Lying in the shadow of its 11,156-foot namesake, the settlement of Elk Mountain is a quiet community of cottonwood- lined streets, picturesque buildings, with world class trout fishing right downtown. Much of the historical significance of the Elk Mountain area lies in the development of a transportation network linking the east and west coasts. The Medicine Bow River crossing was used by the John C. Fremont expedition of 1843. On August 2nd of that year, Fremont’s party camped in the proximity of the “Medicine Butte”, an early name for Elk Mountain. The river would become a major crossing for immigrants and stage travelers.

Elk Mountain, Wyoming

In 1850, the Stansbury expedition, led by famed mountain man Jim Bridger, crossed the Medicine Bow farther north seeking a route for wagon travel. Later, in 1856, Lt. F.T. Bryan, discovered regular use of Stansbury’s route and suggested it be used for the Overland Stage started by Ben Hollady. By 1862, the operation was imperiled by constant Indian attacks. Holladay chose to move the line southward, back to the Medicine Bow River Crossing, where he built a stage stop. In 1862, Fort Halleck was built on the Overland Stage route a few miles west of Elk Mountain to protect travelers passing through this region. The fort was named after Major-General Henry G. Halleck, a key military aide to President Lincoln. The government maintained the fort from 1862 to 1866 when it was decommissioned because the Indian threat was diminishing. The owner of the stage stop found a sufficient volume of trail traffic to maintain a toll bridge, although eventually stage traffic waned.

Elk Mountain’s first mercantile store was constructed in 1902 using lumber from the Carbon Timber Company. In 1905 the Elk Mountain Hotel was built by John S. Evans, on the property previously used by the Overland Stage Station. The building’s architecture is Folk Victorian style, reminiscent of what was found on the frontier during that time. Next to the Hotel stood the Garden Spot Pavilion. The Garden Spot was host to such notable entertainers as Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and Lawrence Welk. These entertainers inspired hundreds to “jump on and ride” the Garden Spot’s magical dance floor. The Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hotel property served as an important component in the economic and social life of the Elk Mountain community, as the lodging, mining and livestock industries boomed. The property enjoyed a steady clientele and became a way-station for entrepreneurs and laborers who traveled here for the timber, mineral and ranching industries. The luxurious inn still stands where it was first constructed almost 100 years ago and welcomes guests year-around. Sitting as it does along the banks of the Medicine Bow River, Elk Mountain is a Mecca for trout fisherman from across the country. Visitors interested in beautiful scenery should take the round-the-mountain drive on Pass Creek Road as it is an area of stunning vistas teeming with wildlife.

elk mountain hotel2

The Historic Elk Mountain Hotel is an elegantly restored Folk Victorian hotel built in 1905. The hotel offers a hot complimentary American breakfast with any of our beautifully decorated guestrooms appointed with period antiques. Features the elegant “1905” Dining Room. Nearby activities include cross country skiing, snowmobiling, seeing a working Wyoming buffalo ranch, mountain biking, hiking, blue-ribbon trout fishing, bird watching and mountain-top picnics, or to the ranch for trophy elk and buffalo hunts. Visit Website

elk mountain museum

The Elk Mountain Museum is a a museum dedicated to preserving the rich local history of Elk Mountain, Wyoming and the Medicine Bow Valley.  Come and see our collections and remember the Famous Garden Spot Pavilion, the Historic Elk Mountain Hotel, Old Carbon, Percy, Ft. Halleck, The legendary tie-hacks, The Elk Mountain School(s), Pioneer Ranches the Kleen Dairy etc etc.  and the characters that made it all happen. Come learn of obscure events such as the airliner crash one snowy night on Elk Mountain that claimed the lives of all 20 passengers or maybe the bar that had the town bathtub and other quirky stories from the past. Visit Website

Originally called “Medicine Butte,” the mountain and surrounding areas served as sacred Indian hunting grounds. In the late 19th century, it was a way-point for early American settlers heading west along the Overland Trail and other routes. In more modern times Elk Mountain Hotel served as home to the infamous Garden Spot Pavilion. It was here that performers like Louis Armstrong, Lawrence Welk and Tommy Dorsey inspired hundreds to “jump on and ride” the magical dance floor. Visit Website

Elk Mountain Outfitters is a full-time family operation that has been in the outdoor recreation business since the early 1970's, offering hunting, summer pack trips and trout fishing. Hunting at Elk Mountain and Wheatland is done primarily from 4x4 vehicles and on occasion we use horses and mules. (307) 322-3220

Johnson’s A Bar One Ranch - 307-326-8267

Elk Mountain is a Mecca for the snowmobiles Surrounded by two of the best snowmobiling areas in the state, The Snowy Range and Shirley Basin, Elk Mountain has some of the best powder you will find anywhere. Visit our snowmobiling page for more information. Snowmobile Tours 307-348-7720

Drinks & Dining in Elk Mountain

The Crossing Cafe at the Elk Mountain Trading Company

The Crossing Cafe at the Elk Mountain Trading Company

Elk Mountain

The Crossing Cafe at the Elk Mountain Trading Company

Shopping in Elk Mountain

Custom Creations

Custom Creations

Elk Mountain

Custom Creations

Spotlight - Elk Mountain

The Medicine Bow River crossing, now the site of the bridge to the hotel and on the National Register of Historical Places, was used by the John C. Fremont expedition of 1843.



Elk Mountain Wyoming Gallery