Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Rock Springs, WY

  • Published 2022/08/03

Rock Springs, Wyoming, is a city known for its thriving railroad and coal mining industries that have operated since the 1800s.

Since then, the railroad and mining industry has become the town’s primary source of local revenue.

Different immigrants went to Rock Springs to work in the coal mining industry, making Rock Springs home to more than 50 nationalities.

Unbeknownst to many, Rock Springs is also a good destination for travelers, especially those who enjoy places with rich histories.

Read on to find out where to go in Rock Springs.

Perhaps, these spots might make you want to visit this small town in Southwestern Wyoming soon.

Here are the best things to do in Rock Springs, WY:

Visit Rock Springs Historical Museum

Your first stop is Rock Springs Historical Museum, built in 1984.

However, the museum only opened during the Rock Springs Centennial Celebration in 1988.

Today, the museum showcases photographs, artifacts, and interpretative displays depicting the historical establishment of the building.

The museum honors the hard work and dedication of those involved in its construction, the town’s coal mining history, and the Union Pacific Railroad.

Today, this railroad covers 23 states in the western part of the United States.

The museum also has a research library for tourists who want a more in-depth understanding of Rock Springs’ history.

There is also a schedule for group tours in the museum for students, friends, and families who prefer a more interactive way of learning.

All these are free, too.

Likewise, the Rock Springs Historical Museum is open year-round except on Sundays and holidays.

You get a fun day out and enrich your mind with Rock Springs’ rich history and interesting facts, all for free.

Spend a Peaceful Afternoon at Bunning Park

If you wish for a peaceful afternoon to unwind from a stressful week or just want to spend a day with your loved ones, Bunning Park might be the place for you.

Bunning Park, with its serene atmosphere, is a perfect place to relax, remember memorable events in your life, or appreciate life as it is.

The park is also ideal for families with young children as it provides a safe environment for young ones.

It has plenty of picnic areas for parents to set up family tables and an outdoor playground for the children to enjoy.

Likewise, you are welcome to take your dogs to the park for a walk.

From time to time, bands also play at Bunning Park, adding to the experience.

The mini-concerts, which start early in the evening, attract more visitors, especially youngsters.

Visit the Fossil Butte National Monument

Welcome sign of Fossil Butte National Monument

Sandra Foyt /

The Fossil Butte National Monument, located in Southwest Wyoming, was established in 1972 to protect and preserve portions of the Green River and the formations of particular organisms that once inhabited Fossil Lake.

One of the most abundant fossil habitats in the world, this national monument is also a visiting center open to the public year-round.

Landscape of Fossil Butte National Monument

Tristan Brynildsen /

It exhibits a variety of fossil fishes, insects, plants, reptiles, birds, and mammals found in the ancient area.

It also offers its visitors a chance to discover the interrelationships of plants, animals, and other organisms.

The lake is over 50 million years old now.

Fossil of a snake at Fossil Butte National Monument

William Cushman /

Hear Mass at Saint Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church and Rectory

You might also want to hear mass at Saint Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church and Rectory in Rock Springs for a spiritual retreat.

People call it the North Side Church.

You might want to stop by before moving on to all the beautiful places of Rock Springs.

The church itself is one of the main tourist attractions in Rock Springs.

In the early 20th century, the Saint Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church and Rectory gave shelter to Slavic immigrants.

The church helped the immigrants settle until they could secure a job in Rock Springs.

Built in 1925, Saint Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church and Rectory stands 125 feet tall.

You can still see it even if you go to the southwestern part of Wyoming, giving its people comfort and a sense of protection.

Check Out the White Mountain Petroglyphs

Mammal petroglyph at White Mountain Petroglyphs

James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want a more extreme outdoor adventure, you may want to go on a hike and see the White Mountain Petroglyphs.

The mountain trail is relatively short and suitable for new hikers who want to taste both adventure and culture.

The 0.7-mile hike will lead you to ancient petroglyphs dating 200 to 1,000 years back.

Human hands petroglyphs at White Mountain Petroglyphs

James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Native Americans who once lived in the area carved these petroglyphs in the white mountain.

Their fascinating carvings are a continuing reminder to Rock Spring’s citizens of the Native Americans who lived in Sweetwater County back in the day.

Check out the White Mountain Petroglyphs, 25 minutes from central Rock Springs.

Septaradiate star at White Mountain Petroglyphs

James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the Killpecker Sand Dunes

Scenic view of Killpecker Sand Dunes

Paul Tipton /

To all the adrenaline junkies out there, the Killpecker Sand Dunes should be on your bucket list.

Its 11,000 acres of dunes will fascinate you and give you endless excitement from its many activities, from dunes surfing to riding ATVs.

The sand of Killpecker Sand Dunes

James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Families who want an unforgettable summer escapade should go there because the dunes welcome all.

For instance, kids can bring a frisbee or a beach volleyball and have fun at the Killpecker Sand Dunes.

Additionally, you can see the descendants of the wild horses the Spanish brought to Rock Springs in the 16th century.

Visit the Adobe Town

Rugged landscape of Adobe Town

BLM Wyoming, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hidden greatness lies in Adobe Town, located almost in the middle of nowhere.

The magnificent view of Adobe Town will reward mountaineers who don’t mind walking for hours on unpaved roads.

The long walks will be for nothing as countless adventures await, including photography, horseback riding, backpacking, camping, hunting, and more.

The surreal landscape will take your breath away.

The sweat from the long journey will be nothing after finally seeing the wild and, at the same time, fascinating view.

But before starting your Adobe Town adventure, be sure to be ready, as the rugged landscape is only to be explored by well-equipped and experienced travelers.

Make sure to bring enough food and water as well.

As the saying goes, it is better safe than sorry.

Enjoy Carnival Rides at Sweetwater Events Complex

The Sweetwater Events Complex is the primary event center in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

It is a 400-acre lot with several buildings, pavilions, indoor arenas designated for social events like weddings and debuts, and shows and sports activities.

The events complex accommodates up to more than 800 events every year.

During the summers, Sweetwater Events Complex welcomes the Wyoming Big Show.

The Wyoming Big Show offers family-friendly carnival rides, various restaurants, and evening concerts.

Likewise, the show usually takes place from the end of June to the first week of August, bringing Brown’s Amusements to Rock Springs.

It achieved the Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA) Circle of Excellence Award of Safety three times, in 2007, 2010, and 2015.

The carnival business excels in safety and service so that you can ride their carnival rides worry-free.

Bring your family and friends to the Sweetwater Events Complex!

Catch a Live Performance at Rock Springs Community Fine Arts Center

Rock Springs Community Fine Arts Center contains a collection of more or less 500 unique American paintings, prints, and photographs.

Rock Spring Community Fine Arts Center is a collaboration between Rock Springs and Sweetwater County to put a cultural haven in the small town.

A non-profit organization, the community fine arts center can showcase outstanding art creation to its community.

Not only that, but the fine arts center also offers various art classes, such as performing arts.

Art enthusiasts who travel to Rock Springs can also visit this locally-owned fine arts center.

Its gallery is open to the public and charges zero for admission.

It also stages eye-dropping live performances with reasonably priced tickets.

Discover the Dinosaurs at Western Wyoming Community College Natural History Museum

Skeleton of a T-Rex displayed in Western Wyoming Community College Natural History Museum

Greg Goebel from Loveland CO, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Experts believe that dinosaurs lived in Wyoming millions of years ago.

Meet the earliest inhabitants of Rock Springs by heading to the Western Wyoming Community College Natural History Museum.

The museum created five life-size replicas of the dinosaurs.

These replicas are the biggest and most accessible collection of dinosaurs between Chicago and San Francisco.

Fundraising among locals started in 1989 to bring back fossils of dinosaurs to Rock Springs, where paleontologists initially found them.

Another natural history museum in the east featured these fossils for a time.

To archeology and geology geeks, Western Wyoming Community College Natural History Museum is the perfect place for you.

Besides dinosaur replicas, the museum also showcases fossils of fish, palm leaves, and reptiles discovered in Rock Springs.

Camp at Green River KOA Journey

If you have not decided where to stay during your visit to Rock Springs, you might want to consider camping at Green River KOA Journey.

Green River KOA Journey is a camping site inside Rock Springs, operating since 1962.

This camping site is near some of the well-recommended attractions in Rock Springs, such as the Killpecker Sand Dunes.

If you want to go hiking, fishing, biking, swimming, climbing, golfing, name it, Green River KOA Journey has it.

You can stay at the camping site for a day and enjoy all these activities.

Also, the Green River KOA Journey features many amenities, like Wi-Fi, a cable TV, firewood, and a dog park.

Check in at Outlaw Inn

Exterior of Outlaw Inn

25or6to4, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Outlaw Inn has become a landmark in Rock Springs for over 50 years.

Since 1966, Outlaw Inn has already taken in thousands of guests.

In 2018, the National Register of Historic Places added the decades-old hotel to the record.

Like the Green River KOA Journey, Outlaw Inn also has easy access to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.

It is also near the Sweetwater County Fairgrounds Complex, making the hotel ideal for guests attending significant events at the complex.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Take a Tour of the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Scenic view of the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Galyna Andrushko /

Did you know that the Flaming Gorge Dam and Reservoir is one of the biggest dams in the United States?

Located in Manila, Utah, 32 minutes from Rock Springs, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.

Tourists visit the 42,020-acre reservoir for boating, fishing, skiing, and other water activities.

Welcome sign of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

melissamn /

Likewise, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a great place to visit with family as it offers year-round activities.

From boating to camping, you will never get bored during your visit to the recreation area.

Many lodging areas and restaurants nearby are also budget-friendly, adding convenience to your enjoyment at the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.

Exterior of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area's visitor center

Andriy Blokhin /

Visit the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop

Silhouette of a horse at Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop

Tristan Brynildsen /

You may not have seen a herd of wild horses running around a 24-mile landscape.

If you want to see wild horses, go to the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop in Green River, Wyoming.

This place is 21 minutes from Rock Springs.

Pilot Butte offers a tour that will give you a chance to take videos and photographs of the 1,500 wild horses in the area.

People brought the descendants of these horses to Rock Springs in the 1800s.

Since moving to Rock Springs, these horses received care and protection at the Pilot Butte.

Considering the Pilot butte’s 24-mile landscape, the tour takes up to an hour and a half to finish.

Visit Boars Tusk

Scenic view of Boars Tusk

Flystock /

The Boars Tusk rises at 400 feet above the Rock Springs valley floor.

The Boars Tusk is a volcano and famous landmark among mountain bikers, mountaineers, and railroad travelers.

At 7,100 feet tall, Boars Tusk is safe to visit since it is now dormant.

Daytime view of Boars Tusk

James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The volcano is now 2.5 million years old, made out of Lamproite rock, rich in magnesium and other minerals and elements.

You can climb the surrounding area of the Boars Tusk at any time of the year.

However, the best time to climb is in Spring because the road during the season is dry.

During the summer, afternoon thunderstorms inundate Boars Tusk, causing wet roads.

You must drive 47 minutes from Rock Springs to this place if you want to start the hike.

Final Thoughts

With its rich history and culture, Rock Springs is an irresistible place.

You’d do yourself a disservice if you didn’t visit at least one of these extraordinary places.

Book your trip today!

When you start exploring, you might find more things to do in Rock Springs, WY.

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