Photo: Emily Hart

Experience Old West History, Fishing, and Incredible Food and Drink in Wyoming's Second-Biggest City

Insider Guides
by Emily Hart Jul 10, 2023

Casper is the second-largest city in Wyoming. In the least populated state in the country, that translates to just under 60,000 people. But don’t let the population size fool you. This centrally located city is a paradise for outdoor lovers that also has a thriving urban center, a diverse economy, and a rich historical and cultural heritage.

Things to do in Casper, Wyoming

Explore the Oregon Trail with Historic Trails West

heritage west tour casper wyoming

Photo: Emily Hart

Cosplay as a pioneer traveling on the Oregon Trail with Historic Trails West. The tour company offers several options for travelers to get a taste of an authentic covered wagon experience, from two-hour trips to one, three, and five night living history adventures. The multi-day adventures on covered wagon or horseback come complete with authentic Dutch oven meals and guides who have committed their lives to understanding, and helping others understand, this time in history.

Historic Trails West: Departure depends on experience.

Tate Geological Museum

Tate geological museum in casper wyoming

Photo: Emily Hart

Located on the Casper College campus, the free-to-visit Tate Geological Museum houses over 6,000 fossils and mineral specimens. It opened in 1980 and has expanded over the years to become an excellent showcase of the rocks and animals from the region. The crown jewel, Dee the Mammoth, is an 11,600-year-old Columbian Mammoth who lived in the American West during the Ice Age. Other highlights include the Mineral Exhibits (focused on Wyoming’s resources and jade, the state gemstone), Nicole the Torosaurus (a fossil of a dinosaur similar to a triceratops), and the Mesozoic Marine exhibit that shows what life was like in the area during the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous period when the region was submersed by a tropical sea.

Tate Geological Museum: 2332 Lisco Dr, Casper, WY 82601

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center

Learn some history of Casper while enjoying an epic view of the city at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. The center traces the history of the 400,000 people who traveled the Oregon, California, Mormon, and Pony Express Trails between 1841 and 1868. Interactive exhibits and thoughtful design help tell the story. Be sure to spend some time outside on the observation deck to enjoy the best view of the area.

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center: 1501 N Poplar St, Casper, WY 82601

Nicolaysen Art Museum

Take a break from outdoor adventure to stop into the well appointed Nicolaysen Art Museum. The museum houses contemporary and Western art with intriguing rotating displays from professionals as well as community members. More than 6,300 pieces make up the museum’s permanent collection that’s focused on local artists and those with ties to the area. The museum also has a large area for kids and adults alike to enjoy art classes, summer camps, and more.

Nicolaysen Art Museum: 400 E Collins Dr, Casper, WY 82601

Fly fishing on the North Platte with Crazy Rainbow

crazy rainbow fly fishing casper wyoming

Photo: Emily Hart

Avid fly-fishers know that the North Platte River outside of Casper is a world-class fly fishing destination. However, land ownership makes it difficult to find where you’re allowed to cast out and where you might be trespassing. Take a half-day, full-day or multi-day trip with Crazy Rainbow of Ugly Bug Fly Shop to get on the storied waters and see for yourself — the company owns land along the river that people on the trips can enter and wade as they please for prime fly fishing access. The guides are all experienced and patient, taking novice to expert fishers on an adventure they won’t forget.

Crazy Rainbow Fly Fishing: 13800 West Hwy 220 Casper, WY 82601

Kayaking into Fremont Canyon on Alcova Reservoir

fremont canyon kayaking

Photo: Emily Hart

Take a quick 30-minute drive outside of Casper to Alcova Reservoir for a day on the water. You can rent kayaks from Alcova Resort and then be transported into Fremont Canyon to paddle your way back. The drowned canyon is simply spectacular, with awe-inspiring views and tall sandstone and limestone walls surrounding you.

Alcova Resort: 24025 Lakeshore Dr, Alcova, WY 82620

Hike to Garden Creek Falls on Casper Mountain

Casper Mountain hike to waterfall

Photo: Emily Hart

Casper Mountain provides ample opportunities for outdoor lovers to hike, bike, and, in the winter months, ski. A popular and low effort hike with a big payoff is to Garden Creek Falls in Rotary Park. Take the short trail with a moderate incline to view the impressive falls, or continue on the five-mile Bridle Trail to catch some beautiful views of the fall from above. There is free parking and restrooms available at the trailhead, and dogs are permitted.

Rotary Park: Take WY-251 S/Casper Mountain Rd to S Rotary Park Rd

Explore Downtown Casper

downtown casper wyoming

Photo: Emily Hart

The downtown area of Casper is full of distinct shops, restaurants, and bars. Don’t leave town without making a stop at Lou Taberts Ranch Outfitters. This legendary Western store has been open for over 100 years and has 55,000 square feet spread nine floors of shopping. Some other fun stops downtown are Rialto Soda Fountain, Floral Rhino, and Mustard Seed.

Where to eat in Casper, Wyoming

where to eat casper wyoming

Photo: Emily Hart

El Fogon: El Fogon started as a popular food truck in Casper and is now a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The menu is extensive, with friendly service and a salsa bar.

611 W Collins Dr, Casper, WY 82601

Thai Kitchen: This cozy space boasts a large menu with reasonable pricing and great service that brings the crowds. Try the Bangkok Spider, a deep-fried soft-shell crab with a special yellow curry sauce.

1120 E 12th St, Casper, WY 82601

The Bluebird: This unassuming restaurant is as eclectic as it is delicious. Serving breakfast and lunch, the spot was the home of the Blue Bird grocery store in the 1920s, followed by other restaurants, and now, back to its namesake. Try the eggs benedict with chef Jacquies Famous Hollandaise sauce.

544 S Center St, Casper, WY 82601

Racca’s Pizza Napoletana: Located in the trendy Old Yellowstone district of Casper, Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana offers a selection of specialty pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and Italian classics. Grab a bottle of wine and try the delicious pistachio pizza, then follow it up with the decadent Nutella dessert pizza.

430 S Ash St, Casper, WY 82601

J’s Pub and Grill: J’s Pub, on the west side of town, serves a wide variety of dishes featuring steak, fish, and even yak meat (the latter served as a chili mac with locally sourced yak from Star Ranch).

3201 Wyoming Blvd SW, Casper, WY 82604

Branding Iron: Head downtown to locally-owned and operated Branding Iron, a lively restaurant offering a wide array of 100-percent Wyoming beef burgers, sandwiches, and the signature peanut butter and jelly (boozy) shake.

129 W 2nd St, Casper, WY 82601

Grant Street Grocery & Market: This neighborhood grocery store has a 100-plus long history in Casper. The current owners revamped the space with specialty food, coffee, lunch, and breakfast items that can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio. Try the doughnuts and breakfast burritos before a day of adventure.

815 S Grant Ave, Casper, WY 82601

FireRock Steakhouse: FireRock Steakhouse is a locally owned steakhouse that prides itself on its steaks and extensive wine list. FireRock serves only USDA Angus beef aged a minimum of 28 days, then the meat is hand-cut and fired over oak in a wood-burning grill. Try the bacon-wrapped filet Oscar Style.

6100 E 2nd St, Casper, WY 82609

Where to drink in Casper, Wyoming

@foodwtf For a unique cocktail experience in #Casper #Wyoming head over to📍#BackwardsDistillingCompany 🤩 🎥 @Emily 💜 @visitcasper #VisitCasper #Wyoming #foodietiktok #foodietok ♬ original sound – Food Worth Traveling For

Backwards Distilling Company: Family-owned and operated Backwards Distilling Company has a circus theme, and the distillery serves a changing menu of inventive cocktails with friendly service and instagrammable backdrops. Try a cocktail and take a bottle of rum, vodka, or gin home.

214 S Wolcott St, Casper, WY 82601

The Drinkery: The Drinkery is a modern, classy bar space and event venue in downtown Casper that also includes a beer and wine shop. Come for the Lavender French 75 and stay for the live music and upscale vibes.

410 S Ash St, Casper, WY 82601

Black Tooth Brewing: This brewery, based in nearby Cheyenne, is the official beer of Wyoming, and a visit to the Casper location will leave you understanding why. Black Tooth Brewing serves the classics, with a side of imaginative and interesting beers – Copper Mule and Pinky Brewster are favorites.

322 S David St Suite A, Casper, WY 82601

How to get to Casper, Wyoming

Casper is located just off the heavily trafficked I-25 corridor, and if you’re flying in, United and Delta operate flights to Casper-Natrona County International Airport from Denver and Salt Lake City. Once there, a rental car is the easiest way to get from place to place, although there are Ubers and Lyfts available as well. While the downtown area is walkable, most hotels, including

Casper is a small city that is spread out into several neighborhoods. A rental car is the easiest option for getting from place to place, although there are Ubers and Lyfts available. The downtown area is very walkable, but most hotels, like the Candlewood Suites I stayed in, are outside of the city center along I-25.

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