Bill Sniffin: Wyoming Is A Summer Bucket List Dream – What’s On Yours?

Columnist Bill Sniffin writes, “As a lover of the Red Desert, it still baffles me that I have not visited Adobe Town east of Rock Springs. This amazing wonder might be the most spectacular spot in the entire desert area.”

Bill Sniffin

June 01, 20245 min read

Adobe Town in Wyoming's Red Desert tops Bill Sniffin's summer bucket list.
Adobe Town in Wyoming's Red Desert tops Bill Sniffin's summer bucket list. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Damn, there’s a lot to see here in the Cowboy State.

I have tried to see it all, but there are gaping holes in my lists of things never seen yet.

Each year I put together what I call my “Wyoming Bucket List,” which are places that are on my to-do list for this summer and fall. Most of the places are not the most famous, but just spots that are of interest to me.

Over the years, this has included the Vore Buffalo Jump near Sundance and Crazy Woman Canyon outside of Buffalo, Sunlight Basin north of Cody, the Arapaho Ranch west of Thermopolis, Hobo Springs in Saratoga, Curt Gowdy State Park near Cheyenne, Keyhole Reservoir north of Gillette and Firehole Canyon southwest of Rock Springs, plus hundreds of others.

This Year’s List

As a lover of the Red Desert, it still baffles me that I have not visited Adobe Town east of Rock Springs. This amazing wonder might be the most spectacular spot in the entire desert area but, alas, it has eluded me.

I may reach out to the outstanding photographer Paul Ng of Rock Springs to give me a tour. He knows that area well. His photos are fantastic.

Another spot on the Red Desert about 80 miles north is Steamboat Mountain near the tri-territorial marker, where it shows that present-day Wyoming was once part of three great nations: France, Mexico and Great Britain.

My friend, the late Dave Kellogg, always planned to give me a personal tour of the Steamboat Mountain area. Unfortunately, I lost that opportunity.

There is another spot in northern Carbon County where Texas actually reached up to present-day Wyoming back when the Lone Star State was a sovereign nation. I would like to go there and see if there is any kind of marker.

It amazes me that we were once part of four great nations.

NE Wyoming And Ranch A

It has been awhile since we dropped in on Ogden and Zannie Driskill at their wonderful ranch in Crook County.

Northeast Wyoming is home to the Wyoming Black Hills and is just a wonderful place. The towns of Upton, Sundance, Newcastle and Moorcroft are gems on the landscape there. The Vore Buffalo Jump is a must-see site where thousands of bison were killed by early Indian tribes.

About a decade ago we finally visited the historic Aladdin Store in that funky little town and spent some quality time at beautiful Keyhole Reservoir.

I would love to visit the townsite called Recluse. The perfect name for a place out on the lonely Wyoming high plains.

Ranch A is an amazing place that is owned by the state of Wyoming. It is a spectacular resort built in the 1930s by a newspaper mogul named Annenberg. The family of former governor Nels Smith owned it for a long time, but it is now a jewel belonging to the state. It is available for family and business get-togethers through a foundation.

Ayers Natural Bridge

Tucked away in a little valley between Glenrock and Douglas is a natural formation that was one of Wyoming’s first tourist attractions — Ayers Natural Bridge.

Located on the Oregon Trail, a great many of the emigrants spent wonderous times looking at this wonder and splashing in La Prele Creek. The trip behind them had been dusty, but they had no idea what kind of dust clouds and relentless winds were ahead of them. Ayers was a great respite and they enjoyed it. I hope to enjoy this wonderful county park this summer.

It's been way too long since we marveled at the petroglyphs at Castle Gardens some 50 miles east of Riverton. Like an oasis in a sea of sagebrush, this rock formation was a landmark for early peoples over eons. Some of them took the time to create some wonderful rock art.

Way out west near Evanston are the Piedmont kilns. I have never seen them, but look forward to visiting them this fall. Located near one of my favorite Wyoming towns, these 30-foot-high and 30-foot-wide conical structures were used to make charcoal back in the time of coal-fired trains. It is a state historical site.

You Gotta Love Saratoga

Joe Glode and Doug Campbell gave us a wonderful tour of the Saratoga area many years ago and we are anxious to go back.

I love the micro-brewery in that town plus Hobo Springs, the Saratoga Inn and lots of other interesting places.

State Sen. Dan Dockstader has promised a personal tour of the sights and sites in Star Valley. Hope to get that stop in this year, too.

Dave Peck up in Lovell has long promised a tour of his wonderful area. Maybe this will be the year.

It would be fun to participate in a dinosaur dig near Thermopolis, too.

Did I Miss Some Big Names?

Notice I did not mention Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons or Devils Tower or wonderful museums like the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody or the National Military Museum near Dubois.

This list is a tiny portion of some of the out-of-way places I love about the Cowboy State.

What are your lesser-known but favorite places? What’s on your Wyoming Bucket List? Let me know at

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Bill Sniffin

Wyoming Life Columnist

Columnist, author, and journalist Bill Sniffin writes about Wyoming life on Cowboy State Daily -- the state's most-read news publication.