What to do in Boysen State Park

Boysen State Park, located near the center of the state, 100 miles west of Casper. Most of the facilities are around the lake minus two campgrounds which are below the dam along the Wind River. The majority of the park is surrounded by sagebrush covered hills. The elevation is approximately 4,800 feet and relatively dry. The 19,000 acre reservoir offers excellent recreation opportunities. Boysen reservoir holds the state record for walleye at 17 lbs. 6 3/4 oz. The reservoir also offers excellent ice fishing in the winter. Many species of water foul and wildlife may be viewed in the area. Groceries, bait, fuel for boats, campgrounds with some hookups, and fishing licenses are available at the marina at the north end of the reservoir.

Asmus Boysen, the man for whom Boysen Reservoir, Boysen peak, and Boysen State Park were named was born in Copenhagen, Denmark around 1868. As a youngster, he worked his passage to America where he settled in Illinois. In 1889 he married Anna Leet; they had nine children of which four survived: a son Allen and three daughters Helena, Marie and Darlene. They later moved to Iowa. While on a mining exploration trip to Wyoming around the turn of the century Boysen and his party visited the Wind River Canyon. Boysen visioned a dam that could furnish electrical power to the surrounding mines. The water could be used for irrigation. On July 1, 1899 he secured a grazing lease for 78,000 acres from the Shoshone and Arapaho Indians. On March 3, 1905 he exchanged his lease to clear title of 640 acres at the mouth of the Wind River Canyon where he built his dam in 1908. It was estimated it would cost $160,000 to build. It ended up costing $2,000,000. It was unique in that the 710 K W power plant operated until 1925 when the floods filled up the turbines with silt. When the reservoir threatened to flood the railroad, part of the dam was removed. The rest of the dam was removed in 1948. Part of the original dam can be seen on the cliff wall adjacent to the tunnels at the north end of the Lower Wind River Canyon.

Most of the facilities are around the lake but two campgrounds are below the dam along the Wind River. Boysen reservoir holds the state record for walleye at 17 lbs. 6 3/4 oz. Many type of water foul and wildlife may be viewed in the area. Groceries, bait, fuel for boats, campgrounds with some hookups, and fishing licenses are available at the marina at the north end of the reservoir. Access to park facilities are on both Highway 20 on the east side of the reservoir and on Highway 26 on the south.

Recreation
The 19,000 acre reservoir offers excellent recreation opportunities. The reservoir offers fishing ice fishing, camping, boating, swimming, and skiing on the lake. In addition to all these opportunities one could take a white water rafting trip through the Wind River Canyon. Tour the dinosaur museum in Thermopolis or any of the other several museums in the area, visit the Wind River Indian Reservation, Study the geological formations throughout the canyon or view the wildlife and look for elusive big horn sheep in the canyon.

Location
Where is Boysen State Park? It is located near the center of the state 100 miles west of Casper. Access to park facilities are both on highway US 20 on the east side of the reservoir and US 26 for the south and west side of the reservoir. The park is located at the south end of the Wind River Canyon and covers 40,000 acres.

Climate
The climate in Wyoming changes with the topography. Generally the western mountains and basins receive large amounts of precipitation and create a rain shadow for eastern Wyoming. Most of the precipitation occurs during the winter months and falls in the form of snow. Temperatures are cooler in this region than the eastern part of the state, because of the generally higher elevation.

The majority of the park is surrounded by sagebrush covered hills. The elevation is about 4,800 feet and relatively dry.

Address
Boysen Route
Shoshoni, WY 82649

Phone: 307-876-2796

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  • Boysen State Park Travel Q&A

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