The Lander Field Office contains a diversity of landscapes: mountains, badlands, canyons, and plains. The geologic activity which formed these features is also responsible for the diversity of minerals found in the area, including uranium, oil and gas, jade, gold, and precious gems.Geologic activity also gets the credit for the creation of the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains. This feature made it possible for the extensive westward migration via the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, and California Trails in the latter half of the 1800s. The Pony Express also took advantage of this break in the Rocky Mountains to carry mail from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, from 1860-1861. The remnants of the South Pass gold rush are visible today in the ghost town of Miner's Delight, the still-inhabited town of Atlantic City, the South Pass City State Historic Site, and in the surrounding area, still dotted with abandoned mines and cabins. The first female judge in the world, Esther Hobart Morris, was elected in South Pass City.
We can again credit geology for some of the recreational activities available in the Lander Field Office. Two world-class rock climbing areas, Baldwin Creek and Sinks Canyon, are found near Lander. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail which crosses the field office area offers opportunities for anything from a day hike to a 3,000-mile trek. Hang gliders use Whiskey Peak north of Rawlins as a launch site. Mountain bikers can find anything from flat to steep to test their skills. Other recreational activities include hunting, fishing, camping, rockhounding, and just plain sightseeing. There is a lot to see.
In addition to recreation, minerals, and cultural resources like historic trails, the Lander Field Office manages livestock grazing, timber, wildlife habitat, wild horses, and watersheds.