The community was named after a New York health resort because of the natural hot springs found in the Saratoga area. The natural hot water is clear and almost odorless. Its medicinal value ranks with the famous springs of Germany.
For centuries the Saratoga-Encampment Valley was loved and enjoyed by many Indian tribes. It was not until the early years of the 19th century that white men began to penetrate the area. In the 1800’s America headed west in droves and in the course of time thousands came through on their way to the Pacific. Jim Bridger picked the road, however very few used this route until Ben Holladay constructed a road for the Overland Stage Company.
The white immigrants found it windy, cold, disagreeable, barren, and ugly and a good place to leave behind. As time went on, some hearty people took time to enjoy the magnificent vistas, the lush valley, the tremendous herds of big game, the incredible fishing in the Platte River, and the hot springs. The vast and remote land set the bounds on the community’s early growth and because of its very character, agriculture became the leading industry.
In the past, Saratoga relied on timber milling, copper mining, sheep herding, and a local supply depot. Ranching however took the lead and remained in that position until well into the next century. In 1884 Fenimore C. Chatterton named the town of Saratoga after an Iroquois Indian word Sarachtoue, which translates to “place of miraculous water in the rock.” Saratoga still sits atop one of the most active mineral hot springs in Wyoming.
Today, Saratoga is a popular tourist destination spot for hunters, birdwatchers, fisherman and shoppers. Saratoga has quality shops that offer the best and most unique items. The Hot Springs is a major draw for the area. People drive for hundred of miles to take advantage of the free hot springs. Saratoga has the best blue ribbon trout fishing in the country with over 100 miles of Freestone River flowing throughout the Platte Valley. With several public accesses along the river you can fish on your own or hire one of the many outfitters to take you.
Breathtaking views attract artists, photographers and nature lovers alike. Surrounding Saratoga are several mountains including Elk Mountain, the Snowy Range Mountains and the Sierra Madre Mountains. Hundreds of mile of hiking trails for the novice and experienced are scattered throughout the Medicine Bow Routt National Forest. For winter sportsman, the snowmobile trails are second to none. With over 300 miles of trails to choose from, you can snowmobile all day without feeling crowded.
Click here to read more about the history of Saratoga Resort.