The thing about fishing spots is that more often than not, the ones you’ve never heard of are the best. Fossil Basin is one of those “if you know, you know” destinations. Even better, there’s plenty to do beyond the lakes and rivers to make your winter escape complete.
You may choose to plan your visit around the annual Kemmerer Lion’s Club Ice Fishing Derby on Viva Naughton Reservoir, but no matter when you visit, you can expect thick ice, helpful locals, and a pile of fishing stories to take home with you.
Viva Naughton Reservoir is located about 30 minutes from the town of Kemmerer, and there is additional fishing along the way—bring your waders and fly-fishing equipment in addition to your auger and jig. Learn more on our fishing page. Don’t forget your license and your camera!
It’s fun to tool around on the lake, hauling your trailer full of fishing equipment (and fish), but it’s way more fun to just grab the throttle and play in the powder. The Viva Naughton Trailhead about 20 miles north of town is your launching point for miles of groomed and powder-filled wintery smiles. Over 325 miles of trail stretch between Kemmerer and Afton, Wyoming, so pack your sense of adventure, as well as a lunch, water, extra layers, a map or GPS, and a beacon and receiver. Find more information about trail conditions, snowmobile areas, and permitting on the Wyoming Trails site.
The Viva Naughton Trailhead is also your starting point if your skis are human-powered. The Viva Naughton Trail is four miles of groomed trail just for skiers. And beyond that, skiers can embark on the 300-plus miles of snowmobile trail, so the options are practically endless.
The gravity-fueled adventure seeker can get their thrills at Pine Creek Ski Resort. This local hill, located near Cokeville, offers more than 30 runs for varying skill levels. You won’t be waiting in line to hop on the lift, and the peaceful hill will take you back to the way skiing used to be. When was the last time you had a run all to yourself? All this, just an hour from Kemmerer in the heart of Fossil Basin.
Drinks, Dinner & a Cozy Bed
At the end of a long winter’s adventure, the time comes when all you want is a beverage, a hot meal, and a warm bed. Head back into Kemmerer to find multiple bars and eateries within walking distance. We think a hot slice of pizza (or three) from the Scroungy Moose really hits the spot in this case, and you’ll find a few choices of comfy accommodations to choose from in town.