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Casper, Wyoming

Though founded in 1859, it was not until the discovery of oil in 1890 that Casper became a hub of activity and commerce. And in spite of the crash in 1929, oil still flowed through feeder lines into Casper. Today, oil, along with light manufacturing, coal, bentonite, agriculture, uranium mining and tourism, continues to contribute to the area’s economy.

If you love outdoor fun, then Casper has several places you are sure to enjoy. The Edness K. Wilkins State Park provides swimming, fishing, hiking and picnicking in its 300 acres along the Oregon Trail and the famous Platte River. The Lee McCune Braille Trail is 1/3 of a mile long and can be explored by the sighted and the visually impaired.The self-guided trail has signs in Braille and English at 36 interpretive stations.

At Casper Mountain and Beartrap Meadows Park you can go exploring on the mountain bike trails, picnicking, hiking, and camping. If you're planning a hike get some great tips at our hiking blog. There are also trails for snowmobiling and Nordic ski trails. Other snow activity can be found at Hagadon Ski Area. Here, you will find 2 double lifts, a Pomalift, a ski school, and rentals. The longest run is ¾ of a mile and has a 600 foot drop.

To get in touch with the past, visit Independence Rock which is also called the “Register of the Desert." The 193 foot tall rock is inscribed with over 50,000 pioneer names, some of which are over 100 years old. The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, established in 2002, has exhibits on topics ranging from packing for a cross country wagon train trip to fording a river by wagon. You will learn about the trails-the Oregon, the California, the Mormon, the Pony Express, the Pioneer- and you can follow part of the trail that runs through the center’s property. The Devil’s Gate is a landmark along the Mormon Trail and commemorates where 145 people died in an early, difficult winter.

If you love viewing the night sky, be sure to visit the Casper Planetarium. They have 3, one hour shows each night from June to September and from Thanksgiving to December 24th.

Casper Demographics

Casper Population: 52,089 as of 2007
Climate: Casper gets 13 inches of rain per year. Snowfall is 52 inches. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is 75. On average, there are 220 sunny days per year in Casper. The July high is around 89 degrees. The January low is 15.
Cost of Living / Economy: The unemployment rate is 2.80%, with job growth of 1.22%. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 21.03%. Sales tax rate is 5.00%. Income tax is 0.00%. The income per capita is $22,922, which includes all adults and children. The median household income is $43,079. Compared to the rest of the country, Casper's cost of living is 10.49% Lower than the U.S. average.
Education: Schools spend $5,604 per student. There are 14 pupils per teacher, 437 students per librarian, and 276 children per counselor.
Real Estate / Housing: The median home value is $219,200. Home appreciation is -0.27% over the last year. Renters make up 30.66% of the population. 6.80% of houses and apartments are unoccupied.

Photo Credits: Independence Rock by Jim Bowen; Casper Pan by Justin Brockie