May/June 2022 Issue
Most mountain towns are known as winter destinations, places where people flock for downhill skiing and tubing across snow-covered fields. But some of the best become even livelier during summer. With monthly art walks, outdoor farmers’ markets brimming with local produce, and concerts beneath the stars, our favorite mountain towns have even more to offer visitors once the weather turns warm. To discover charms from quiet hiking trails to craft food and drink, here are nine mountain towns to escape to during summer’s long, laid-back days.
Whether it’s shopping for cowboy boots along Sheridan’s low-slung Main Street or embarking on a guided fly-fishing trip with Fly Shop of the Bighorns, there’s something for everyone in this Old West mountain town. The Bighorn Mountains serve as Sheridan’s backyard playground: a remarkable stretch of peaks offering supreme hiking—including the picturesque 4.7-mile Tongue River Canyon trail, winding across rushing waters and amid towering limestone cliffs—and horseback-riding adventures. For a day trip, drive 70 miles west of Sheridan and walk the three-mile round-trip trail to the sacred Medicine Wheel, a stone structure near the summit of Medicine Mountain that’s only accessible during summer months.
Back in town, Sheridan’s polo heritage takes center stage from June through early September, with Sunday matches held at the city’s Big Horn Equestrian Center. To get an up-close look at regional wildlife, visit creekside Wood Kendrick Park, where bison and elk reside full time. The popular green space also boasts a swimming pool and waterslide, as well as a seasonal kiosk serving dozens of ice cream flavors, from cotton candy to cookies and cream.
If you’re up for something more filling, swing by the Welcome Market Hall, a curated food concept space (the prosciutto fig pizza is delicious) occupying Sheridan’s former railroad depot, or opt for pints of Copper Mule cream ale at the always bustling Black Tooth Brewing Company. For whiskey and ribeye, LeDoux Saloon is your place.