Bozeman Vs. Lander

As the headquarters of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) at the base of the Wind River Mountains, the pint-sized metropolis of Lander, Wyoming, has a lot going for it. It's definitely the smallest town to ever challenge us, but does this tiny outdoor titan have what it takes to dethrone mighty Bozeman? Let's find out.

Vertical-Based Festivals
Bozeman has world-class ice, Lander has world-class rock, and every year each community gathers to celebrate that fact. Both are amazing, but until our Ice Fest gets sponsored by New Belgium and adds a dyno competition in City Park with live music, we might need to give it to the Landerites… barely. Edge: Lander.

This one isn’t even fair: we have our own backyard resort AND "The Biggest Skiing in America" just minutes away. Too bad Lander, but a three-hour drive to Jackson Hole just doesn’t cut it. Edge: Bozeman.

Three hundred days of sun a year? Wow. I bet they don’t get softball-sized hail either. Edge: Lander.

Dating Scene
If you want a girlfriend in central Wyoming, you might just want to bring one with you (or make friends with a sheep farmer). Sorry Lander, but in terms of youthful influx, your Catholic College prudes and hairy NOLS hippies can’t match our yearly collegiate shipment of lusty co-eds. Edge: Bozeman.

Both places are doin’ their share of conservin’, but with the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Travelers for Open Land, and dozens more like-minded conservation groups, it seems like we’re trying just a little harder to hold onto what we’ve got. Edge: Bozeman.

Fly Fishing
This is another close call, but you can’t drive 30 miles without crashing your car into a world-class trout stream around here. And while we’re on the subject of rivers, here’s a quick spelling lesson, Lander: the word agie doesn’t make a “zha” sound. Duh. Edge: Bozeman.

The Little Things
Year-round fireworks? A Main Street with a left-turn lane? Drive-thru liquor stores? No state income tax? Camping in City Park for free? Any town where you can scoop up sparkler-bomb fixins in February and purchase booze without getting out of your car has got a few things figured out. Edge: Lander.

Winner: Bozeman! It was close though; sorry Lander… you might have proven that size doesn’t matter, but Bozeman is still bigger where it counts.