Hey! You made it off the beaten path to one of the west’s best-kept secrets. Its time to wake up and get ready to discover the Lander Valley.
After a fuel-up breakfast in one of the town’s many fine restaurants, coffee shops or bakeries, get on out to Sinks Canyon and hike the Middle Fork Trail to the Popo Agie Falls. It’s just about 8 miles from town inside the Shoshone National Forest’s Washakie Ranger District.
The nearly two-mile long trail is mostly easy to moderate on the hiking scale, but the scenery along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River is outstanding, with sandstone and limestone cliffs on both sides of the canyon wall dotted with aspen and conifer forests.
You’ll want to take your camera, a hat, water, some energy snacks and insect repellant with you. The trail goes up 600 feet in elevation. At the falls, the river descends over a series of cascades, including one slick rock cascade where hikers can slide down into a refreshing but brisk pool of water.
If you packed a lunch, the picnic area at the trailhead is a good place to settle down for lunch, listen to the rhythm of the river and the calls of the songbirds. Not a bad way to relax. On the way back into town stop at the Sinks Canyon State Park Visitors Center and explore the exhibits inside, and the cavern, or Sinks, where the river disappears in the side of the canyon wall. Just a quarter mile downstream, the river reappears in a trout filled pool, but on the opposite side of the canyon. The two features are connected by a nature trail.
Back in town, enjoy a cold beverage and a good meal at any number of Lander’s restaurants and gastro-pubs and get ready to enjoy Lander’s nightlife.
Throughout the summer and into fall Lander is host to any number of outdoor festivals or free concerts.