Sweetwater County in Southwest Wyoming is characterized by wide open spaces – 10,500 square miles of room to escape from the hustle and bustle of every day. Located halfway between Yellowstone and Canyonlands National Parks, Sweetwater Country is known as “Flaming Gorge Country.” The area is characterized by the 91-square-mile Flaming Gorge Lake, the famed Green River, expansive deserts, and rugged mountains.
Sweetwater County is best experienced in summer, when outdoor recreation opportunities are at their peak. Get there via The Rock Springs-Sweetwater County airport which was recently ranked 37th on a list of 322 airports from around the country by Travelmath.com.
Here are the top seven ways to spend summer days in Sweetwater County.
Lake Flaming Gorge: Visitors can enjoy the same recreational opportunities as Lake Powell offers, without the crowds. For this reason, the lake has become a haven for boating, jet skiing, waterskiing and fishing.
Killpecker Sand Dunes: Nature’s sandbox--the huge sand dune field--spans 100 miles from east to west and reaches heights of up to 100 feet. At 11,000 acres, it’s the second-largest moving sand dune field in the word. A herd of rare desert elk found nowhere else in North America makes its home here. The dunes are a popular spot for hiking and exploring the area on ATVs.
White Mountain Petroglyphs: Explore history through the carvings in the sandstone walls of White Mountain that beckon history buffs, photographers and hikers. The etchings are the story book of the Plains and Great Basin Native Americans who lived in the area up to 1,000 years ago.
Mountain Biking: Sweetwater County features some of the nation’s most sought-after mountain bike trails. Wilkins Peak Bike Trail System, accessed on the southeastern side of Green River, has been named the top trail system in Wyoming. The extensive, well-maintained trails have something for any rider – from beginners to experts.
Camping: Sweetwater County has 17 campgrounds and RV parks, allowing plenty of opportunity to get out and breathe fresh air. The campsites offer something for everyone – gorgeous views, RV connections, perfectly flat tent pads and just the right amount of roughing it, depending on the site choosen.
Whitewater Fun: Green River runs through the town of Green River and can be accessed from many points throughout the county. The Whitewater Park and North Channel Tubing section at Expedition Island Park are fun for frolicking. Near the outdoor Splash Park there is a lazy river and tubing channel that features a series of drops and three large pools. The Castle Falls Feature, a state-of-the-art whitewater park and play area, is located at the southeast tip of Expedition Island Park.
Fishing: In Sweetwater County anglers have their pick of tail waters, reservoirs, streams and a river that lead to some of the best coldwater fishing in the country. The Green River runs into Lake Flaming Gorge, which is the largest reservoir in Wyoming and offers Burbot, as well as four types of cutthroat trout.
Information and photo courtesy of Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, and Jenissa Meredith, Sweetwater Travel & Tourism.
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