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Tourism

Timberline Hospitalities Hires Krista Lobera as Area Operations Manager

in Tourism
5478

Timberline Hospitalities, a Wyoming owned and operated hotel company, is pleased to announce that Krista Lobera has been promoted to Area Operations Manager.

She will continue her role of General Manager at our Torch Bearer award-winning Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lander and over-see operations of our Holiday Inn Express Rawlins, WY.

In February 2019, Krista joined the Timberline team as General Manager. She had been with the hotel for over nine years prior to Timberline purchasing the property.

Krista also served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for three years before accepting the General Manager role. She has led her Lander team to achieving the IHG Torch Bear Award for the past three years.

This is a prestigious position with a significant level of greatness in all aspects of operations from quality to excellence in customer service. We anticipate watching her lead our Holiday Inn Express Rawlins team and hotel to be award-winning.   

Krista and her family moved to Lander twenty years ago when her husband Fabian accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer with Brunton.

Krista had several years of hotel experience prior to moving to Wyoming and she definitely has a heart of hospitality. Krista and her husband are empty nesters and enjoy hiking with their dogs and riding their tandem bicycle.

Timberline Hospitalities is a Wyoming owned and operated hotel company.

Our current locations include the Hampton Inn & Suites in Buffalo, Holiday Inn & Suites and Candlewood Suites in Gillette, Hampton Inn Rock Springs, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lander, Holiday Inn Laramie, Holiday Inn Express Rawlins, Super 8 Casper by the River and Comfort Inn Casper. 

Riverton, Wyoming Balloon Rally Celebrates 40 Years

in News/Tourism
5248

The Riverton Rendezvous celebrates 40 years this July and it all starts July 11.  For the main events watch 30 hot air balloons take off from the CWC soccer fields around 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday July 18 and 19.   

The action happens quickly so get there early.  Spectators aren’t allowed to walk around the field this year, but you will still see plenty of colorful action.

With names like Sapphire Sunrise, Diamond Eyes, Confetti Pebbles, and Wild Thing you can imagine the dizzying display of colors. 

And the pilots come from all over  – Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Illinois and Wyoming.  Keep your eyes out for Beagle Maximus, the Beagle balloon.

Action Packed

Start the fun July 11th with Happy Days.  Music, fun and food will all be Downtown Riverton ending with a community street dance.  Start the Balloon Rally weekend with the Friday Night Rocky Mountain Car & Bike Night Cruise. The parade begins at 6 pm in the Sutherlands parking lot and ends in downtown Riverton for an epic street party.

Saturday after the balloon rally head to CWC South Lawn for the Annual Rocky Mountain Rebels Car & Bike Show from 8-4 pm.

Riverton Rendezvous Friday Night Cruise. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

Riverton Rendezvous Friday Night Cruise. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

Finish the evening with the Balloon Glow at the CWC soccer launch field at 8:30 pm and fireworks at Airport Hill at 10 pm.

Riverton Rendezvous is an action-packed weekend. Load up your family and take in the fun. Bring your lawn chair, camera and sunscreen.

Schedule

Saturday July 11

4-8 pm Riverton Happy Days- Sidwalk sales, kids activites, scavenger hunt, food trucks, chalk the walk, music jam and more.

8-11 pm Community Street Dance, Bar 10, Live Band Shuffle

Friday July 17

6 am Balloon Rally Media Day, CWC Launch Field

6 pm Friday Night Cruise Parade starts at Sutherlands and ends Downtown

Saturday, July 18

6 am Balloon Launch, CWC Launch Field

8-4 pm Car and Bike Show,  CWC South Lawn

8-4 pm Rocky Mountain Rebels AUTOCROSS, CWC South Lawn

8:30 pm Balloon Glow, CWC Launch Field

10 pm Fireworks, Airport Hill

Sunday, July 19

6 am Balloon Launch, CWC Launch Field

Please be mindful of others and some COVID-19 restrictions will apply.

For more information contact the Riverton Chamber of Commerce, 307-856-4801 or info@rivertonchamber.org

 Riverton Rendezvous Hot Air Balloon, Jennie Hutchinson

How it All Started

Riverton Rendezvous began in 1981 when the community was looking for a special event to commemorate its 75th anniversary. Bob Peck, publisher of the Riverton Ranger at that time, asked his son, George for ideas and he suggested a balloon rally. The Riverton Rendezvous was born.

Other events were scheduled and soon there was Day in the Park, Rail to Trails Music on the River Walk, Rocky Mountain Rebels Car & Bike show and the Red Neck BBQ.

Some famous people have graced the rally with their presence including Maxie Anderson who was the first balloonist to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the first to attempt an around the world flight.

Malcom Forbes brought his ‘Chateau de Balleroy”, a replica of the French Museum in France. This rally continues to be a favorite of hot air balloon pilots because of our stellar weather and the people of Riverton who welcome the pilots each year.

Despite Coronavirus Surge, More Yellowstone Lodges To Open

in News/Tourism
5215

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Yellowstone National Park is a hugely popular tourist destination, with annual visitation averaging more than 4 million people per year. 

But because of this year’s pandemic, 2020 has seen a steep decline in the number of people entering the gates. 

Part of that is due to limited lodging options, because Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the park’s main concessionaire, made the decision to keep their hotels and lodges closed for health reasons. 

But Rick Hoeninghausen with Xanterra reported that just this week, officials made the decision to open up more lodging for visitors. 

“On July 3, the Sandpiper Lodge near Yellowstone Lake Lodge opened,” he said, adding that in the coming week some rooms will be available at Canyon Lodge and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge.

“And then on the 17th of July, at the Mammoth Hotel, we’ll be able to open some hotel rooms,” he said.

Hoeninghausen said the mandatory use of masks by both staff and guests is one of the reasons park officials feel confident in opening more properties.

“We’re very front line,” he points out. “We’re talking to a lot of visitors from all over the place, and so it seemed like a good step to make.”

Hoeninghausen said the demand for lodging is increasing as visitation continues to rise. 

Morgan Warthin, public affairs specialist for Yellowstone National Park, said that park officials have seen a marked increase in visitor numbers since the park first opened in the middle of May.

“When we opened the Wyoming gates on May 18, we were at about 19% of 2019 visitation,” she said. “And what we know from visitation for mid-June is that we’re at about 89%.”

Both Hoeninghausen and Warthin said that upwards of 600 park employees – both National Park Service and Xanterra staff – have undergone rigorous testing for coronavirus, and so far, every test has come back negative.

Warthin says the Park Service has one overall request of its visitors.

“We are asking visitors to recreate responsibly,” she said. “We highly recommend wearing masks, and to social distance.”

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Get Off The Grid in Sweetwater County

in News/Tourism
5192

EXPLORE SOUTHWEST WYOMING

Looking for a truly unplugged, raw trip full of gorgeous scenery, untouched trails and some good-old-fashioned peace and quiet? Look no farther than Sweetwater County, Wyoming—where you can really get off the grid* and relax in paradise.

PLAN A SWEET ESCAPE

Although Sweetwater County’s two main towns, Rock Springs and Green River, are pretty large and perfect for family vacations, the lesser-known town of Eden Valley is the perfect escape for those looking to get off the beaten path.

Eden Valley offers a historical snapshot of life in the 1800s. Visit Eden Valley if you are looking for historical trailslake fishing at Big Sandy Reservoir or camping.

So where should you stay? A stay in a hotel, motel or inn in Rock Springs, Green River or Farson can offer cell phone and internet access in between your off-the-grid day trips. Or pitch a tent in the wilderness to truly keep you off the grid. Find the lodging option that works best for you.

GO OFF-ROADING

Whether you prefer high-flying sandy fun on the Killpecker Sand Dunes, traditional off-road rides on some high-country trails or gorgeous scenic views on a traditional scenic byway or drive, Sweetwater County has it.

The only rules? Bring your own four-wheel-vehicle, snacks and water. And make sure you tell someone where you’re going. Out here, there is no cell service and you are truly off the beaten path.

CAST YOUR LINE

Whether you prefer lake fishing in a remote reservoir or beautiful streams and rivers, catch the big one here. With diverse waterways including Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Jim Bridger Pond, Fontanelle Reservoir, Hams Fork, LaBarge Creek and Big Sandy Reservoir, Sweetwater County is a fisherman’s paradise. 

Depending on which waterway you choose, catch catfish, mountian whitefish, smallmouth bass, kokanee salmon, or brown, mackinaw or rainbow trout. Finish off your day cleaning your fish by the shore and cooking them over your campfire.

EXPLORE OUR SIDE OF LAKE FLAMING GORGE

With 90 miles of shoreline in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Wyoming, there is plenty of area to explore. And what’s even better? Our side of the reservoir is much less developed than Utah’s, leading to one of the most quiet, serene escapes possible with this expansive reservoir.

With activities like hiking, fishing, mountain biking, off-roading and more, Flaming Gorge Country is an ideal escape. Bring your own ATV, boat or bike to explore the area. Visiting in the winter? Bring your own skis, ice fishing gear and more to enjoy winter activities while staying off the grid. 

CAMP UNDER STARRY SKIES

A camping retreat is the perfect trip to give you a break from technology and day-to-day life. But you can do that almost anywhere across the country. So why choose Sweetwater County?

With more than 10 formal campgrounds with ammenities ranging from RV electrical hookups and maintained bathrooms to a patch of dirt and a fire pit, you’ll find the perfect one to suit your needs. Pitch a tent on your drive to one of the area’s National Parks to take in some of the area’s unique wildlife, rock formations, scenic vistas and more.

*Disclaimer: Sweetwater County offers true “off-the-grid experiences.” Cell service is limited or not available at all. Make sure you have extra water, food and a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle with a spare tire to traverse dirt roads in the area. Let someone know where you are headed and when you plan to return.

New Bike Route Stretches From Yellowstone To Minneapolis

in News/Recreation/Tourism
5178

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A new bike route mapped out by the Adventure Cycling Association will lead cyclists on an adventure through Yellowstone National Park all the way to Minneapolis — nearly 1,300 miles.

The Pikes, Peaks and Prairie Route was created so cyclists could have the opportunity to see iconic American parks such as Yellowstone, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and the Black Hills, the ACA said.

The network of biking trails is broken into three routes, beginning from West Yellowstone, Montana, through Yellowstone and on into Gillette, from Gillette to Midland, South Dakota, and from there on to Minneapolis.

The route only runs for 2.3 miles in Montana, and then the cyclists will ride through Yellowstone, leading to the Sylvan Pass, going nearly 60 miles downhill along the North Fork of the Shoshone River into Cody.

The route will run through a majority of northern Wyoming, allowing the rider to see small towns, wildlife and much more during their time on the road, the ACA said.

In total, the ride is around 1,288 miles from West Yellowstone to Minneapolis. The highest elevation is 9,665 ft. at Powder River Pass between Buffalo and Ten Sleep.

The Needles Highway and Sage Creek Road in South Dakota are offered as alternate routes, although riders should be aware that the Needles Highway in Custer State Park, near Rapid City, is a strenuous ride and the road is narrow. The Needles Highway is usually open from April to October.

The western half of the route can be ridden from May through October, but the portion east of the Black Hills has a wider time window, from March through November. The route in Yellowstone is closed in the winter.

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Wyoming State Park Camping Reservations Sold Out For 4th Weekend

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5101

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Due to the continued high demand for outdoor recreation, persons looking to camp at a Wyoming State Park during the Fourth of July weekend should be aware campsite reservations throughout the state park system are sold out; however, we welcome the public to come out for the day, enjoy a picnic and recreate.

These state parks – Boysen, Buffalo Bill, Curt Gowdy, Glendo, Guernsey, Keyhole, Medicine Lodge, Seminoe and Sinks Canyon – currently have no campsites available for this holiday weekend. Hawk Springs remains first-come, first-serve and is at capacity also.

“With the 4th landing on a Saturday, we expected our camping system to be full,” Deputy Director Nick Neylon said. “The team has been working hard to get facilities ready for our visitors.”

Currently, Glendo and Guernsey both have campfire restrictions. Propane grills and stoves and charcoal grills can still be used to prepare popular camping dishes and provide adequate warmth.

These grills must have covers/lids and be within an arm’s length when lit. A variety of other imaginative ideas can help preserve the camping experience such as solar lights in the firepit.

Recreationists are reminded that possession of fireworks is prohibited at all Wyoming State Parks.

“Having full state parks is a great problem to have, however, it can come with challenges, especially during this pandemic,” said Director Darin Westby, “We implore that you help us keep the parks open by recreating responsibly as requested in our rules and the guidelines and protocols issued by the State Health Officer and the CDC”

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Visit Sweetwater County: How to Experience Flaming Gorge Country

in News/Tourism
5070

#THATSWY #HERESHOW

Just south of Rock Springs and Green River exists a stunning natural landscape.

Drawing adventurers, families, locals and those just seeking a beautiful view, the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area offers things to do and see year-round.

Here are a few ways to experience one of Sweetwater County’s hidden gems. 

FLAMING GORGE SCENIC BYWAY

If you’re short on time and want a quick glimpse of the area’s towering canyons, expansive lake and even some wildlife, drive the Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway.

Begin the route from Rock Springs and travel south on US-191 along the east side of Lake Flaming Gorge.

Loop around onto HWY-44 and travel north along the west side of the lake until you reach Green River.

There are various stopping points along this scenic drive to take photographs, eat a picnic lunch or enjoy the water.

Pull over by a scenic overlook such as the Firehole Canyon Overlook or Clay Basin Overlook.

The drive is approximately 150 miles and takes 90 minutes to drive one side. 

FLAMING GORGE SCENIC BYWAY GUIDE

CAMPGROUNDS

Extend your visit in Flaming Gorge Country by camping overnight at one the various campgrounds and RV Parks in the area.

There are campgrounds at each of the marinas – providing easy access to supplies, food and recreation. However, there are plenty of other sites to choose from including boat-in campsites such as the Hideout Boat-in Campground and Jarvies Boat-in Campground.

Or stay right on the shores of Lake Flaming Gorge at the Antelope Flat Campground.

The lakeside campground features 45 gravel sites and five tent sites for tent and RV camping along with an onsite boat ramp for easy water access.

Stay closer to Rock Springs and Green River by camping at the Firehole Canyon Campground which features 40 paved, non-electric sites for tent and RV camping.

This high-desert campground features a boat ramp and easy access to fishing, hiking and water recreation.

SEE MORE CAMPGROUNDS

FULL-SERVICE MARINAS

There are three full-service marinas in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area to pick up supplies and food; rent boats, kayaks and paddleboards; or dock your boat.

The Buckboard Marina on the west side is the closest to Green River and Rock Springs, providing easy access for boating and fishing.

The Cedar Springs Marina and Lucerne Valley Marina are both on the Utah side and feature seasonal restaurants along with the full spectrum of services.

For a unique experience on Lake Flaming Gorge, head to the Lucerne Valley Marina where you can rent houseboats for overnight camping on the lake! This is also a great way to see the stars.

OUTDOOR RECREATION

When it comes to water recreation, there are endless opportunities to swim, boat, fish and more on the 91-mile-long Lake Flaming Gorge. Bring your own watercrafts or rent fishing boats, pontoons, houseboats, kayaks and paddleboards from a marina.

It’s impossible not to enjoy the area’s majestic waters when visiting Flaming Gorge Country no matter what age you are.

But did you know there are many other ways to experience the rugged landscapes?

Across 42,000 acres, visitors can explore trails for hikingmountain biking and ATVing. And after a day full of adventure, you can toast marshmallows and relax along the shores of Lake Flaming Gorge.

Need trip inspiration for your next visit to this hidden oasis in the American West? Follow our three-day itinerary to get started.

Visit Sweetwater County: How To Experience Rock Springs And Green River

in Tourism
5008

TUBING IN GREEN RIVER

Looking to cool off? Rent a tube or a kayak at White Mountain Lumber Tube and Kayak in Green River, and head toward Expedition Island to launch down the area’s lazy river. Or take it up a notch and experience the Green River Whitewater Park and Tubing Channel.

MOUNTAIN BIKING IN GREEN RIVER

Both a local favorite and one of the best trail systems in Wyoming, the Wilkins Peak Trail System allows mountain bikers of all levels to experience Sweetwater County’s unique landscape. Just outside of Green River, 20 miles of biking trails are accessible for a day of adventure. Rent your bike at Bike and Trike in Rock Springs before heading out to the trails. Start with the basics and get warmed up by biking the Channel Surfing trail, rated as beginner, and then see if you can tackle some of the more difficult trails including TNT and Pick Your Poison.

SEE WILKINS PEAK TRAILS [PDF]

HIKING IN ROCK SPRINGS

Located north of Rock Springs, White Mountain is the perfect place to start hiking in Sweetwater County. Those looking for an easier hike or interested in historic sites should follow the short path to the White Mountain Petroglyphs. Discover sandstone etchings from American Indians who inhabited the area hundreds of years ago on this all-level trail. 

For another challenge, visitors can hike to the summit of Pilot Butte, situated atop White Mountain. This extraordinary landmark is the second highest point in the immediate region at 7,949 feet above sea level. Visitors are able to hike to the summit with opportunities to see wild horses and panoramic views of Sweetwater County’s western landscape.

SEE ALL TRAIL AREAS >

WATER RECREATION IN FLAMING GORGE COUNTRY

Just south of Rock Springs and Green River is an oasis of natural beauty. The Lake Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area offers visitors opportunities to camp, boat, fish and more with 360 miles of shoreline and more than 700 campsites. Bring your own equipment or rent water skis, jet skis or boats from one of the marinas around the lake as you reconnect with the great outdoors. Take a scenic drive along the Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway to reach this breathtaking destination. 

These are just a few ideas that will inspire you to get outside and explore Sweetwater County. Browse our Rock Springs and Green River trip ideas for more incredible paths to adventure. 

National Travel Site Selects Centennial as Wyoming’s “Must-Visit” Community

in News/Tourism
4985

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If you read the food, entertainment, and travel site “Thrillist”, you know they love to put together lists.

We paid close attention to their latest list entitled “The Must-Visit Small Town In Every State” and were pleased to find it included one of Wyoming’s own.

There’s a lot of must-visit small towns in Wyoming.  In fact, compared to many states, every town in Wyoming could be classified as a small town.

Regardless, the magazine chose the non-incorporated community of Centennial as their favorite pick. 

What kind of methodology did the writers use in selecting their favorite community?  None, really. All personal opinion.

We stand by their methodology — although there are many communities in Wyoming that would be the ranked No. 1, depending on who you asked.

What did they like about Centennial?

“This tiny outpost features all the best things about Wyoming — friendly bars, wide-open spaces, great music, and access to some of the most starkly beautiful outdoor recreation you’ll find anywhere,” they wrote.

They also like the party aspect:

“On a given weekend the town is liable to turn into a party, especially when the right bands are passing through, and it’s the home of the most truly great winter party you’ll ever find: The annual Poker Run (see the video above), where a few hundred well-lubricated skiers tumble down the mountain and crash-land in Centennial’s welcoming arms.”

If you plan to visit this must-visit community, get reservations. The writer obviously knows that it can only handle so many people.

“Sitting 8,000 feet up, 30 miles outside of Laramie at the foot of the Medicine Bow mountain range, Centennial consists mainly of a couple hotels and bars/music venues that play host to hikers, campers, skiers, and snowmobilers on their way into or out of the mountains.”

To read the full-list of every must-visit community in the country, check out their article.

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Visit Sweetwater County: Guide to Camping

in News/Tourism
4992

UNDER WYOMING’S WIDE OPEN SKIES

From OHVing and hiking to boating and fishing, stay close to the action in Sweetwater County.

Camping is one of the best ways to escape into nature and experience the area’s stunning landscapes.

Our guide to camping in and around Rock Springs and Green River will help you find the perfect campsite for your next outdoor adventure.

FIREHOLE CANYON CAMPGROUND

On the northeast shore of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, the Fire Hole Canyon Campground is located 30 miles south of Rock Springs. There are 40 paved, non-electric sites for tent and RV camping, each featuring a shaded cabana, picnic table and fire ring. Campground amenities include showers and restrooms, and drinking water. The lake offers opportunities for boating, water skiing, swimming and more. Campsites can be reserved up to six months in advance while some are available on a first come, first serve basis. The campground is open May through September.

In a Nutshell: You’ll wake up to beautiful views at this lakeside campground. The site is great for tent camping or RV camping if you don’t require electric hookups. Experience Lake Flaming Gorge with fewer crowds and don’t forget to bring your boat! Nightly rates range from $20-40.

BUCKBOARD CROSSING CAMPGROUND

The Buckboard Crossing Campground is located along the northwest shore of Flaming Gorge Reservoir next to the Buckboard Marina. The campground has 66 sites for tent and RV camping, several with electric hookups, shaded cabanas, grills and/or fire rings. Other basic amenities include showers, restrooms and drinking water. This site offers great opportunities for fishing, boating, water skiing, swimming, and more. Groceries, rentals, fuel and fishing licenses are conveniently available at the adjacent marina. Campsites can be reserved up to six months in advance while some are available on a first come, first serve basis. The campground is open May through September.

In a Nutshell: This is another campground great for watersports and closer to Rock Springs and Green River than the Lucerne Valley Campground. The adjacent marina is convenient if you need to rent a boat or purchase extra supplies. Nightly rates range from $20-28.

LUCERNE VALLEY CAMPGROUND

The farthest trek out of town is the Lucerne Valley Campground in Manila, Utah. The campground sits along the shores of Flaming Gorge Reservoir with more than 140 campsites for tent and RV camping. Cabin camping and group camping is also available here. Various loops offer differing amenities including electric hookups, showers and restrooms, shaded cabanas, picnic tables, fire rings and drinking water. Nearby recreational activities include fishing, boating, water skiing, swimming and more. The adjacent Lucerne Marina offers groceries, rentals, fuel and fishing licenses. Campsites can be reserved up to six months in advance while some are available on a first come, first serve basis. The campground is open May through September.

In a Nutshell: Stay in the heart of Lake Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. This larger campground is more central to trails, attractions and the visitor center. If you’re looking to rent a boat, the nearby marina is the place to go. Nightly rates range from $20-140. Full season rates are also available.

ROCK SPRINGS KOA

The Rock Springs KOA is just 15 minutes outside of downtown Rock Springs. This Kampsite of America location offers RV sites, tent sites and camping cabins year-round along with numerous amenities for a comfortable camping experience. Campground amenities include a general store, electric hookups, showers and restrooms, laundry facilities, WiFi and cable. Long-term camping is also available at weekly and monthly rates. With a swimming pool, playground and dog park, visitors of all ages can enjoy a variety of activities while camping here.  

In a Nutshell: If you’re willing to spend a little extra, this private campground has added amenities and services ideal for extended stays. It’s location is central to outdoor activities while still being conveniently close to the vibrant town of Rock Springs.

THE TRAVEL CAMP

Located off of I-80 and two miles from the town of Green River, The Travel Camp is a convenient campground with 71 full hookup sites for RV and tent camping. The Travel Camp has a full set of amenities including a general store, electric hookups, showers and restrooms, laundry facilities, WiFi, cable and fire pits. Long-term camping is also available at weekly and monthly rates. Nearby, anglers can walk just five minutes for fishing the Green River.

In a Nutshell: The Travel Camp is another private campground offering additional amenities that keep camping comfortable. It’s a great choice if you’re interested in fishing or extended stays with close proximity to business and attractions in the town of Green River. Nightly rates range from $20-38.

KILLPECKER SAND DUNES OPEN PLAY AREA CAMPGROUND

Just under an hour north of Rock Springs is the Killpecker Sand Dunes Open Play Area. The area has a developed campground featuring basic amenities including a vault toilet and fire rings. From the campground there is easy access to recreational activities such as hiking, horseback riding and ATVing. The Killpecker Sand Dunes is a valuable habitat for wildlife and requires special management to protect its resources. To protect this habitat, the area is closed to motorized vehicles from May through June. No fees or reservations are required to camp here.

In a Nutshell: This campground offers a more primitive escape into nature at no cost. Camping in this unique environment offers a one-of-a-kind experience and beautiful views of the high desert landscape. If you like adventure, activities are abound at these natural sand dunes.

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