Green River and Rock Springs Wyoming
Mountain biking outside Green River with an incredible backdrop
A thrilling tubing trip on Lake Flaming Gorge
A young wakeboarder shows off his skills on Lake Flaming Gorge
Father and son greet a dinosaur skeleton at Western Wyoming Community College’s Natural History Museum
Wildlife watching in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
Hiking to the White Mountain Petroglyphs
A peaceful moment spent fishing as the sun goes down over the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
A deer camouflaged against the snowy landscape in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
Posing for a funny photo in downtown Rock Springs
Outdoor adventure and Western history in Southwest Wyoming
On land and water, outdoor activities are a way of life in Sweetwater County. Singletracks.com voted the Wilkins Peak Trail System their top pick for mountain biking in the entire state. The trails are well-maintained with options suitable for all skill levels. On the border between Wyoming and Utah, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area hosts a bounty of activity: biking, off-roading, hiking, camping, wildlife watching, winter sports and all types of water recreation on Wyoming’s largest reservoir. Killpecker Sand Dunes, the second-largest active sand dune field in the world, is a magnet for ATV enthusiasts, but you can also hike, ski or sled down the dunes. Killpecker’s unique topography also features unusual rock formations such as Boar’s Tusk, a 120-meter-tall remnant of an extinct volcano. Visit between April and October to enjoy sublime weather.
Sweetwater County is famous for the local population of wild horses – approximately 1,500 in all. Follow the 38.6-kilometer Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop, a self-guided tour through the horses’ prime terrain. You’re also likely to get photos of antelope, desert elk, deer, hawks and eagles. Stand in one place long enough at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge and you’re bound to see otter, eagles, elk, deer, sage grouse or moose. See animals in action at one of the many rodeo events throughout the year including the National High School Rodeo Association finals in July. It’s one of the largest outdoor rodeos in the world with heart-pounding events such as roping, barrel racing, bull riding and steer wrestling.
From Ancient History to the Wild West
Sweetwater County’s history spans from dinosaurs to gold mining to cowboys. Start way back – about 58 million years ago – with the remarkably preserved fossils and five life-sized dinosaur replicas at Western Wyoming Community College’s Natural History Museum in Rock Springs. The White Mountain Petroglyphs display Shoshone tribal carvings from 1,000 to 200 years ago.
Check out the old mining equipment at Reliance Tipple, see a gold mine and pioneer-era structures at nearby South Pass State Historic Site and plan a detour to view the real tracks of the Oregon Trail, Pony Express Route, the notorious Outlaw Trail and others – Sweetwater County has more still-visible pioneer tracks than any other place in the USA. Back in Green River, Expedition Island was the launching point for two important explorations in 1869 and 1871. Today, it’s popular for kayaking, bicycling, tubing, and its playgrounds and special events.
The 1,500 wild horses in Pilot Butte are descended from horses reintroduced to the area by cattle ranchers in the early 1800s.
Do you hear what I hear? Killpecker Sand Dunes is one of the few “singing” sand dunes in the world. The mysterious sound is caused by the shifting and sliding sands.
Sweetwater County is home to the most kilometers of still-visible pioneer trails in the USA.