Welcome to Lander
In central Wyoming there is an amazing little town. It is called Lander and it appears as if it was designed especially for you, the visiting climber.
No community that we have ever experienced is so climber friendly and has so many services for your climbing and camping convenience. On this trip across the country Wyoming came out as the clear winner in my personal contest for favorite state. Lander played no small part in that victory.
Any article about Lander would be incomplete without mention of and homage to Todd Skinner who moved to Lander in 1990, opened a climbing shop and established the Wild Iris crag as one of the era’s premier sport climbing destinations. As we have traveled around the world we have climbed Todd Skinner’s routes in several different countries including one of my all time favorite routes, the Best Route in Minnesota (6c) in Thailand.
Here’s the beta on what makes Lander your new home away from home:
Two sport climbing areas are a short jaunt from town. Wild Iris is about a half an hour’s drive and Sink’s Canyon is only 15 minutes from downtown. Look for future posts with specifics about these two areas. In addition, there is endless opportunity for alpine climbing in the Wind River Mountains as well as bouldering and granite crack climbing all within a day’s reach.
Todd Skinner’s Wild Iris Mountain Sports is a breath of fresh air in the small town abyss without gear shops. They have everything you need to hit the crag. Selection is great and prices are average. If like me, you find yourself with a hole in your climbing shoes and neither time nor address to ship replacements then Wild Iris Mountain Sports is a godsend. They are on 333 Main Street in downtown Lander. In addition if you head into the shop they have a dirtbag beta sheet with all the information you need for your stay in Lander.
You can camp for free in the Lander City Park. Yes that’s right, legitimate free camping on nice grassy lawns under trees, by the river, only steps from downtown! The city asks that you limit your stay to three days and in return provides bathrooms, fresh water and dumpsters for trash. There are a bunch of places for tents and even some RV sites as well. It doesn’t get more climber friendly than this.
As we camped and climbed around the US this summer the biggest challenge for us was often finding showers that were convenient and decently priced. In Lander you need look no further than the public pool. Entry is $2 and you can swim, shower, and even relax those sore muscles with a soak in the hot tub. Hours are limited so check ahead.
Damn Lander, you friendly
In addition to its climbing and camping convenience we found everyone we met in Lander to be genuine, honest and just so darn nice. We highly recommend, fellow climbers, come here, enjoy yourselves and support this beautiful little town.