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Casper is the second largest city in Wyoming, which is somewhat surprising once you know that the total population of Casper is 49,644. Named after Fort Casper, the post built to protect the Oregon Trail in 1859, the city was at its peak of popularity after oil was discovered in Salt Creek Oil Field in 1889. Salt Creek Oil Field was then a large provider of oil until the well dried in the 1920s. Casper is now a quiet city that somehow resembles a small town.
Fort Casper Museum is one of the main and most popular attractions in the city. The reconstructed fort sits at a major crossing in the Oregon Trail, and offers visitors a chance to see what day-to-day life in a fort was like. Visitors can tour the infantry barracks, commissary, laundry room, blacksmith shop, and sutler's store. On the grounds of the fort, visitors can see a toll bridge, carriages, and a Pacific Telegraph company office. There is also a collection of wagons and a memorial cemetery on the grounds.
People visiting Casper should also take advantage of the many attractions created with the American West in mind. From the local rodeo shows and Western bars and cafes, to riding stables and historical hiking trails, Casper pays homage to American history in its own special way. For those visiting in summer, Casper hosts the annual Pony Express Re-Ride, where visitors can watch a reenactment of the early days of the post office.
Casper is also home to art galleries, theaters, and other cultural attractions. The Crimson Dawn Museum is a combination of outdoor grounds and small indoor exhibitions where visitors can explore local legends and listen to urban myths. A planetarium also offers year-round fun for those visiting Casper.
Biking trails abound in Casper, offering visitors to chance to enjoy the outdoor scenery. Garden Creek Falls is one of the main outdoor destinations, and both hikers and riders can access the place by taking to the trails on Rotary Park. Small mountains dot the landscape, many of which are dotted with picnic facilities along the way to the top.