Wild West Wyoming: Estes Park to Lander

Friday was a big day of driving, and it was time for a brief change in scenery. Wyoming is a state of wide open plains, and big blue sky, and lots of cows.

Instead of driving the whole way on the interstate, we decided to take a scenic detour via the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. I’m not sure where I read about it, but it was worth the extra miles. Like the Trail Ridge Road, it goes close to 12000 feet, and still had fairly deep snow drifts on the sides of the road. Unlike the Trail Ridge Road, it was very isolated! We saw maybe 4 other cars the whole way.

Once we got back on the main highway, we decided to stop at Rawlins for lunch. For some reason Navigon decided to send us on another scenic detour – this time through Sinclair. All that’s at Sinclair is an oil refinery, really not very exciting to look at… Thanks Navigon!

When we got to Lander it was early in the afternoon, so we decided to check out the local sights.


We headed a couple miles out of town to Sinks Canyon State Park, where the Popo Agie river flows underground for 1/4 mile through sandstone. It was a relaxing afternoon, and it was good to get out of the car for a while.

We went out for dinner at Cowfish, which (big surprise) serves mainly beef and seafood. The story behind the name is that the cowboys used to tell stories about ‘the cow that got away’ – they’d be chasing after a cow and it would jump into the river and disappear! Whatever the story is, they serve pretty good food. Plus great margaritas!

Next up: Grand Teton and Yellowstone


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