History

Namesake

The town of Powell, Wyoming is named for a man who never stepped foot on the land of his namesake. He died before the town was created, but without his life’s work, the source of Powell’s vibrancy and community connectedness wouldn’t exist.

John Wesley Powell’s portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The son of a preacher from England, he moved through his life with a curiosity toward the natural world, and looked to science for answers to improve society. He was the second Director of US Geological Survey, the founding Director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institute, and one of the thirty-three founding members of the National Geographic Society. John Wesley Powell created the Cosmos Club in his home, whose stated goals were to advance its members in science, literature, and art.

Powell enlisted in the Union army as a cartographer and military engineer, and fought in four major battles in the Civil war. He subsequently lost half of his right arm in battle. He was a professor, a geologist, and an adventurer.

In his "Report on the Lands of the Arid Regions of the United States," and in many lectures and speeches to politicians, he outlined the need for the orderly development of irrigable land in the American West. He insisted that a community should maintain the irrigation systems within an arid dry climate to maintain orderly control of water rights. He also outlined that the average ranch needs to be 2,560 acres to graze in a climate like Powell’s.

The City of Powell embodies so many qualities of the man named John Wesley Powell. Our Heart Mountain is a geological wonder. The top of the mountain originated 40 miles away, landing on its current site 49 million years ago. The Big Horn Basin is home to ancient migrations of wildlife and Native Americans, with historic sites like the Medicine Wheel, Legend Rocks, Yellowstone Lake, and more.

We prioritize education and technology, with our schools consistently ranking at the top of the nation. Every K-12 school has an active robotics club. Powell is the home of Northwest College and offers degrees in agribusiness, outdoor rec, and nursing, among other programs.

Adventure is our weekend plan. Powell is a basecamp to Wyoming’s outdoor recreation mecca, with hiking, biking, and kayaking opportunities everywhere.

Good Eats

What are you in the mood to eat today? Want to try a local favorite or play it safe with a known establishment?
Either way, we’ve got you covered in Powell, Wyoming. We are happy to serve you breakfast, lunch, and dinner with
a smile and some local western banter.

Coffee Shops

Coffee Shops

Uncommon Grounds

The most uncommon things about Uncommon Grounds is the friendly service and the coffee, of course. Get a cup of joe and a tasty treat. This place is great to meet a client, a friend, or your special someone.

Gestalt at the Polar Plant

Gestalt is more of an arts center and supply store then a coffee shop. That said, they have a killer coffee bar and very tasty treats to eat.

Breakfast
Lunch
Lunch & Drinks
Dinner
Dinner & Drinks
Quickserve & Takeout
Entertainment and a Meal
Food Trucks