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Sweetwater County, Wyo., Reveals Top 3 Ways to
View Wildlife & Foliage This Fall Aug 01, 2013

Southwest Wyoming Home to Wild Horses, Rare Elk, National Wildlife Refuge

Sweetwater County, Wyo. – Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism today announced the top three ways to view wildlife against the backdrop of fabulous foliage this fall.

Sweetwater County, located in southwest Wyoming, is home to wild horses, rare desert elk found nowhere else in the United States, and a national wildlife refuge. The landscapes in Sweetwater County range from high desert plains to colorful canyons and majestic mountains, which become even more multi-hued in October. The blazing fall colors play against the plentiful wildlife in their natural habitats for a remarkable viewing experience. 

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1965, the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge encompasses more than 27,000 acres. The name “Seedskadee” originated from the Shohone Indian word “Sisk-a-dee-agie,” which means “river of the prairie hen.” The refuge is in an area that is an important migration route and nesting area for a variety of migratory waterfowl and passerine birds. Here, visitors can see a variety of bird species, deer, moose and other animals. The best viewing is on the auto tour route and river corridors.

Rich in historic and cultural resources, the area was once used by nomadic Indian tribes, fur trappers and early pioneers. Hundreds of thousands of pioneers crossed the Green River along the Oregon and Mormon Trails on what is now the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. Ruts of these trails can still be seen today in the refuge and other parts of Sweetwater County, which has more miles of still-visible pioneer trails than any other place in the U.S.

Wild Horses
The Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop Tour – commencing from either Green River or Rock Springs – is the best way to catch a glimpse of the wild horses that call Sweetwater County home. The horses are living examples of the wide-open landscape and untamed frontier spirit that is a hallmark of southwestern Wyoming. The current herds are primarily decedents of the Spanish horses that were introduced into the area in the 1500s.

Watch for wild horses between Rock Springs and Fourteen-Mile Hill, and all the way across the top of White Mountain. Although this is a relatively dry area with seemingly little vegetation, it is home to a surprising array of wild creatures including wild horses, antelope, desert elk, deer, rabbits, coyotes, hawks, eagles and sage grouse, among others.

This route also offers several scenic overlooks of the area’s prominent features, such as Pilot Butte, Boar’s Tusk, Killpecker Sand Dunes, Steamboat Mountain, North and South Table Mountains, Leucite Hills, Aspen Mountain, Wilkins Peak, and the Overland Trail and Union Pacific railroad corridors. The Wyoming, Wind River and Uinta mountain ranges are in full, glorious view along the way.

Rare Desert Elk
The Red Desert of Sweetwater County supports an abundance of wildlife, despite its scarcity of water and vegetation. The largest migratory herd of pronghorn antelope in the lower 48 states and a rare desert elk herd, said to be the world's largest, live in the desert of Sweetwater County. The best place to catch a glimpse of these herds is in the area surrounding Killpecker Sand Dunes. While here, recreationists can hike and drive off-road vehicles.   

Sweetwater County Travel Tools