Heart Mountain Interpretive Center is situated only 15 minutes from Cody, Wyoming—a town reminiscent of the old west experience. When you pull into the museum, you can’t miss the striking, craggy mountain in the distance known as Heart Mountain. The museum and interpretive center sit in the shadow of that mountain.
This article was created in partnership with Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, Wyoming. Photos by Kevin J. Miyazaki, courtesy of Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation
Wandering through the museum and around the grounds of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center is a sobering experience. Stories of the Japanese Americans who were detained there are full of heartbreak and triumph. These narratives—depicted through photographs, relics and museum exhibits—will leave visitors with lasting empathy and a better understanding of American history.
Much of the complex and barracks were stripped years ago, turning the land over to homesteaders for farming. Some of the original buildings are still onsite though, including the old camp hospital, root cellar, and a barrack. The museum and site, overseen by the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, includes these buildings along with a war memorial and replica guard tower on the grounds to offer visitors a first-hand glimpse into life at Heart Mountain.
Special Exhibits & Events
Explore past, current, and upcoming exhibits on the Heart Mountain website, including original short films, in-depth presentations, and historic site tours. Notably, the new exhibit “Bob Kuwahara & the Nisei Animators ” will be open through the remainder of 2022. You can also take advantage of their online programming before you hit the road.
There’s always room to learn
History cannot be altered, but we as a global community can strive to learn from the past. The museum is dedicated to passing on the Heart Mountain story to future generations, and addressing broader issues of race and social justice. Moreover, visiting the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center during a road trip through Wyoming is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this complicated bit of American history.