About Us

Welcome to The Museum of the American West, the only institution which celebrates the different groups of people who utilized the critical geography of what is now central Wyoming to shape the American West. Established in 1998, the Museum of the American West (MAW) is a unique, not-for-profit, outdoor/indoor museum complex that educates the public by presenting the unmatched natural and cultural history of the Wind River and Sweetwater Valleys and the South Pass region of the Rocky Mountains. Strategically located on 8.61 acres adjoining US Hwy 287 at 1445 Main in Lander, Wyoming, adjacent to Lander schools and the central commercial district, the MAW enjoys a natural setting along a sparkling stream with the magnificent Wind River Range in the background. In this setting, visitors are provided an engaging experience as the museum unfolds the vivid and unforgettable cultural history of Pioneers and Native Americans on the western frontier.

Mission Statement

The Museum of the American West commits its resources and energies to promote, establish, and maintain a museum complex dedicated to preserve and perpetuate the natural and cultural history of the South Pass, Sweetwater, and Wind River Valley areas. With the help of our collaborative partners, we aim to offer sustainable museum services including exhibits, events, lease/rental services, and educational programming and opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages thereby creating a visitor destination that provides a positive, quality cultural heritage experience. In a collaborative partnership with the Fremont County Pioneer Association (FCPA) and the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes of the Wind River Reservation, we offer our resources and services to the public schools and local and regional museums as an integral part of our mission.

Vision Statement

The Museum of the American West highlights a nationally significant cultural heritage geographic area through presentation and interpretation of relationships among four distinct cultures that occupy the nearby Wind River and Sweetwater Valleys. These are the Eastern Shoshone, the Northern Arapaho, the pioneers and their descendants, and others attracted to this community. MAW and it collaborative partners bring an authentic cultural history to life for many generations of residents and visitors, providing an opportunity to broaden appreciation and understanding of the significant role this area played in the expansion of the American West.