Riverton and the area surrounding it has so much to offer that you’ll need to break it into several days of exploration. Find a few suggested itineraries below:
Wyoming Cultural Experience
Riverton, Wyoming, is a special destination en route to Yellowstone for several reasons. The first is the access to Native American culture, due to the town’s location at the edge of the state’s only Native American Reservation. The second is the full calendar, which means whenever you pass through you’re likely to find an authentic Wyoming event to attend. Finally, you can reach all these Wyoming cultural experiences in Riverton via plane or on a road trip.
Riverton has a lot to offer, and the best way to get a sense of the culture is also the best way to stretch your legs after your time on the road or in the plane: Go for a walk.
Art and Community
Start on the lovely Main Street, browsing local art in the shops, sampling locally made baked goods, and learning about the gorgeous rocks that come out of the surrounding mountain ranges. While you walk, keep an eye out for the pieces of art on the town’s buildings. You might not have guessed that one of your Wyoming cultural experiences would include massive displays of classic art and murals, but it does. You can follow a tour of the artwork while getting to know the town.
Having worked up an appetite on your walking tour, head to the Trailhead for lunch. This restaurant serves up local beef with a story that you can read all about while you wait for your order. The opportunity to engage with Wyoming culture while having a positive impact on a locally owned restaurant and a nearby family ranch is a tough combination to beat—especially when it tastes so delicious!
History and Culture
Due to Riverton’s proximity to the Wind River Indian Reservation, this town is a unique gateway to Wyoming cultural experiences. Just a few miles from town, you might spot the recently re-introduced bison herd roaming the Reservation. Or tour the many historical and cultural sites on the Reservation, including the gravesite of Sacajawea, the young Shoshone woman who guided the Lewis and Clark expedition across much of the continent.
Riverton is home to a number of places where you can take a deeper dive into Wyoming culture and stories. Spend some time at the Riverton Museum in downtown to learn about the town’s history. Then head up to the Wind River Hotel & Casino’s Northern Arapaho Experience Room. In this intimate museum, you can view regional artifacts and talk to a Native American elder to gain perspective and personal insight.
Riverton is called the Rendezvous City because in the 1830s this was one of the sites where mountain men and fur traders met to trade goods for hides. This meeting was also a chance to party and reconnect—or rendezvous. You can reconnect with this history, too, at the annual 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous, held in early July each year. This is the only place in the country where the rendezvous reenactment takes place in the exact place of the original gathering. Attend to learn about American history, learn new skills like axe throwing, and talk to re-enactors about the life of mountain men.
Every year, Riverton also holds a monthlong summer celebration in July. The Riverton Rendezvous and Balloon Rally, is full of color and music. You can ride a hot air balloon over the Wind River, join in parades, learn to country swing dance, create some chalk art, and more.
The community continues to add even more to the calendar every year. So no matter when you visit, be sure to coordinate your summer visit to Riverton to include a Tuesday night so you can watch the weekly Native American dance exhibition. Hosted by the Wind River Hotel & Casino, these free demonstrations are a unique Wyoming cultural experience. Learn all about Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone culture, song, and dance, then join hands for the last dance of the evening.
If, somehow, none of these events match your calendar, be sure to check the Riverton events calendar, as there is always a reason to gather in the Rendezvous City.
Road Trip or FlyRiverton
Whatever Wyoming cultural experiences you’re planning on having in Riverton, getting there is the easy part. There are regular flights to and from town, connecting from Denver, Colorado. The highways that lead to Riverton also lead to Yellowstone National Park. Riverton and all the Wyoming cultural experiences it offers are a destination all their own or an authentic stop on your way to or from Wyoming’s national parks.
Three days Of Adventure In The Heart of Wyoming
Day 1: Make Riverton your Home Away from Home
Fly directly into Riverton at the Central Wyoming Regional Airport and rent your car for a three-day adventure. Settle in at one of our cozy and welcoming hotels and head out to stretch your legs and get to know town.
Spend some time strolling up and down Main Street to connect with the community. The art shops and photography stores will give you a wide variety of perspectives on the beauty of Riverton. Don’t miss Rock Solid, a local rock shop that also sells jewelry and may give you some tips on places to go rockhounding.
Make sure you dine on some local beef at the Trailhead for dinner before calling it a night.
Day 2: Your Great Wyoming Adventure
Rise early and grab breakfast at The Beanery, then make your way to Boysen Reservoir State Park. This immense reservoir is surrounded by trails and wildlife, and it’s full of opportunities for water sports like fishing and all kinds of boating.
After grabbing lunch at the Boysen Marina, drive Wind River Canyon. This scenic byway has lots of places to stop to take photos of the dramatic cliff sides above, so take your time. You can even fish the waters, but make sure you have the appropriate licenses and know the rules for fishing on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
At the mouth of the canyon, you’ll reach the wedding of the waters, where the river’s name changes from Bighorn River to Wind River. Spend some time here taking in the peaceful views, then make your way back to Riverton. Be sure to check the community calendar—there may be live music tonight!
Day 3: Early American Art and Today’s Culture
Enjoy some sweet breakfast treats from Sweet Surprises, and grab some snacks for a picnic. Drive to Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site (it will take about an hour) to explore the bizarre sandstone formations and admire the petroglyphs that adorn them. Follow the trails throughout the area and check out the interpretive displays before setting up your picnic.
Upon your return to town, head to the Wind River Hotel and Casino for a Native American dance exhibition, which take place every Tuesday in the summers. Or, you can talk with an elder in the Northern Arapaho Experience Room adjacent to the Wind River Hotel and Casino lobby.
As the Rendezvous City, Riverton frequently has community events, so don’t miss whatever festival or celebration is happening before you leave town!
Wildlife Tour of Central Wyoming
Day 1: Make Riverton your Home Away from Home
Fly directly into Riverton at the Central Wyoming Regional Airport and rent your car. Make sure you have everything you need for camping by visiting our friendly, local shops. Head out to Boysen Reservoir State Park and grab lunch at the marina or B&K Shoreline Shop
Pick your campsite along the shores of Boysen Reservoir and settle in. Set up outside your tent or RV for a while to enjoy the dark skies and countless, bright stars. Have you ever really seen the Milky Way before?
Day 2: Boysen Reservoir State Park
Rise early to watch the variety of birds that call Boysen home. From sandhill cranes to sage grouse to redtail and Swainson’s hawks and more.
We like to say that antelope (or pronghorns, to be technically correct) outnumber people. Keep your eyes peeled for the classic scene of antelope roaming the open fields.
More interested in reptiles and fish? Watch for the entertaining run of horned toads, and cast a line to line in the waters for walleye, crappie, perch, rainbow trout, brown trout, and more.
Before you head back to camp, take time to drive Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway. You can stop along the way to soak in the steep walls above and learn about the stones from the signs along the way. If you’re fishing, you can fish from the shores; just be sure you know the rules and regulations of fishing on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Day 3: Wind River Indian Reservation Bison & Wild Horses
Make your way back to Riverton for breakfast, then continue west. Take Highway 26 out of town. Keep an eye to your left for bison, the herd recently re-introduced on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Turn left/south on Hwy 132, which becomes the Blue Sky Highway, to make your way to the Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary. This is a sanctuary for wild horses that haven’t been adopted, and it’s the only sanctuary on a Native American reservation in the country. With a reservation, you can join a tour and get up close with these remarkable animals after learning about their role in Native American culture.
From here, you’ll head north to Dubois. Enjoy a meal in town before falling into bed!
Day 4: Record-setting herd
The largest wintering herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep resides just outside of Dubois. Start your day at the National Bighorn Sheep Center to learn about the wildlife, then head out on a tour—self guided or with a local expert—to spot the bighorns. If you visit during the fall, you may luck into watching the rams battle by litterally ramming their curled horns into each other in a show of brute strength!
From Dubois, you can swing back to Riverton on a scenic drive sure to offer more wildlife sightings, or you can continue on to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks!
Riverton To Yellowstone Route
Thursday: Start Your Big Wyoming Adventure
Fly into Riverton at the Central Wyoming Regional Airport and rent your car. The airport is on the edge of town, making your hotel, cabin, or Airbnb easy to get to after your flights. After you check in, stretch your legs and get to know Wyoming.
Start on Broadway and go for a stroll through local shops, filled with local art and flavor. Stop at the Roasted Bean for lunch, then continue your walk, watching for murals on Riverton’s buildings as you go! Make a stop at the Riverton Museum to learn all about the early days of the Rendezvous City.
Enjoy dinner at the Rusty Truck and check the community calendar to see if there is live music or an event to join before hitting the hay.
Friday: More in Riverton, Drive to Dubois
Start your morning with a relaxed cup of coffee and sweet treat at Sweet Surprises before making your way toward Yellowstone. Consider taking in a round of golf or some fishing in before hitting the road. Your next stop, Dubois, is only an hour and 15 minutes away, so you can take your time enjoying Riverton.
Take US Hwy 26 West, and on the way stop at Pilot Butte Reservoir for a picnic. Enjoy the view of the Wind River Mountains from here and get some birding in with your fresh air meal.
As you near Dubois, stop first at the National Museum of Military Vehicles. This enormous (and growing) museum is an extensive look at American military history. Take your time, and remember you can come back if you don’t see it all in one day.
Make the final, short drive into the town of Dubois with an appetite. Enjoy a feast at The Moose Outpost and a nightcap (and maybe some square dancing) at the Rusty Pine Tavern before calling it a night.
Saturday: Explore Dubois and Togwotee Pass
Walk the wooden sidewalks of Dubois. Grab breakfast, and while you’re at it, pick up a lunch to go. Visit the neighboring Dubois Museum and National Bighorn Sheep Center to learn about the people and wildlife of the “warm valley” before departing town.
Highway 26 will take you over Togwotee (pronounced TOE-guh-tee) Pass, a breathtaking scenic byway. Take your time; in fact, we recommend stopping at the Falls Campground to enjoy your picnic lunch while watching the Brooks Lake Creek waterfall. When you reach Moran Junction, follow the signs to Yellowstone National Park.
Spend the next day exploring the nation’s first national park. Overnight in a park campground or lodge, because this massive park warrants two full days of exploration and adventure.
Sunday: Yellowstone, camping/staying in park
Continue your exploration of Yellowstone’s wild spaces and unique geology, and then head south to see what Grand Teton National Park has to offer. Remember your Leave No Trace principles and to respect wildlife. Spend the day making your way to Jackson, where you can settle in for some excellent dining and an overnight stay.
Monday: Explore Jackson
Jackson is a popular destination for a reason, so spend a day exploring the town square, playing at the Village, or browsing incredible wildlife and wildlife art.
Tuesday: Back to Riverton
Rise and shine! Enjoy a beautiful drive back through Jackson and Dubois—you have time to slow down and revisit anything you didn’t get enough of in the past few days.
When you arrive back in Riverton, head to the Wind River Hotel & Casino and spend some quality time at their museum, the Northern Arapaho Experience Room. An elder is typically in the museum and happy to share stories, history, and personal knowledge. From here, make your way to the Tuesday night dance exhibition provided by the Wind River Hotel & Casino and local dancers. This weekly demonstration of traditional dance and regalia is absolutely beautiful, as well as educational and entertaining. Pair it with a meal at the Buffalo Restaurant on the property, and it’s the perfect way to top off your Big Wyoming Adventure, from Riverton to Jackson and back.