One perfect day in Lander, WY

Dip into a cool town of climbers, killer coffee, and cowboys
Dina Mishev

The burger lover’s burger: The shaded picnic tables outside are the best place to gobble a Gannett Grill Swiss Piggy Burger with bacon and grilled mushrooms. Never frozen, your grass-fed patty may have been packaged the day before at Wyoming’s only certified organic plant, 10 minutes away. Salad greens come from even closer—Gannett’s own garden. $; 126 Main St.; 307/332-8228.

Make it an overnight: Tent campers can set up beneath the big shady trees at Lander City Park for free. A 15-minute walk from Gannett Grill, the park is a favorite with both families and budget travelers for its sprawling lawn, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, playground, basic bathrooms, tennis courts, picnic shelters, and the river that runs through the park. No reservations needed—just show up and pitch your tent. 405 Fremont St.

Feeling adventurous? The real action is in the mountains and desert just outside town

By fishing line: Curious about Sinks Canyon’s name? Just before the visitor center, the river turns into a large cave and disappears in a frothing tumult of whitewater called the Sink. It stays hidden for ¼ mile until it peacefully reappears at The Rise, home to some of the world’s biggest trout. We’re talking up to 10 pounds. Fishing license from $6; 3079 Sinks Canyon Rd.; sinkscanyonstatepark.org  

On foot: Climbers from around the world visit Limestone Mountain, 24 miles southwest of Lander off State 28. Not so vertically inclined? There are hiking trails, too, which wind through the aspens and lupine at 9,000 feet. Shoshone National Forest Washakie Ranger District, 333 E. Main; fs.usda.gov/shoshone   

By car: The 70-mile Loop Road starts and ends in Lander. You’ll pass high-altitude trout-filled lakes, meadows teeming with fireweed, and the bright sandstone walls of Red Canyon. Mid-loop, a 6-mile (round-trip) detour takes you to South Pass City State Historic Site ($4; southpasscity.com), a former gold boomtown where many of the 29 historic buildings have been restored.

Page