Wyoming is home to some of America's most breathtaking scenery, from the snowy Tetons to the canyons of Flaming Gorge. Hundreds of thousands of people visit our state's natural gems, with many choosing to explore the wild beauty of the Wind River Mountains near Riverton. Many of those tourists visiting Riverton come toting the same book: Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains by Joe Kelsey.

Credit: Falcon Guides
Credit: Falcon Guides

Kelsey's name has become synonymous with Wyoming outdoor recreation. His book has sold thousands of copies since publishing in 1994, with updates periodically releasing new information and trails in the Wind River Mountains. In addition, he has written about Wyoming's pristine splendor for other publications and published a second book titled A Place in Which to Search: Summers in the Wind Rivers. Kelsey's work and career have been featured in Brave New World Magazine and Backpacker Magazine (at the whopping age of 75, no less), to name a few.

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To say the least, Kelsey's work has brought a remarkable amount of attention to some of Wyoming's lesser-known regional beauties. In recognition of his work furthering Wyoming's reputation around the world, the University of Wyoming has announced that they will honor Kelsey with their highest distinction; an honorary doctoral degree.

The University described Kelsey as an "ambassador" for the state in a recent press release and indicated that Kelsey's book "has made a significant contribution to the lives of people of Wyoming," through exposing people around the world to our lovely state and increasing tourism.

The award ceremony will coincide with the Commencement Ceremony of the college on May 14th. Kelsey is also scheduled to provide the keynote speech at the graduation ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in the Arena Auditorium.


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