If you’re looking for the authentic West, look no farther than the sage-brush beauty and graciousness of Farson. At the crossroads of highways to iconic vacation destinations like Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park, this tiny town is a stopping point for thousands of tourists. The residents who call the Farson-Eden community home take pride in their community and its history.
An Inside Look
“I've ridden a motorcycle all through this country," Col. Joe Stewart says during a stop in Farson. "It can change from stunning to stark to bleak to majestic in the course of a few miles. If you've read the Old West stories this is the place they were talking about: Flaming Gorge along the Green River is a must-see. The Grand Tetons will take your breath away. Some of the best trout fishing in the world is in this area.”
Farson's residents are mostly ranchers, farmers and employees at the nearby Jonah Field, the second largest producing oil and natural gas field in the U.S.
“The oil field is small, but it provides jobs for a lot of the younger people and keeps them here,” says resident Roxanne Tomich.
There’s a strong sense of belonging here. A new community center hosts area events, from weddings to funerals, and there’s a new fire hall as well. Kids (about 150) attend a single K-12 building, soon to be replaced with a new version. Though small, it has an outstanding reputation.
Things to Do
A meal out might mean pizza, premium coffee, sandwiches or enormous ice cream cones at the beloved, historic Farson Mercantile – “so big you should order the child’s size,” Tomich says.
You won’t find a chain hotel here, but there’s Sitzman’s Motel, a cozy, family-owned place with abundant character. Just next door at family-owned Mitch’s Café, enjoy excellent steak and crab legs, and a wine and beer selection.
Farson's history is extraordinary. The Oregon, California and Mormon Trails passed within a handful of miles; the splitting point for Oregon-California is on a local farm. The Pony Express ran through here too, during its 18 months of existence.
Native Americans inhabited this spot long before settlers came. Jill Eaton, owner of the Farson Mercantile, says you can still see evidence of the area’s past nearby, from petrified wood to arrowheads left behind long ago by Native American residents. Less than 20 miles away are the millennium-old White Mountain petroglyphs to view.
“It’s a fantastic place, with all this history that people don’t know about,” Eaton says.
Don't miss Flaming Gorge Reservoir, one of the area's most scenic places. Fly fishermen make for the Green River, and hunters come out in early fall for antelope, deer, and a few miles away in the Red Desert, elk. The Red Desert provides a gorgeous expanse of buttes, sand dunes, and open spaces, including the Killpecker Sand Dunes, some of the largest in the U.S. Herds of wild horses also thrive nearby.
Find more fun things to do near Rock Springs, WY.