Wyoming December 04, 2017
Discover This Underrated But Devastatingly Gorgeous Wyoming County
Some of Wyoming’s most underrated areas also happen to be the best spots for discovering the Cowboy State’s hidden treasures. Sweetwater County is one such place. Situated on the rugged high plains in the southwest corner of the state, Sweetwater is the largest county in Wyoming. As big as it is, it’s little wonder that there’s enough room for scenic loops, a desert oasis, intriguing museums, and a national recreation area so epic it spills over into another state. Pack your bags and clear your calendar, because you’ll want plenty of time to explore this devastatingly gorgeous Wyoming county.
Sweetwater County takes up almost 10,500 square miles - not only is it the largest county in Wyoming, but it's also bigger than nearly 1/5 of the states in the U.S.
With such a large territory to cover, you could start your exploration of Sweetwater County anywhere, but why not begin in Green River? It's the county seat and features such attractions as the Sweetwater County Historical Museum...
Housed in the building that was originally the post office, you can learn all about state and county history including information on the railroad, coal mining, cowboys, homesteaders, fur trappers, and Native Americans.
...the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge...
This rich wildlife habitat is home to over 220 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
...and the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop.
It's been estimated that around 2,500 wild horses live in the Pilot Butte area. That means you'll have an excellent chance of spotting a few along the 24-mile self-guided tour, as well as other wildlife including deer, elk, pronghorn, coyotes, rabbits, eagles, hawks, and more.
Rock Springs is another town of note in Sweetwater County. As in many other areas of Wyoming, the railroad was instrumental in getting the city started, and you'll see evidence of it everywhere.
People came from all over the country and all over the world to work on the railroad as it made its way west, creating a true melting pot of ethnicity in Sweetwater County long before the phrase was coined.
It's also where you can take in some of the most unique museums in the state such as the Natural History and Dinosaur Museum at Western Wyoming Community College...
...and the Rock Springs Historical Museum.
The stunning brick and sandstone building dates back to 1894 and originally housed City Hall and the fire station. The exhibits here focus mostly on local history.
About 11 miles west of Rock Springs you'll find the White Mountain Petroglyphs, another fascinating piece of Wyoming history. The sandstone mountain serves as a historical record...
...displaying hundreds of Native American carvings spanning back 200 to 1,000 years ago.
You may be surprised to find a desert oasis on your trip through this gem of a county. Killpecker Sand Dunes is one of the world's largest dunes, spanning over 109,000 acres filled with fascinating features and a surprising number of wildlife.
If you missed our feature article on this stunning Wyoming natural wonder, you can read it
You might want to save the visit to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area for last, as it's a trip in itself. Covering over 207,000 acres, this slice of wilderness covers ground in Wyoming and Utah.
In addition to a gorgeous reservoir perfect for all types of water sports, there's also a 200-mile byway filled with mesmerizing Wyoming wilderness.
What do you love about Sweetwater County? Is there another underrated county in Wyoming that’s your favorite?