The 10 Best Things to Do in Rock Springs, United States

October 14, 2017 Randal Brittian

Rock Springs is a city in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 23,036 at the 2010 census, making it the 5th most populated city in the state of Wyoming. Rock Springs is the principal city of the Rock Springs micropolitan statistical area, which has a population of 37,975. Rock Springs is known as the Home of 56 Nationalities because of the influx of immigrants from all over the world who came to work in the coal mines that supplied the fuel to power the steam engines of the Union Pacific Railroad. The city's rich cultural heritage is celebrated each summer on International Day, a festival where the foods, costumes, and traditions of residents' ancestors are recreated and enjoyed at Bunning Park in downtown Rock Springs.
Restaurants in Rock Springs

1. Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop

County Road 53, Rock Springs, WY
Excellent
59%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
7%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 69 reviews

Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop

Reviewed By vvigna1 - vvigna1

We read to either go early morning or late afternoon. We went later in the afternoon, and saw many horses, lots of birds and spectacular scenery. It is a gravel road it does take over an hour but for us it was well worth it.

2. Flaming Gorge - Uintas National Scenic Byway

US 191/Hwy530, Rock Springs, WY +1 435-784-1181
Excellent
74%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 26 reviews

Flaming Gorge - Uintas National Scenic Byway

Reviewed By Susan K - Buffalo, Wyoming

We were on our way to Utah and decided to take this scenic drive. Wow! We were not disappointed. The byway is a gorgeous drive with many spots to stop for a lunch break. We had planned ahead and packed a picnic basket. Beautiful views. If you are traveling along I-80, take a few hours out of your schedule and travel this scenic route. You won't be sorry. And, it is a great place to stretch the legs, too.

3. White Mountain Petroglyphs

Us 191, Rock Springs, WY 82901 +1 307-382-2538
Excellent
41%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 36 reviews

White Mountain Petroglyphs

These incised petroglyphs were carved by the ancestors of present Plains and Great Basin Native American People. They include drawings of elk, buffalo, horses, teepes and several kinds of human figures.

Reviewed By magicmomentfamily - Wyoming

This is great to see by itself or paired with the massive Boars Tusk. The Petroglyphs are fading a bit, but after a short hike up to the rocky mounds, you will still be able to see many of what is left. We all went up as a family in the late afternoon and had an awesome time. It was both peaceful and educational. What I loved the most was the opportunity to learn about Native American history first hand, together with our family.

4. Natural History Museum - Western Wyoming Community College

2500 College Dr, Rock Springs, WY 82901-5802 +1 307-382-1600
Excellent
58%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 41 reviews

Natural History Museum - Western Wyoming Community College

Reviewed By Emmy B - Mesa, Arizona

This museum at WWCC was especially interesting in the animal section, but there wasn't much information on each species or behaviors. The dinosaur bones and collections were enormous and very awe-inspiring. I would recommend for a quick walk through the museum/campus.

5. City of Rock Springs Museum

201 B St, Rock Springs, WY 82901-6250
Excellent
80%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 20 reviews

City of Rock Springs Museum

Reviewed By Iris R - Linden, Germany

This small museum gives an overview of the city's history. You can have a look inside the old prison which smells utterly authentical. :-) Personally I liked best the part that showed things brought by the different settlers/immigrants. The stuff is very friendly and helpful.

6. Flaming Gorge

US 191/Hwy 530, Rock Springs, WY +1 435-784-1181
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 18 reviews

Flaming Gorge

Reviewed By lisaandrewssmith - Clermont, Florida

The map of the flaming gorge was nearly useless in detail. Finding the gorge was quite a challenge in that the map was severely lacking in perspective and distance and landmarks. We finally found the highlight of the trip which was the sheep geological loop was quite interesting, if you can find it. We suggest beginning at the southern end of flaming gorge instead of the north end

7. Adobe Town

50 miles southeast of Rock Springs, Rock Springs, WY
Excellent
86%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 7 reviews

Adobe Town

Reviewed By Bisbeticone - Seattle, Washington

There’s an active campaign underway to save Adobe Town from the wolfish interests of the fracking and natural-gas companies that surround the site. It’s a worthwhile effort: In fact, gas pipelines run throughout the area, and derricks, gas collectors, and other paraphernalia dot the landscape. You’ll also share the road, at least part of the time, with gas tankers that barrel along about five times faster than you, shaking the ground and leaving you literally in their dust. That Adobe Town is threatened by such development is unquestionable —especially in a state where there is little or no regulation of the exploitation of natural resources and whose politicians are about as fracking-friendly as it’s possible to be without being on the board of Chevron.

The real problem from the point of view of the “Save Adobe Town” effort is: How do you get people impassioned about a place that so difficult to visit and to explore?

First of all, you will (not kidding at all) need either an ATV or a sturdy, high-clearance, really, truly off-road 4WD vehicle to get there—not the cute SUV 4X4 that the car rental company offered you. Most of the road is hard-packed dirt, sometimes overlain with desert gravel. It is, however, deeply rutted in many places, and you will need to stay exactly in the tracks laid down by previous drivers to avoid ending up on the very soft shoulder (essentially sand and powder) or, worse, caught in the middle where the highly piled dried mud is hard as brick and can wreak havoc on tires and alignment.

If it has been raining, meanwhile, anyone who drives that road in anything but a mud truck or ATV is asking for trouble. We went on a bone-dry morning and still encountered more than a few slick or muddy patches that many cars would have trouble with.

In fact, we gave up on driving a little over a mile from the so-called Adobe Town Rim Road when we encountered a large bog of deep water and mud and didn’t want to get risk getting stuck in it (another 1/2 mile down the road, there was a second such bog), and we walked in from there. We could see tracks where other drivers had simply gone around, driving over the sagebrush. That’s possible—if you’ve got a tough car with serious tires and don’t mind the underside getting ripped up or the paint scratched.

Once we got to the famous “T-intersection” of the Adobe Town Rim Road, we realized that the first part of the Rim Road would have been impossible for us anyway, even if we’d somehow managed to get that far. (We didn’t try the Skull Creek Rim Road, which is the other arm of the “T.”) It is narrow (too narrow for most cars to pass) and full of gullies several feet deep. We’d never have made it.

Once inside the site, it’s easy to lose your orientation and tough to move around—you’re essentially scrambling down arroyos and over hills, and of course there are no paths. If you manage to get past the first part of the rim road in a vehicle, there’s no doubt that there’s a lot more of Adobe Town to be seen. The small part that we did see felt wild and eerily dramatic, but it was exhausting to do on foot and we were always concerned about losing our sense of direction once down inside the canyons.

The real question is, is the trip worth it? On that point, we’re sort of ambivalent. It’s a five-hour round-trip from Rock Springs and there’s not much to see along the way (note comment below about wild horses, however). The site could be described as a sort of hybrid between the New Mexico badlands, Goblin Valley, and Monument Valley, but doesn’t have exactly the same grandeur. It is certainly beautiful, isolated, untrammeled, and, geologically, archaeologically, and paleontologically speaking, extremely interesting. For those reasons alone, it ought to be preserved for public use and scientific study. But on the specific question of whether it is worth the trip from Rock Springs—given the current realities of getting there—the answer may be: probably not.

On the plus side, we did see a lot of wild horses on the way in and out—many more than on the Pilot Butte Scenic Loop on BLM land—and we had them all to ourselves. (You could do the first 10 miles of Bitter Creek Road for the horses alone and then turn around.)

The information on the Bureau of Land Management site (http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/nlcs/wsa/hdd/adobetown.html) is a useful adjunct to the info from the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and its “Briefing Book.” In fact, the BCA’s driving directions are not wrong, but they’re not entirely clear, and they fail to alert you to numerous intersecting roads along the way which can make staying on the correct path quite confusing. If you use a navigator, it may tell you, for most of the way, that you are on Bitter Creek Road, and that’s a helpful piece of information. Roadside indications are all but nonexistent—there is absolutely no signage indicating Adobe Town.

8. Boars Tusk,

Red Desert, Rock Springs, WY
Excellent
20%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
13%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 15 reviews

Boars Tusk,

Reviewed By Humbleweeds2015 - Maryland

The Boars Tusk is an incredible landmark in Rock Springs. You can see it from miles away. We didn't drive up to it, but had fabulous views from miles away. It is certainly a tourist attraction for anyone passing through, great for photo opps.

9. Johnny Macs Good Time Tavern

2012 Dewar Dr, Rock Springs, WY 82901-5736 +1 307-362-3034
Excellent
50%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Johnny Macs Good Time Tavern

Reviewed By Yodelman - Rock Springs, WY

Johnny Mac's is a smoke-free bar, which is why I like it. It also has occasional concerts and comedians. Located along busy, commercial Dewar Drive, attached to its liquor store, next door to a convenience store, walking distance from the hotels around the Dewar Drive exit, stop in for a drink!

10. Community Fine Arts Center

400 C St, Rock Springs, WY 82901-6208 +1 307-362-6212
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Community Fine Arts Center

We offer a permanent collection of original American paintings, works on paper, and photographs as well as changing displays of fine and performing arts. Artists represented include Norman Rockwell, Grandma Moses, Loren McGiver, Elliott Orr, Edward Chavez, Paul Horiuchi, Ilya Bolotowsky, Raphael Soyer, Rufino Tamayo, and contemporary Western Jill Hartley, Donald Dernovich, and Trish Stevenson.

Reviewed By Windowtotheworld - Walla Walla, Washington

This gallery is a surprising treasure trove of Western art by American and European artists. Pieces by Norman Rockwell and Grandma Moses are highlights, but a large variety of artists and media fill these walls. The docent was very knowledgeable and friendly. We wanted to stay longer, but had to get back on the road...

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