Exploring the Wind River Indian Reservation
Photo Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism
Photo Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

Photo Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

The city of Riverton is surrounded by Wyoming’s only reservation, the Wind River Reservation. It is the seventh largest reservation in the country. With 2.2 million acres, the reservation encompasses several communities – like Fort Washakie, Ethete, St. Stephens, and Arapahoe – as well as sunshine-touched landscapes, important cultural locations and rolling prairies.

The reservation is the perfect place to learn about and celebrate the culture, experiences and heritage of America’s First Nations. There are many places to visit and events to witness that showcase the rich history of both the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes.

Cultural Experiences

Learn about the tribal nations by visiting the Northern Arapaho Experience Room at the Wind River Hotel & Casino or the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Cultural Center in Fort Washakie.

Take the Wind River Reservation Trail. Winding 70 miles through the Wind River Reservation, the trail includes important locations and beautiful wide-open country. 

Attend a powwow. Featuring dance contests and celebrations, powwows are open to the public and are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the culture of Indigenous people. 

Watch the Eagle Spirit Dancers. Every summer, the Eagle Spirit Dancers – made up of Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho dancers – perform at the Museum of the American West in Lander.

Cultural Destinations

St. Stephens Mission. More than 100 years old and painted with vibrant Native American designs, today the St. Stephens Mission holds mass and services.

Wind River Trading Company. Located in Fort Washakie, this trading post has an array of Native and non-Native merchandise, including beadwork, artwork and more by members of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes. It also includes a museum and incredible artifacts.

Sacajawea’s Gravesite. Respected as one of the most famous women in U.S. history, it’s safe to say that the Lewis & Clark Expedition would have been nearly impossible without its young guide, Sacajawea. Today, visitors can pay their respects to this Shoshone woman by visiting the Sacajawea Cemetery in Fort Washakie. 

There’s more to see and do in the Wind River Reservation. And while it’s important to remember that it is not a “tourist attraction”, it is a living, breathing place where the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes live, Riverton is proud to be connected to such a rich history. It’s a must-see destination for visitors and locals alike.