Riverton lies at the confluence of the Big and Little Wind Rivers and was established in 1906 on land ceded from the Wind River Indian Reservation. The town was placed in a natural basin that had long been a gathering point for humans from Native Americans since pre-history to the 1830 and 1838 mountain man rendezvous.
Today Riverton today is a bustling town of commerce. Many residents of west central Wyoming come to Riverton to shop and relax. With everything from native crafts and bazaars to national retailers, Riverton is a commercial city.
As the site of the fur trade’s 1830 rendezvous and 1838 rendezvous, Riverton played host to many of the legendary names of the mountain man era. Jim Bridger, William Sublette, Kit Carson, and Jedediah Smith are only a few of the legendary trappers and traders who met here in 1838. The most impressive of these was the 1838 event, which drew as many as 300 people including mountain men and traders, Native Americans and missionaries to a bench of cottonwood trees at the confluence of the Big Wind and the Little Wind. For several days, they traded and celebrated a season of trapping the mountains.
Riverton, Wyoming, is home to the annual 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous with a living encampment, games of skill, food and dancing. Riverton lies at the confluence of the Big and Little Wind Rivers. This is the only rendezvous site that remains on original ground. The 1838 Rendezvous reenactment each summer features men and women who demonstrate skills that were used by the mountain men that have otherwise been virtually lost through the decades.
CENTRAL WYOMING COLLEGE
CWC is a major contributor to Riverton’s cultural and commercial life. With regional training centers for Microsoft and Cisco Systems, Central Wyoming College is a regional leader in technology education.
Soon after its founding, the Riverton area was promoted heavily in the East as a “farming paradise”. One of the last major homesteading ‘openings’ held in the United States, this development had all the drama of the Old West – greedy Eastern speculators, railroad expansion, claim jumpers, land races, feuds and shoot outs. The Army was even called in from Fort Washakie to keep the peace.
From these wild and wooly beginnings, Riverton has developed into the agricultural and commercial hub of Fremont County. With a farm/ranch agriculture base, the Riverton area is a major producer of top-quality cattle and horses, alfalfa hay and sugar beets.
ENJOY THE OUTDOORS
Low population, low crime rate and great location make the serenity of life in Riverton one of its outstanding features. Instead of spending several hours every day driving to work, Riverton residents can spend several hours every day recreating. Tucked in between the Owl Creek and the Wind River Mountains, Riverton offers opportunities for all types of outdoor recreation. There’s hunting and fishing, or hiking and rock climbing all within a few minutes’ drive. You can boat on Boysen Reservoir, play a round of golf at either an 18 – hole private course or a 9 – hole public one, study Native American petroglyphs or four-wheel drive across thousands of acres of state and federal lands. In fact, 84% of Fremont County – an area larger than many eastern states – is manages by federal or state agencies and is accessible to the public for year – round enjoyment.
Being outside year round is easy in Riverton. Sheltered by the surrounding mountains, Riverton belies the stereotype of harsh Wyoming weather. The city basks in as many as 347 days of sunshine a year. Known locally as Wyoming’s “Banana Belt,” Riverton’s blue skies, low humidity, and moderate temperatures mean that even mid-winter, climbers can be seen scaling the cliffs in nearby Sinks Canyon wearing only t-shirts and shorts, while at the same time, just a few miles away at 10,000 feet, someone else is cross-country skiing or snowmobiling along the Continental Divide.