by Deanna Tolliver
If you have plans to head to Yellowstone or the Tetons this season, may I suggest a bit of a detour to Dubois (say it like “cowboys”), Wyoming?
Located along the Wind River, Dubois is a quirky, yet Old West kind of town, with some great museums, art galleries, Friday night rodeo, many good eateries, 9-hole golf course, hiking, trout fishing, horseback riding … plenty to do for anyone. Or, just sit on the bank of the Wind River and enjoy the views of the Wind River Mountains, the tallest mountain range in Wyoming. The town itself sits at almost 7,000 feet in elevation.
One of my favorite places in Dubois is the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center. The purpose of the Center is to educate the public about the biology and habitat of the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. The largest herd of this species winters in the Whiskey Basin of the Whiskey Mountain, near Dubois in the Shoshone National Forest. The people behind the Center are fiercely dedicated to preserving the species, and my hat is off to them. While there, ask how to get to the petroglyphs above town (they’ll even draw you a map). These rock “drawings” were created by the Sheepeaters, a Native American tribe (part of the Shoshones), who were proficient at hunting bighorn sheep.
The Dubois Museum and Wind River Historical Center is small but packed with history, including many Native American artifacts. The staff there is more than happy to help you with guided tours and seminars.
Dubois is located on Highway 26, about an hour and half from both Jackson Hole and the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park. When driving to either, you’ll cross the Continental Divide at Togwotee Pass. From the south, you can get to Dubois from either Lander or Riverton. I’ve driven up Hwy. 26 to Dubois from Riverton pulling my fifth wheel, and it was an easy, though uphill, drive. From there, I did day trips to the Tetons and Yellowstone.
There are a several RV parks near and in Dubois. I’m familiar with the Dubois KOA and the Longhorn Ranch Motel and RV Resort. Both get very good reviews on RV Park Reviews. I stayed at the Longhorn the last time I was there. “A river runs through it,” as they say – the Wind River, to be exact. It’s beautiful and well-kept, and right on the edge of town. Other parks to check out include Lava Mountain Lodge, Solitude, Windhaven RV Resort, and Dubois Campgrounds.
For those requiring fewer amenities, there are a few USFS and state campgrounds, but do your homework before heading up to them: The roads could be challenging with an RV.
I hope you have a chance to visit Dubois. It’s on my list for a return trip.
For more information, visit duboiswyoming.org.