The Saratoga Sun -

Hoorah for hospitality workers



During National Travel and Tourism Week, May 1-7, The Carbon County Visitors’ Council celebrated by wearing red on May 3 to demonstrate their support for all Hospitality workers across Carbon County who provide travelers with an awesome and friendly experience.

In 2015 there were 1,470 people employed from tourist activity. Since 2010, visitor spending has continued upward here in Carbon County. 2015 was a great year and 2016 is looking spectacular as well! The lodging tax provides for many grants to fund local programs and activities, as well as market our beautiful county as a travel destination. As the second largest industry in Wyoming, tourism and the revenue it provides for us here, and across the state, is vitally important to our communities.

Recent findings show that the top three reasons people choose to travel are:

•To fill their ‘bucket lists’

•Seeking authenticity

•Meet locals

And top two reasons why they choose Carbon County:

•Peace and quiet

•Camping in the Snowy Range

This year, our National Park Service celebrates 100 years. As travelers plan their vacations to Yellowstone and other national monuments across Wyoming, our strategy is to route them through Carbon County and encourage them to stay and “Get their West On”.

We are banking on them staying in Carbon County and enticing them to return again next year for a longer stay! Our advertising and marketing campaign will demonstrate travel routes through Carbon County, as well as short videos on our website telling our stories.

Speaking of routes, nothing beats the trail systems across Carbon County. A trail is defined as: “route for passage from one point to another; does not include roads or highways.” Many well-known trails passing through Carbon County are rich with cultural and historic stories of cowboys, Indians, fur trappers, immigrants and outlaws, and exist today as they did in the late 1800’s. A visitor can trail through our communities and view the wagon ruts and names of pioneers etched in rock along the Emigrant and Overland trails, follow the footsteps of the likes of Butch Cassidy and the outlaw gang from the Old Frontier Prison in Rawlins all the way to Baggs, gasp at the breathtaking view at the top of Bridger Pass, see fur trapper Jim Baker’s first log structure in Savory, Wyo., hear the historic stories at our museums during Living History Days, or camp primitively at the Mountain Man Rendezvous as was done years ago in Encampment.

The stage coach and wagon crossing the Oregon Trail was of great significance. Many routes branched off the Oregon such as the Cherokee and Overland trails. Indian hostility gave rise to a number of attacks in the late 1800’s necessitating the need for military reinforcements such as Fort Halleck at the foot of Elk Mountain and Fort Fred Steele on the North Platte River, still preserved today. To the travelers of yesteryear, the Great Plains and the Great Basin seemed like another planet. Finding the best routes to keep livestock fed and watered were key. Still true today, the TransAmerica Bike Trail informs riders that water is limited as they pass through the Great Divide Basin in Carbon County. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail also passes through this basin. It is described as a geologic and hydrologic feature unique to the United States. No streams flow out of the basin, meaning that the precipitation falling within never reaches the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean.

And did you know that Carbon County has 13 named trails according to the US Geological Survey, Board of Geographic names? Arlington Pack Trail, Custer National Forest Trail, Green Ridge and Troublesome Trails, to name a few.

In addition to all these historic trails, Carbon County abounds with an incredible modern day trail system that still preserves the feeling of the old west. These trails traverse the high desert, the mountains and National Forests with designated wilderness areas, the North Platte River and numerous lakes and streams that provide beautiful vistas, wildlife and camping. There are trails for bikers, hikers, anglers, birders, horseback riders, dog sleds, snowmobiles and ATVs.

Add this to all the other awesome places and things to do in Carbon County, and it makes for a family-friendly, fun and affordable destination.

One can clearly see why a tourist would want to seek this authentic experience. Often when reviewing visitor feedback information, the Visitors’ Council reads that the locals here in Carbon County are the best promotional tool we can utilize! As friendly and authentic ambassadors, people across our communities continue to welcome travelers to our safe and peaceful towns, while sharing our rich, cultural heritage, and enhancing their travel experience.

So as we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, we want to say hats off to those who work in the hotels, motels, campgrounds and restaurants; grocery stores, filling stations and watering holes; museums, chambers and visitor centers across Carbon County. We also want to thank the not so obvious staff such as airport personnel, road and city crews, local police, fire and sheriffs departments, search and rescue, ambulance and medical professionals, Game and Fish, Forest Service and park rangers for their commitment and dedication. And a huge thanks to the community volunteers, service organizations, musicians and historians who continue to preserve our rich, cultural heritage. And when someone from out of town asks you what there is to do in Carbon County … pick a trail. Or you could direct them to

Kim Hytrek

Carbon County Visitors’ Council

Saratoga Representative


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