National Historic Trails Interpretive Center

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center is operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Department of Interior. We are a public-private partnership between the BLM, the National Historic Trails Center Foundation, and the City of Casper, Wyoming.  

The Trails Center commemorates Native American history, early explorers, and the travel corridor of the Oregon, Mormon, California, and Pony Express trails, as well as the Bridger and Bozeman trails through hands-on, interactive exhibits, multi-media programs, and virtual education opportunities.  

Virtual interpretive programming and visits to the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center are free!  

The Mission of the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center: 

The NHTIC interprets the significant role of the area’s historic trails in the history of the U.S. by providing exceptional visitor, educational, and volunteer programs.  NHTIC staff seeks to promote public understanding of both America’s western native cultures and historic westward expansion while highlighting the BLM’s role as active stewards of public lands. 

For more information about the trails as well as a link for a downloadable map, please click here

Hours

Hours

Open seven days a week:  8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed on most federal holidays
For current information call (307) 261-7700

Admission if FREE!

Events

2022 Activities and Events

Weekend Programs:

August 9-14: The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center celebrates its 20th Anniversary 

  • Tuesday, August 9 – Saturday, August 13: Cool off with shaved ice from the Curly Wolf Den, every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Tuesday, August 9: Fuel your inner pioneer with free Metro Coffee and snacks and purchase your own Trails Center Anniversary coffee roast. All proceeds go to our partner, the National Historic Trails Foundation.

  • Wednesday, August 10 – all day: Check out our brand-new documentary, “The Battle of Red Buttes.” The film will play periodically throughout the day at the Trails Center until the end of the year and will be made available online at a later date.

  • Wednesday, August 10 - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Get in and let’s go! Historic Trails West will take you around the Trails Center prairie in an actual covered wagon – for free.

  • Thursday, August 11 - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Meet Josh Kirk of History Channel’s “Mountain Men.” A Wyoming homesteader, hunter/gatherer, published author, singer/songwriter, and bison ranch manager, Kirk is a true mountain man. Come say hello and hear him speak about his adventures.

  • Friday, August 12 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Channel your inner 1800s pioneer by dressing up in one of our old-timey outfits, loading your friends or family into the covered wagon and taking a selfie.

  • Saturday, August 13 Events

    • All day: Experience the life of an 1800s pioneer at our living history pioneer camp, featuring local legends Jean Smart and the Merchant family.

    • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Sample Dutch oven cooking with John Rose.

    • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: “Fiddlin’ Around” with Erica Flom. Flom is an award-winning fiddler who has opened for Ned Ledoux, played with Brad Paisley, and performed internationally.

    • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Wyoming State Archaeologist Spencer Pelton will discuss his excavations of the Powars II site and the artifacts found there. The Powars II site in Platte County is a hematite quarry used by Paleoindians more than 12,000 years ago and contains a diversity of unique projectile points. 

  • Sunday, August 14 until 3 p.m.: Jean Smart and the Merchant family are back at the Trails Center Sunday for our pioneer living history encampment.

Saturday, August 20 Award-winning author/artist Deb Fox will speak about William Lewis Manly, a gold rush pioneer who heroically saved two lost families from starvation in the Great Basin Desert, as well as the importance and meaning of hero stories in our lives. In the second presentation, Fox breaks down the process of creating her award-winning graphic novel, "The Man Who Beat Death Valley."

  • 11 a.m.: The Heroic Story of William Lewis Manly, Gold Rush Pioneer

  • 1 p.m.: The Making of a Graphic Novel: The Man Who Beat Death Valley

August 20 & 21 - Blacksmithing Demonstrations with Dave Osmundsen

  • August 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • August 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

August 24-Sept. 2: Oregon-California Trails Association Annual Convention


Youth Programs (10 a.m. on Saturdays):

August 13: Plains Indians 
Explore the diverse cultures pioneers met while travelling on the plains and how some plains tribes documented important events in an annual "winter count." Afterwards, join in the hands-on documentation of your own life events. 

August 20: The Bozeman Trail (History Club)*
Listen to Brave Eagle's account of one of the battles along the Bozeman Trail and then practice illustrating your own story of a historical event to bring it to life. 

August 27: Overland Trail Game
Would you survive the trek across Wyoming? Come play the Trails Center's Overland Trail game to determine your fate. 

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Hands-On History Club* - History Club is geared for 2nd to 5th graders, but all ages are welcome. Chaperones are required to stay on-site for the duration of the program and are invited to participate in the activity. 

Trail Treks** Know Before You Go  –  All trail treks depart at 8:00 a.m. from the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center parking lot: 1501 North Poplar, Casper, WY - unless otherwise noted.

Please bring sack lunches, drinks, sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing and apparel. Be prepared for inclement weather throughout the day. Transportation to these sites will not be provided and carpooling is encouraged! 4-wheel drive and high clearance vehicles are recommended.

Registration is required to participate! For more information and/or to register for any trail trek, please contact Jason Vlcan at 307-261-7783.
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Volunteer

Volunteers at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center contribute close to 5,000 hours of time towards furthering the mission of the center and the BLM. We welcome volunteers and the breadth of experience they bring to the daily operations of the NHTIC.  

There is a volunteer opportunity for everyone! Contact the Center at (307) 261-7700 for more information.  

For additional volunteer opportunities with the BLM and other federal agencies, check out volunteer.gov. 

Contact Us

Phone
307-261-7700

Contact
blm_wy_trailscenter@blm.gov

Address
National Historic Trails Interpretive Center
1501 North Poplar Street
Casper, WY 82601

Directions
The Trails Center is located off Interstate 25 North of exit 189, or East of exit 190

Map showing the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper, Wyoming.
National Historic Trails Interpretive Center Visitor Location Map, Casper, Wyoming.

Education

Educational Resources

For a wealth of resources on the trails, including maps, FAQs, basic facts, teaching trunks, and more, please see our Educational Resources page.

NHTIC Photos

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center