EXPLORE THE “SALT TO STONE” REGION
Long road trips are best broken up over several days so you can keep your eyes fresh, your vacation full and your mind at ease. Driving to Wyoming’s National Parks can be quite a jaunt for some, but we have some great news! Sweetwater County, Woming is the perfect place to jump out of the car and into adventure on your way.
Here’s our favorite way to create the ultimate road trip stopover before the last leg of your national parks journey:
DAY 1: EXPERIENCE SALT TO STONE
Sweetwater County is one of the prime stops to experience the “Salt to Stone” region, which encompasses the natural attractions and off-the-beaten-path activities from Utah’s Great Salt Lake all the way to Yellowstone National Park.
No matter which direction you come from, Sweetwater County is the perfect stop, complete with some of the top regional attractions and adventerous activities like hiking, biking, kayaking and more.
Arrive in Rock Springs (from the east) or Green River (from the west) on I-80.
If you arrive in the morning, stop by a local coffee shop like Java Peddler in Rock Springs or Get Real Coffee in Green River. If you arrive closer to the afternoon, grab some lunch and a local brew at Bitter Creek Brewing in Rock Springs or the Hitching Post Restaurant in Green River.
Make the most of the daylight hours, and get out to one of the region’s main attractions: Boar’s Tusk. This striking rock formation guards another main area attraction—the Killpecker Sand Dunes—so after taking in the views from Boar’s Tusk, head to the dunes.
This is a true “off the grid experience,” and cell service is limited! Make sure you have extra water, and a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle with thick tires (and a spare tire) to traverse the dirt roads. Let someone know where you are headed and when you plan to return.
If there’s enough daylight left and you brought along your ATV, spend the rest of the day off-roading on the dunes for a genuine, off-the-beaten-path afternoon of adventure and excitement in Sweetwater County.
When the day is coming to a close, head back toward your accommodations to rest up for another day of adventure on your road trip stopover!
DAY 2: JUMP INTO ADVENTURE
Another main attraction that Sweetwater County boasts is the Flaming Gorge National Recreation area. Stradling the Utah and Wyoming borders, Flaming Gorge Country is an incredible place to get off the grid. And the best part is, Sweetwater County offers the most rugged Flaming Gorge experience.
Get up nice and early to grab some breakfast at a local café like Penny’s Diner in Green River or Cowboy Donuts in Rock Springs. Pick up a picnic lunch at a local sandwich shop—we’re spending the day in rugged wilderness!
After you’ve packed up lunch, sunscreen, and plenty of water for the day, head to Lake Flaming Gorge. It is here you will find the best options to create your own adventure. Spend the day hiking to the plateus surrounding the beautiful Flaming Gorge landscape or really chill out with a little bit of wakeboarding, boating or jet skiing on Lake Flaming Gorge.
When the sun starts to set, head back into town to clean up and have some dinner at a local establishment like Broadway Burger Station or Grub’s Drive In in Rock Springs, or Gudino’s Cafe or Fish Bowl in Green River. You are sure to have worked up quite an appetite during the day!
DAY 3: WYOMING’S NATIONAL PARKS
Since Sweetwater County is only about a three- to five-hour drive from Yellowstone and Grand Teton, it’s easy to spend a morning in the area and still make it to your destination with plenty of time to spare.
Head to Green River and grab a coffee and light breakfast at a local café. Spend the morning at Expedition Island, a great place to walk along the greenbelt pathway for an easy, quiet morning after your day of rugged adventure. Or if you haven’t had enough of the area’s more strenuous activities, there’s kayaking, rafting, or tubing on the Green River. Don’t forget to check current whitewater conditions with USGS.
Since the area offers so much variety, it’s a perfect way to spend the morning before heading off to your final destination.
Looking for more ways to play in Sweetwater County? Extend your stopover with these diverse summer activities!