Casper, Wyo. — To some it’s an outdoor playground, while for others it’s a surprising winter oasis in the middle of Wyoming’s high plains. But around here, we just call it Casper.
A city of approximately 60,000 residents, Casper has flown under the radar as a travel destination for years. But with robust offerings and a momentum that’s been rolling steady since last summer’s total solar eclipse, Casper in winter is a destination worth exploring.
“For years, travelers have been passing through our city as they make their way to other destinations like Yellowstone National Park,” Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper, said. “The Casper you see from I-25 is completely different from the Casper you experience once you get off the freeway, especially if you’re into outdoor recreation, adventure and robust culinary offerings.”
While you won’t find big-city lights or flashy ski fashion in the heart of Wyoming, you will find a little city with big winter offerings cozily nestled at the base of 8,130-foot Casper Mountain. The winter season provides travelers to Casper with a diverse assortment of options to choose from, including Ice Age history, abundant outdoor recreation offerings and one of the best culinary scenes in Wyoming.
- Play on Casper Mountain: A short 15 minutes from downtown Casper, Casper Mountain boasts several on-mountain services and offerings, including the Casper Mountain Trails Center and Hogadon Basin Ski Area. Cross-country and skate skiers can set out on 26 miles of groomed trails at the Casper Mountain Trails Center, as well as an additional 30 miles of backcountry and snowshoe trails that depart from the trails center. For family-friendly skiing, Hogadon Basin Ski Area has 27 trails for a variety of abilities. Plus, its new lodge provides skiers and snowboarders with a beautiful view of Casper. Additional winter activities include fat biking the Eadsville Trail or snowmobiling the 45 miles of groomed trails on Casper and Muddy mountains.
- Meet Dee, Casper’s Columbian Mammoth: An 11,600 year-old Columbian Mammoth, Dee roamed the West during the Ice Age. Originally found near Glenrock, WY, today Dee makes his home at Casper College as he provides a glimpse into the Ice Age in modern-day Wyoming.
- Fly-fishing and ice fishing: While fishing is thought of as a warm-weather activity, some of the best fishing experiences are found during the heart of winter. With the world-renowned North Platte River running through Casper, the river's Grey Reef section provides consistent fly fishing during the winter months. Plus, there's plenty of river miles and few fishermen who cast a line here during the snowy season. Nearby Alcova Lake and Pathfinder Reservoir offer prime ice fishing.
A perfect complement to the area's outdoor activities, Casper's urban center provides travelers with a surprisingly large array of culture in the form of culinary offerings, local brew and spirits, an art museum and the largest collection of cowboy boots in Wyoming. At the heart of downtown is Casper’s David Street Station, an outdoor community venue that includes an ice rink that's set to open Thanksgiving weekend.
The city also has an assortment of lodging accommodations, from flagship hotels to locally owned properties and cozy Airbnb accommodations on Casper Mountain. Plus, many lodging properties offer winter deals and special rates, especially on the weekends, making Casper an affordable weekend getaway this winter season.
Learn more about winter in Casper at VisitCasper.com/Winter.