative Commons

Ancient Species Encounter New Diseases

Wyoming Minutes - One-minute audio snapshots of Wyoming. 

Billings Gazette

Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Need Help With Recruitment

Wyoming Minutes - One-minute audio snapshots of Wyoming. 

Alan D Wilson

Bighorn Lambs Are An Important Part Of Herd Health

Wyoming Minutes - One-minute audio snapshots of Wyoming. 

Yellowstone National Park - Bike Trails

Apr 3, 2017
National Park Service

Bicyclists willing to brave the unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park can travel 49 miles of park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Montana, to Mammoth Hot Springs. There is no bicycle access to Old Faithful or Canyon until the first interior park roads open to public motorized vehicle access in late April.

This weekend bicycles are ruling the road in Yellowstone National Park. Most park roads are closed until later this month, but every spring Yellowstone opens about 50 miles of its main thoroughfares to bikes only.

Albany County, Wyoming-Mountain Biking Mecca!

Mar 30, 2017
Albany County Tourism Board

Albany County has hundreds of mountain bike trails from easy to extreme to choose from. Laramie has 3 bike shops and 2 outdoor shops that have knowledgeable bike enthusiasts to assist in your summer outdoor adventures. Some offering mountain bike and fat bike rentals. (See video)

US Forest Service

Cycling Medicine Bow – Routt National Forest

Cycling is a great way to travel through National Forest System lands. There are many, many miles of trails and roads accessible by mountain bike on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland. These remote, winding roads are ideal for cycling and trails take riders on an exploratory journey.

Explore the many trails by clicking the link below.

Courtesy of the US Forest Service web site.

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Bike Trails

Mar 21, 2017
Ashley National Forest

The Flaming Gorge NRA is located in the northeast corner of Utah and the southwest corner of Wyoming. It is South of I-80, between Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming and extends into the Uintah Mountains towards Vernal, Utah. The area is a mixture of climate, topography, and recreation opportunities well suited to a variety of summer and winter interests.
(Mountain biking trails can be found on the Ashley National Forest site.)

Bear River State Park Bike Trails - Evanston

Mar 9, 2017
Bear River State Park

Bear River is a year-round park that offers nearly 300 acres that are ideal for picnicking, hiking, wildlife viewing, group activities, bicycling, skiing, rollerblading, remote control cars and many other activities. The park is home to a small head of captive bison and elk kept for public viewing. Three miles of foot trails are within park limits. They include 1.2 miles of paved trail and an arched footbridge that crosses the Bear River. Another 1.7 miles of packed gravel trails are on the of the west side of the river.

Grand Teton Music Festival – Jackson

Mar 9, 2017
The Grand Teton Music Festival

The Grand Teton Music Festival has celebrated the awe-inspiring community of Jackson Hole with exhilarating music since 1962. At the core of this celebration is the seven-week classical music Festival held each summer. Prestigious soloists and musicians from renowned orchestras flock to stunning Jackson Hole for the Festival to renew their artistic inspiration and share their talents and passion with the local community. Since 2006 internationally acclaimed Maestro Donald Runnicles has led the Festival as Music Director, and helped the orchestra reach new heights.

Wyoming Symphony Orchestra - Casper

Feb 21, 2017
Wyoming Symphony Orchestra

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra began in 1920 but did not incorporate until the 1940’s. “Musicians always find other musicians to play, and back in the 20’s they traveled long distances on dirt roads to play together” according to WSO Executive Director, Kate Tiernan.

The Powder River Symphony - Gillette

Feb 15, 2017
Powder River Symphony Orchestra

"Music can change the world."  ~Ludwig van Beethoven

The Powder River Symphony had its beginnings as the Gillette Community Orchestra on November 23rd, 1986.  The orchestra, consisting of band and orchestra students from local schools and other community residents, was formed in September to give members a chance to play in a full orchestra.  Susan Barry (the first strings instructor in the Campbell County School District) was the first conductor of the 25-member orchestra.

University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra – Laramie

Feb 6, 2017
UW Symphony Orchestra

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra is a 90-member ensemble playing the finest in orchestral repertoire. With soloists ranging from internationally known guest artists to faculty performers to student competition winners, and with tours throughout the Rocky Mountain region, the Symphony performs many exciting concerts each year.

Pedigree® Stage Stop Dog Sled Race

Jan 19, 2017
Pedigree® Stage Stop Dog Sled Race

The Pedigree® Stage Stop Race is now in its 22nd year and a "Wyoming original" in that there are no other "stage stop" sled dog races like in it the world. The closest is the Tour de France in that each day is a separate race held in a different location around the State of Wyoming and hosted by a different community every stage.

Casper Mountain Trails Center – Casper

Jan 13, 2017
Casper Mountain Trails Center

The Casper Mountain Trails Area offers access to several Nordic ski/hiking trails located on Casper Mountain which are groomed regularly.  This area is multi-use allowing access for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat-tire biking.  A few of the trails are lit until 9:30 p.m.  There are warming sheds located along the ski trails for use by recreation enthusiasts.  Natrona County has a calendar of events that occur at the Casper Mountain Nordic Area at

Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park – Meeteetse

Jan 11, 2017
Wood River Valley Ski Park

The Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park has 25 kilometers of groomed trails, ranging from the scenic and gentle South Fork Trail to the thrilling Brown Creek Trail as well as back country trails. The park features a warming hut at the trail head equipped with tables, stools, maps, and a wood stove.

Snow King Mountain – Jackson

Dec 23, 2016
Snow King Mountain Resort

Snow King Mountain is Wyoming’s first ski area and Jackson’s Town Hill for ski racing, tubing, night skiing, and family fun.  Recently added is Wyoming’s only mountain coaster, the Snow King Cowboy Coaster, which is open all winter long. 

Lander Nordic Ski Association

Dec 16, 2016
Drew Leemon

The Lander Nordic Ski Association is a 501-c-3 non-profit, which operates on BLM and USFS land on South Pass at Beaver Creek, and at the Lander Golf Course.  Annual membership fees cover the bulk of the operating costs to maintain and groom these high quality trail systems.  The LNSA mission is to support nordic skiing in the Lander region.  The organization maintains and grooms trails for the local high school nordic ski team, as well as for the casual day touring skiers. 

Medicine Bow Nordic Association

15 km of beautifully groomed trails for skate and classic skiing just off I-80, 9-miles east of Laramie on the Medicine Bow National Forest.  These trails are maintained and groomed for Nordic skiing by the Medicine Bow Nordic Association, a non-profit organization of local skiers with financial support from the State Trails Program, the Albany County Recreation Board, the Albany County Commissioners, the USFS, local businesses, and approximately 400 members.  For more information on trails, lessons and races, please see http://www.medicinebownord

Grand Targhee Nature Tours – Alta

Nov 16, 2016
Grand Targhee Resort


For those interested in doing an on-mountain nature tour, Nature Ski Tours, led by the Resort Naturalist, provides a unique experience. On this tour, participants will ride the Shoshone chairlift to learn about the forest, local wildlife, the geology of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and the history of the resort.

Guests must be an intermediate level or above. Tours are approximately 1 hour long, free with valid lift ticket, and meet at the Nature Center.


Bighorn Snowkite Summit

Nov 4, 2016
Bighorn Snowkite Summit

The northern Big Horns have been a snowkite destination for a handful of Wyoming and Montana locals since 2006. Each year they have pushed the limits of snowkiting in the Big Horn range. Each year they have come away enchanted by the diversity and immense magnitude of these mountains. In the lower 48 states, the Big Horns are one of the finest locations. Last year, once the idea was hatched, it took only two days for the reservations to exceed the lodge’s capacity. With that news, some kiters said, “No problem, we’ll camp out!” Snowkiters are a hearty group, without a doubt.