Wildlife Viewing in Sweetwater County
Bring Your Binoculars
From trophy game mammals to migratory birds, Rock Springs and Green River offer ample opportunity to view more than 800 species of Wyoming wildlife. Visit the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge or explore our wide open spaces such as Little Mountain and Flaming Gorge Country. Here’s everything you need to know to view the wildlife in Sweetwater County.
Wyoming Wildlife Species
Wyoming boasts some 400 species of birds, with nearly 200 hundred of them staying year-round in Wyoming and the other half migrating to and from their wintering grounds. A 1918 federal treaty protects most bird species worldwide, but Wyoming does offer some upland game bird and migratory game bird hunting.
The state has some 50 native fish species and 30 nonnative fish species, including Kokanee salmon, which can be seen during their annual spawning runs. If you visit Green River during late August through November you can witness one of nature’s most-spectacular fish spawning in both the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
Note: It is illegal to fish for or snag spawning kokanee and many sections of the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir are closed to taking kokanee during this time. (Please refer to the current Wyoming Fishing Regulations).
Wyoming has approximately 122 species of mammals, including those classified as big game animals: mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, Shiras moose, mountain goat and bighorn sheep (a.k.a. mountain sheep). Wyoming’s trophy game animals include black bear and mountain lion. You can find black bears and mountain lions on Little Mountain south of Rock Springs, but keep your distance!
Amphibians & Reptiles
Wyoming has more than 40 amphibians and reptiles, but only two poisonous snakes—the prairie rattlesnake and the midget-faded rattlesnake.
Where to View Wildlife in Rock Springs & Green River
One of Sweetwater County’s top places to see the wildlife is along the mighty Green River. Some of the mammals found near the Green River include: Mule deer, river otter, Shiras Moose (in the fall or early winter months), red squirrel, badger, striped skunk (hopefully from a huge distance), ground squirrels, beaver, muskrat, cottontail rabbit, coyote, red fox, and, in the evening, little brown and big brown bats feeding on the insects above the river. Birders will delight in the variety of species to be found including ducks, Canada goose, bald and golden eagles, osprey, turkey vultures, magpies, swallows, sparrows, American robin, and warblers.
Visit Expedition Island in Green River and walk onto the Trona Bridge. Follow the trail along the Green River another three miles to FMC Park. The trail is easy to walk or ride on and is also wheelchair accessible. In addition, there is a one-mile nature hike at Scotts Bottom Nature Area where you can view wildlife and enjoy peace and quiet.
Bring a pair of binoculars to ensure you don’t miss a wildlife spotting. You might also want to bring along a field guide or two!