As we race through our hectic lives with things to do, places to be, and people to see it’s easy to overlook the importance of taking a moment to slow down. Unfortunately, in our society speed is a reward because going going going means you’re getting more done, which is more rewarding, right? Well, in my opinion sometimes slowing down is the true reward. For this exact reason, southern Carbon County, Wyoming is the perfect spot. Let me tell you about this hidden gem between the trees that offers you history, views and the reward of slowing down.
Let the authenticity slow you down
As we come into southern Carbon County we reached the two small towns of Encampment and Riverside. We didn’t see any traffic, we didn’t see any city lights and we didn’t see modern buildings. Instead we saw authenticity. We found adorable old buildings that resemble what the old west must have looked like and mountains and trees that stretch for miles on each side. As we drove through town we came across The Red Wagon. It is one of those shops that you don’t mean to stumble upon but will be so excited that you did! It has the best coffee for miles, friendly staff and unique local treasures. The Red Wagon really is a must visit when you are in this area!
Slow down and appreciate the outhouse?
In this area of Carbon County the history still holds strong. There is an outdoor museum called the Grand Encampment Museum (the GEM). We decided to check it out. As we walked through over a dozen buildings housed with saved artifacts, we got the chance to learn about and appreciate the history of the timber, mining and agricultural days of this valley. We also got the chance to see the famous two story outhouse that no one should miss out on! You can either walk through the museum on your own or with a knowledgeable, animated guide. Whatever you choose it can easily become a half day adventure into the past!
Slow down for Indian bathtubs and waterfallsAfter an adventure through history we decided to take a bike ride up Green Mountain Falls Trail. I almost don’t want to write about this spot because I want to keep it all to myself! As we road through the aspens and pines we reached the top of this trail to be over-pleased with what we had found. Waterfalls flowing down beautiful granite and limestone rock! And between the waterfalls were a little something the locals call Indian bathtubs. We went for a swim and enjoyed having the beautiful oasis all to ourselves.
Slow down and take a walk back in time
The summers in Carbon County, Wyoming are filled with local happenings. After a bathe in the Indian bathtubs we stumbled upon the annual Mountain Man Rendezvous and Living History Days. We couldn’t believe how fun it was! The Living History Days and the Mountain Man Rendezvous are literally a walk back in time. Everyone is dressed in authentic clothing with their primitive camping set up just like it was during the days of trade between mountain men, voyagers, Indians and trappers! It is the perfect place to explore the culture of this period, while enjoying hands-on activities, hand-made crafts, metal-work and clothing.
Slow down for the Carbon County viewsWithin the boundaries of Carbon County, Wyoming lies Medicine Bow National Forest. Inside of Medicine Bow National Forest lives some of the most beautiful views we have ever seen. We hiked up Medicine Bow Peak, the tallest mountain in Southern Wyoming, for the chance to look over the rest of the area. We were blown away. Down below were the views of Lake Marie along with the Mirror Lakes. In the horizon we saw Rocky Mountain National Park and the little brother peaks of Medicine Bow. As we descended down we reached the Lake Trails that weaved us between wildflowers and along the Mirror Lakes. Talk about stopping to enjoy the view. We couldn’t get enough!
Like I said before sometimes the true reward is simply slowing down. A sort of sedative in the chaos. Just a taste of something to calm us down and bring us back to a more human state of mind. A taste of southern Carbon County, Wyoming!
This story was created in partnership with Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming.