Way down in the southwest corner of Wyoming (just 70 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah) you will find a great little town to retire in Evanston, Wyoming, in the Bear River Valley. Known for it’s local wildlife, you can easily find elk, deer, bison and birds. And those who enjoy the great outdoors with fishing, golf, horse racing, walking, hiking, or bike rides will have plenty of opportunity. This little town of 12,000 just has it all. The air is perfectly clean, the streams are crystal clear and the scenery is gorgeous. And Evanston has 300 days of sunshine every year!
Those who chose Evanston will have plenty to do. The Bear River Greenway has bicycle trails and walking paths right along the river. Explore the downtown areas National Historic District. Go see the restoration work underway at the last remaining roundhouse on the original Union Pacific Railroad between Omaha and Sacramento. There are a number of museums in the area where you can learn about early settlement of the area. The town has a horse track with races and betting and more than 20 parks and outdoor-recreation areas. The Purple Sage Golf Center (18 holes) has a Bar and Grill and a great view of the countryside. Fort Bridger State Historic Site is near-by as is the Flaming National Recreation Area. There is also the ghost town of Piedmont where you will see abandoned charcoal kilns.
One of the most interesting places we’ve found is the Fossil Butte National Monument (go from dawn to dusk – any time but in the winter) and go to the visitor’s center. You will see videos about the area, fossils as old as 52 million years, and the work being done to uncover these specimens. Take an interpretive trail hike or attend a ranger program. Digging in the park for fossils is strictly prohibited (leave it to the experts!) as they are being carefully documented, catalogued, stored and used for scientific study. There are commercial sites outside the park where you can dig for yourself, complete with tools and instructions.
Evanston has four beautiful seasons! In the winter, you can head off in a snowmobile, go cross country skiing on miles of groomed trails. Or you can go ice fishing, dog sledding, or wildlife viewing. The town has two big ponds for ice skating – rentals area available. Take a sleigh ride! The Spring is a great time to walk the Bear River Greenway – Evanston’s river playground. This is where to go to see deer, beaver, muskrat as well as all kinds of birds. In the Summer, the Greenway is a place for fishing, Boating, walking or hiking the nature trails. You can attend a rodeo, a Celtic Fair, or drive the “Tracks across Wyoming” following the trail taken by the Mormons on their way to Utah, or a pony express trail or take in some railroad history. The fall is time for the leaves to change and enjoy the harvest festivals or visit some of the many stores downtown. There are fossil souvenir shops, western wear stores, galleries, restaurants and all kinds of shopping.
Some of the events in Evanston include a dog sled race and Chinese New Year Table Tennis Tournament (both in February), a chili cook off and Young Musicians Festival (March), Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, a Celtic Festival (June), 4th of July Festival, a Music Arts and Technology Camp (100 classes for all ages) in July. August is a big month with a Charity Hot Rod Run, the model train Roadhouse Festival, the Evanston Cowboy Days Rodeo and the Fort Bridger Mountain Man Rendezvous. There is also a Christmas Parade and a parade of lights. So much to do here!
But what would it cost to live in Evanston? The median value of an owner-occupied home is $190,100. There is no personal income tax in Wyoming! We found rentals in the $900-1200 range. The crime rate is so low it almost doesn’t appear on the graph. The Evanston Regional Hospital, a 42 bed facility, has an ER and is a full service, Joint Commission Accredited, facility. There is a municipal airport and larger airports are 45 minutes away in Park City, Utah, or 70 minutes away in Salt Lake City. There is a Community College in town with classes for seniors life long learning. The weather averages a high in January of 31.2 F and in July it jumps up to 81 degrees.
If you are into country living, four seasons, plenty to do, Evanston just might be the place to spend your retirement or even go for a season. There are two nice RV parks in town.
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Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!