Dubois, Wyoming is 1 hour from Jackson, Wyoming, 2 hours from the Grand Teton National Park and 4 hours south of Cody, Wyoming. The French word, Dubois means “voice”, was named after Fred Dubois, an Idaho senator at the time. The town is situated in Wind River Valley, “the valley of the warm winds” by the Shoshone natives. Wind River Valley is beautiful with 2,500-foot, pink-hued rock walls, filled with bighorn sheep and other wildlife. The area has moderate daytime temperatures most of the year, cool in summer and mild in winter. This quiet little town founded in 1914 of just under 1,000 residents is a great little escape in Wyoming.
Many of the first homesteaders who settled here in the late 1870s were cattle or sheep ranchers. Thur the 19th century, the area was visited regularly by fur trappers, explorers and hunters. Butch Cassidy owned a nearby ranch in the 1890s and was a frequent customer at Welty’s General Store in Dubois, still in operation and looks like it did back in 1890 (a sign hangs on the front door “Butch Cassidy visited here-no photos allowed”). The first occupants of the mountains and valleys surrounding what is now Dubois were members of the Sheepeaters, or Native American Mountain Shoshone.
In 1913, the Wyoming Tie and Timber Company opened log milling business in Dubois and was eventually the nation’s largest source of railroad ties. The lumber company closed in 1987. This was one of the reasons the town pushed to have the US Forest Service build the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center.
National Bighorn Sheep Center
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep are plentiful in the Dubois area. In 1993, The National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center was opened to educate about bighorn sheep, conservation of wildlife and wildlands. The Center features full-scale taxidermy bighorn models recreating their habitat along with interactive exhibits about wildlife management.
Headwaters Art Cetner
Many artists, writers, photographers, and musicians are drawn to this remote town for its moderate climate and remarkable scenery. The Headwaters Arts and Conference Center has national art and quilt shows, workshops for songwriters from Skip Ewing. Square dancing and rodeo take place weekly.
Dude Guest Ranches
One of the first dude ranches opened in 1909 west of Dubois-The CM Ranch is one of the oldest dude ranches in the country. We were not able to stay at a dude ranch this trip, but hopefully next time. Read about dude ranches in Dubois at this link – click down to the bottom of the page under “Dude and Guest Ranches” to see a list of all of them
We stayed at Dubois KOA on a 1 room cabin on the Shoshane River and it was one of the best KOA stays we have had besides Livingston KOA. Definitely put both of these KOA on your map if you need a place in these areas. However, the area is known for its dude guest ranches.
On route to Dubois, Wyoming, we stopped at Wyoming Whiskey Distillery which is the first legal distillery in the history of Wyoming and produces traditionally made bourbon. They use all local resources including corn, wheat, and barley. The Whiskey Shop is open weekdays 10 am-5 pm. Tours are conducted on weekdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm. Originally a cattle ranch, their cattle contacted a disease from the Elk-Bison that wiped the herd out, so they had to diversify into whiskey. “Wyoming is our blood and in our whiskey”. Great Whiskey – smooth.
For more information on Wyoming, watch the 1 hour Wyoming PBS video here.
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