Sundance Things to Do
This is possibly the most recognisable sight in Wyoming, even more so than Old Faithful, thanks to the Spielberg film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.
The size and scale are impressive. Numerous pictures (and that film!) should have prepared me for this, but somehow I hadn’t imagined it as quite as large. Secondly, the atmosphere which, when you can escape the crowds, is quite haunting, especially where the local Native Americans have tied prayer ribbons to the trees. And lastly, and less positively, the large numbers of people and the over-commercialised appearance of the approaches to the park. But don’t let that put you off visiting. This really is a magical place - just don’t expect to see aliens here!
Make sure you find the time to take the 1.3 mile trail round the base of the rock if you really want to appreciate this magical place, and get away from those crowds. Bring binoculars so you can watch the climbers on the face of the rock, and the prairie dogs that live in the grassy meadows at its foot.
Check out my Devil’s Tower page to read more.Related to:
- National/State Park
This little local museum is in the basement of the modern Courthouse building in the centre of town, and has exhibits such as saddles, Indian artefacts, guns, old photos, period rooms and a Sundance Kid courtroom display
Next to the Courthouse is the statue of the Sundance Kid. The Kid was tried for horse theft here in August 1887 and sentenced to 18 months in the county jail. After his release he met up with Butch Cassidy and they established their famous partnership. It was because of all the teasing he received about his time in jail in Sundance that he got his nickname.
March - May: Mon - Fri 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
June - August: Mon - Sat 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
September - December: Mon - Fri 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Closed January and February
For over three hundred years, Plains Indian groups stampeded bison over the rim and into a deep natural "sink hole" at the site which is now called the Vore Buffalo Jump. The bison fell into the hole and were killed. It was much easier and safer for the Indians than chasing them with a bow or spear.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
2719 East Cleveland
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
If you’re looking for a reasonable room in a convenient location at a great price, this friendly...more
26 Hwy 585, Sundance, Wyoming, 82729, United States
Good for: Solo
We were happy, even relieved, to find this friendly little restaurant open as the only other choice in town that we could see, Aros, was closed due to lack of help. Consequently Higbees was buzzing and was obviously a popular choice with locals as well as passing tourists. It was "Mexican Special" evening which seemed to have been a particular attraction for the local clientele but we went for the burgers and were happy with the quality of the food for the very reasonable price we paid. We also had some good cold beers. But what made this place noteworthy for me was the friendliness of the young waitress who served us, especially considering how busy she was. I don't think Aros was the only restaurant in town finding it hard to hire sufficient help, but our waitress kept a cheerful smile throughout and had a friendly word for everyone, visitor and local alike.
Get here early though - the night we were there they closed at 8.00 (or at least stopped taking orders at that time).
We had breakfast in this slightly eccentric little coffee shop – excellent cappuccino and a huge cinnamon roll. It doubles up as a DVD and video hire place, and as a Wild West souvenir shop (so should that be triples up?) The chairs and tables are surrounded by the various items for sale. These included some lovely-looking jams and other goodies, and some rather weird “comic” signs for kids’ bedrooms etc. The service was friendly and we were greeted by the locals stopping off for a coffee on their way to work, so it was a great place to sit and watch Sundance go about its business.
Higbees is the local cafe and hang-out for the locals. It's a good place to get a nice breakfast for real cheap. I could get a full platter of pancakes that filled me up for two bucks. My friends liked to get Steak and Eggs, which was only about $5 back in 1994 (now they are $6.50). A lot of the locals hang out here, so you get a feel for the local cowboy culture.
We found Higbees to be a great place to fill up before heading up into the Bighorn Mountains to do some backpacking.
Favorite Dish: I liked the pancakes. They were as big as my plate, and real good. They also have great steak and eggs.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
If you’re looking for somewhere to hang out and enjoy a cold beer or two the Dime Horseshoe Bar should fit the bill. It’s certainly not smart but we received a friendly welcome and weren’t made to feel uncomfortable even though we were the only non-locals in there. In fact, the place was pretty quiet but it was a week-day evening – maybe it’s a bit livelier at weekends? Anyway, we liked it!
Sundance Off The Beaten Path
As an alternative to the direct route to or from the Devil’s Tower it’s worth considering going the longer way round on route 24 via Hulett and Aladdin. This is a really pretty drive through rolling green hills and rich-looking farmland, and has the bonus of offering a stop at this most quirky of stores.
Built originally as a saloon in 1896, this is now part grocery store, part antiques shop, part museum – all in a rambling 100 year old building that sits at the side of the road in a hamlet that proudly boasts on its sign: “Population 15”.
Make sure you pop into the liquor store in the room to your left as you enter. The various signs there certainly made us smile (e.g. “Free beer tomorrow” – I suspect tomorrow never comes!) Then climb the stairs at the back to the Antiques Attic – a series of rooms with an amazing assortment of kitsch, clutter and the odd delight. Finally, why not take the owner’s suggestion and buy a cold lemonade to sip on the porch and watch the very peaceful world of Aladdin go by.
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