7 Must-See Sights on the Way to Wyoming's National Parks
Stop In Rock Springs & Green River for Can’t-Miss Attractions
A family road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is among the most quintessential of American vacations. With the freedom of the open highway, the endless blue skies and the jagged mountains, abundant wildlife and extraordinary geysers at the end of the journey, it is no wonder that the trip is so popular with travelers the world over.
1. Lake Flaming Gorge
The canyons of the Green River have long enthralled explorers ranging from John Wesley Powell to modern-day outdoor adventurers. One of the most accessible and majestic stretches of this river can be found at Lake Flaming Gorge, a massive reservoir that stretches across the Utah-Wyoming border. Here, red-colored buttes and sage-dotted hills line a crystalline lake that delights boaters, anglers and campers year-round. With zero light pollution, the area is also a haven for stargazers.
2. Historic Pioneer Trails
No other place in the United States has more miles of still-visible pioneer trails than Sweetwater County. Your pilgrimage West may be of a very different nature these days, but one glance of the Oregon, Overland or Pony Express Trails will leave an indelible mark on your journey.
3. White Mountain Petroglyphs
If you think the pioneer trails of Sweetwater County are cool, wait until you see the petroglyphs on White Mountain near Rock Springs. Here, an assortment of etchings into sandstone — created by the ancestors of the present-day Plains Indians — capture the narrative of life for Native Americans in the area some 200 years ago.
4. Fossils of an Ancient Lake
Go further back in time, and discover what life was like in the area 58 million years ago at the Natural History Museum at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, which holds a massive collection of fossils from Lake Gosiute, an ancient lake that once covered much of Sweetwater County.
5. Killpecker Sand Dunes
Just outside the town of Eden, you’ll find the peculiar landscape of the Killpecker Sand Dunes. Home to the only herd of desert elk in the world, the area is a biological, as well as geological, anomaly. Photographers will delight in the area’s simple beauty, while ATV riders will have a blast riding on the sugary sand.
6. Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
If you are giddy at the prospect of Yellowstone National Park’s wildlife viewing, then stopping by Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge will serve as a nice taste of what’s to come. Bring your binoculars for trumpeter swan, prairie falcon, greater sage grouse and antelope, or pursue trout in the Green River, which offers excellent fishing.
7. Pilot Butte Wild Horses
Between Rock Springs and Green River you may see one of the most iconic images of the American West — wild horses on the range. The area is home to an abundant assortment of other animals, especially antelope, but it’s these wild horses that stir the imagination most.