Visit Sweetwater County

4 Extreme Adventures in Southwest Wyoming

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Many visit Southwest Wyoming for its vast, diverse landscapes and natural beauty, offering the perfect setting for outdoor recreation. In addition to a plethora of family-friendly activites, skilled outdoorsmen and women can find a variety of ways to to get off the grid or seek some thrills. From off-roading to backpacking, check out these four extreme adventures when traveling to Rock Springs and Green River.

1. Hiking Adobe Town

Known as the crowning jewel of the Red Desert, Adobe Town is an isolated and remote destination that should only be visited by experienced recreationists. Comprised of colorful badlands and desert flora and fauna, the Red Desert offers opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, camping, wildlife viewing and photography in the backcountry. Learn more about planning your adventure to Adobe Town.

2. Off-Roading at the Killpecker Sand Dunes

Catch some air and some speed at the world's second largest active sand dunes. Formed by the high winds of the Great Divide Basin, the Killpecker Sand Dunes are a playground for all ages. In addition to wildlife viewing and hiking, discover a more extreme way to enjoy the dunes by bringing your off-road vehicle. With some dunes reaching more than 100 feet in height, you'll be sure the feel the adrenaline when ATVing or OHVing in Southwest Wyoming. Stay overnight by camping at the Killpecker Sand Dunes Open Play Area Campground located on BLM lands. 

3. Whitewater Rafting the Green River

Prefer water sports when it comes to high-intensity adventure? The town of Green River is home to a whitewater park, Expedition Island located along the banks of the Green River. Practice your whitewater paddling techniques along two different channels featuring both challenging rapids and family-friendly wading pools.  Take the south channel at Expedition Island for a more difficult plunge that will test your kayaking skills.

4. Backpacking the Great Divide Basin

Did you know the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) runs through Southwest Wyoming and parts of Sweetwater County? Part of the Red Desert, this unique section of the trail is known as the Great Divide Basin and is unlike the rest of the trail's mountainous terrain. Here, the trail splits in two directions before rejoining, forming a bowl in the mountain range. Millions of years ago, Lake Gosiute filled the Great Divide Basin and the Green River Basin—leaving behind fossils from the Eocene era. The desert terrain has no major topographic landmarks and is characterized by native shrubs, saltflats and high winds.

Explore the CDT just north of Rock Springs and Green River, by the historic mining town of South Pass City. The California, Oregon, Mormon and Pony Express trails also pass through this historic town. From South Pass, you can hike or backpack along the CDT by traveling northwest toward the Sweetwater Guard Station or southeast toward Sweetwater Bridge. Two BLM campgrounds are located in the area for overnight trips including the Atlantic City Campground and Big Atlantic Gulch Campground. Hike a few miles or backpack for a few nights along the CDT in Southwest Wyoming—the choice is yours! 

Know Before You Go

Most of these adventures are true “off the grid experiences,” and cell service is limited! Make sure you have extra water and food; a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle with thick tires (and a spare tire) to traverse the dirt roads; extra fuel; GPS; and BLM map. Do not attempt to visit the area when conditions are wet. Let someone know where you are headed and when you plan to return.

Lastly, remember to adventure responsibly by following leave no trace principles, learning about local history and more. For more information and help planning your adventure in Southwest Wyoming, visit the Explore Rock Springs & Green River, Wyoming Visitor Center.

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©THE SWEETWATER COUNTY JOINT TRAVEL AND TOURISM BOARD 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.