- EAT + SLEEP
- TRAVEL TOOLS
Jump out of the car and into adventure in Rock Springs and Green River, conveniently located between Wyoming’s National Parks and just a jaunt away from Utah. Refuel, rest and explore Southwest Wyoming with comfortable places to stay, outdoor activities and exciting things to do on your way to and from the National Parks this winter.
Visitors to Rock Springs are usually drawn by its storied past as a coal mining town where the tracks for the Union Pacific Railroad were laid. Upon further inspection, though, visitors are met with a vibrant cultural hub boasting no shortage of things to see and do all year round. While winter brings snowfall and colder temperatures, Rock Springs is still buzzing with activity.
Downtown Rock Springs is home to a variety of locally owned businesses, including over 20 shops, over ten local restaurants, and two local pubs. Don’t miss excellent options like Crepes & Cafe for lunch, Eve’s for breakfast and Bitter Creek Brewing for a pint or two.
While exploring downtown Rock Springs, be sure to stop by the corner of Elk and North Front Street for a view of the ‘Pronghorn’ Mural. The mural depicts Wyoming’s natural wildlife in a colorful display that makes for the perfect photo background.
Escape the winter chill and head indoors at the WWCC Natural History Museum. You’ll be transported back to a time when dinosaurs roamed Sweetwater County as you get up close with prehistoric pottery, ancient fossils and life-size dinosaur replicas. In the mood for more history? Stop by the Rock Springs Historical Museum for a look into the mining industry that kick started our area.
Get your adrenaline rushing with a trip to the Sweetwater Events Complex for a Rock Springs Moto Cross High Altitude Arena Cross Race. This indoor motocross series includes athletes of all ages. The dirt will be flying, and so will your spirits!
Explore a myriad of hybrid, indoor-outdoor activities at the 45,000-square-foot Rock Springs Civic Center. No matter your skill level, you can take to the 56-foot indoor climbing wall or boulder around. After climbing, soak in the outdoor hot tub or get a game of racquetball in.
Twelve miles away from Rock Springs, Green River is a nature-lover’s paradise with a lively, historic downtown. During the winter, visitors to Green River can cozy up with a hot beverage, travel back in time at the local history museum or layer up for snowy outdoor adventures.
After strolling around charming Green River, consider stopping into the Sweetwater County Historical Museum to learn more about the history and culture of Southwest Wyoming. Discover what life during the westward expansion was like and get an up-close view of antique artifacts and photos. For an outdoor photo op, head to the ‘Spirit of the Wild Mural’ on the side of the CenturyLink Building. In homage to the spirit of Wyoming’s wild side, the mural features colorful horses, a winding river and a railroad.
Find the fresh air along the Green Belt pathway. The plowed trail runs along the river, and wildlife can often be seen from the path. The wide trail is family-friendly–including four-legged friends (on a leash). Or stay active without the chill at the Green River Recreation Center, home to an indoor swimming pool and gym facilities.
Nearby Flaming Gorge is the perfect spot to chase outdoor adventures this winter. From star-gazing and cross-country skiing to snowshoeing on peaceful snow-covered trails, a winter wonderland awaits. At Flaming Gorge Reservoir, you can take part in the Burbot Bash, an ice-fishing competition that takes place every January, or do some year-round trout, kokanee and smallmouth bass fishing.
From erupting geysers and scenic byways to towering waterfalls and majestic mountains, Wyoming’s national parks—Yellowstone and Grand Teton—are home to some of the American West’s most iconic and jaw-dropping natural landscapes. Most visitors experience the busier summer season at Wyoming national parks, but if you’re an adventurer in search of beauty off the beaten path, you owe it to yourself to explore Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks during the spectacular, snow-filled winter months. Make the trip from Rock Springs and Green River for a convenient basecamp.
● Go snowshoeing through the pristine wilderness.
● Cross-country ski on an extensive network of backcountry and groomed trails.
● Take a guided snowmobile or snowcoach tour to Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and other incredible destinations.
● Snowmobile through the park on your own via the non-commercially guided snowmobile program.
● Observe buffalo, bears, wolves, elk and other wildlife among the wintery landscape.
● Watch in awe as steam rises off geyser basins and evaporates into the crisp winter air.
● Take in the glory of Grand Teton National Park as you snowshoe or cross-country ski on Teton Park Road—open exclusively to non-motorized travel from the Taggart Lake Trailhead all the way to Signal Mountain Lodge.
● Visit the National Elk Refuge and book a horse-drawn sleigh ride to get up close and personal with the herd.
● Grab a rod and go ice fishing on Jackson Lake, Jenny Lake or Phelps Lake—just remember your snowshoes or skis if you’re heading to Jenny or Phelps. You’ll need ‘em.
● Book a guided cross-country skiing or snowshoeing tour with one of the park’s seven licensed guide services.
Seeking a warmer winter adventure? From your homebase in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, you’re less than a day’s drive to all five of the national parks in our neighboring state to the south, Utah: Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park and Zion National Park.