(Fremont County, Wyoming) – A local effort is underway with the Wind River Visitor’s Council (WRVC) and three University of Wyoming seniors to designate Lander-South Pass City and Dubois as Continental Divide Trail Gateway Communities.
Both locations garnered a total of 31 letters of support (17 for Dubois and 14 for Lander-South Pass City) from local businesses and organizations. Fremont County Commissioners and the City of Lander also provided letters of support.
The Continental Divide Trail is 3,000 miles long and stretches from the southern border of New Mexico to the northern border of Montana.
The Gateway Communities are cities and towns near the Continental Divide Trail. These communities are recognized by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition as places that serve those who use the trail and provide necessary amenities for hikers such as lodging, food, internet, laundry services, and showers.
Applications for the designations were submitted at the end of March to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC). A letter of support from the Town of Dubois is still necessary in order to move forward with its possible designation. They plan to have it as an action item at their next board meeting on April 13, according to WRVC executive director Helen Wilson.
She also shared some statistics from a CDTC survey conducted in 2020 that looked at the economic impact of trail visitors in Colorado. Wyoming did not have an investigation.
“The survey found that, on average, trekkers in the section spent $180 on accommodations, $116 on travel expenses, and $116 on restaurants and bars per trip. Hikers spent an average of $254 on accommodations, $106 on travel expenses, and $166 on restaurants and bars during their trip.
Pending approval of the application, a dedication celebration on May 3 is planned for both Dubois and Lander. County 10 will share details once things are finalized.