About the community of Lander
Lander is a thriving community of approximately 7,800 people located at the base of the Wind River Mountains in Fremont County, the second-largest county in Wyoming. Bordering the community to the west are the Shoshone National Forest and Sinks Canyon State Park. South of Lander lies the famous South Pass, a landmark on the Oregon, Mormon and California transcontinental trails. The Pony Express also ran through the area. To the north stretches the expansive Wind River Indian Reservation, home to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes.
Known throughout the west as an outdoor recreation destination, Lander is the home of the National Outdoor Leadership School (www.nols.edu) and Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI), world leaders in outdoor education. Lander is renowned for its rock climbing pitches at Sinks Canyon and Wild Iris and is a center for mountain biking, hiking, equestrian activities, camping, hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing. There are numerous snowmobile, ATV and multi-use trails in the area, including the Continental Divide Trail System and a Nordic ski area. The Lander golf course features an 18-hole regulation par 71 layout.
Lander's elevation is 5,357 feet. Lander is located in the Lander Valley, an oasis of greenery and water surrounded by high sage plains. We receive an average of 13.4 inches of rain annually, and around 108 inches of snow annually. January's daytime temperature averages around 20 degrees F; July averages around 86 F.
Lander's medical community includes the Lander Medical Clinic and the 89-bed Lander Regional Hospital, which together maintain a roster of over 40 physicians in 15 disciplines. Lander's Hunt Field is one of the state's busiest general aviation airports. The nearest commercial airport is Riverton Regional Airport, only a 30-minute drive with daily flights to Denver. Lander is just two hours from Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and minutes away is the Wind River Indian Reservation, which enriches the community with the cultures of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes.
Other local educational institutions include Wyoming Catholic College, a four-year liberal arts degree granting institution, and Central Wyoming College. CWC maintains a Lander campus and a learning center in Sinks Canyon.
Known as an active arts community, Lander's nickname is the City of Bronze, with over a dozen monumental bronze sculptures, situated along Main Street. The community annually hosts the Heart of the West Invitational Art Show and Sale, is home to the Lander Art Center and numerous art galleries and the world famous Eagle Bronze Foundry. Lander's Community Concerts Association, now producing its 63rd annual season, is a Governor's Arts Award recipient and brings six to eight events to the community each year. The Wyoming Shakespeare Festival Company is headquartered here, and the community boasts a large number of artisans and musicians. Lander has four museums, a wildlife exhibit at the Wyoming Game and Fish headquarters and an interpretive exhibit in Sinks Canyon State Park. The state park also annually hosts a popular summer-long speakers series.
Employment in Lander
In addition to the county government, major employers include the State of Wyoming (Game and Fish Department, Wyoming Life Resource Center, and Department of Environmental Quality), the Federal Government (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management), the National Outdoor Leadership School, Eagle Bronze, the Wyoming Outdoor Council, and The Nature Conservancy.
Of the Lander population 25 years and older, 26.1% have a college degree or higher, while 85.9% have a high school diploma or GED. Both these rates are higher than the county average. The community of Lander is about 90% Caucasian; 6% Native American, 3.5% Hispanic and 0.5% African American. The city population is reflected in the school demographics. Some students who reside on the Wind River Indian Reservation attend our district on variances; consequently, about 18% of elementary students in the district are of Native American descent.