Last Updated on July 2, 2023
Wyoming’s Red Desert is a popular destination for tourists seeking adventure and a chance to explore the beauty of the western United States.
The Red Desert is located in the southwest corner of Wyoming, approximately 100 miles southwest of Casper, and is accessible via State Highway 70 and other roads. It is known for its wide open spaces, rugged landscape, and diverse wildlife.
The Red Desert
It is called “Red Desert” because of the reddish color of the soil in the area. The soil in the Red Desert is composed of reddish-colored sedimentary rock that was formed millions of years ago. The reddish color of the soil is due to the presence of iron oxide, which is a common component of sedimentary rock.
In addition to outdoor activities, the Red Desert is home to a number of small towns and communities that offer a variety of amenities and services for visitors. These include restaurants, hotels, and other accommodations, as well as cultural and historical attractions.
Overall, the Red Desert is a great destination for those seeking a unique and exciting outdoor adventure in the western United States.
Things to do in Wyoming’s Red Desert
There are a variety of activities to enjoy in the Red Desert, including hiking, mountain biking, camping, and off-road driving. The area is also home to a number of ATV trails and is a popular destination for off-road enthusiasts.
Below, a list of activities you can enjoy in Red Desert of Wyoming.
The Red Desert is home to a number of excellent hiking trails that offer the opportunity to explore the rugged landscape and see a variety of wildlife.
There are a number of excellent hiking trails in the Red Desert that offer the opportunity to explore the area by foot. These trails range in difficulty and length and offer a variety of terrain, including sagebrush flats, rocky hillsides, and sand dunes.
Some popular trails in the Red Desert include the Little Sandy Trail, the High Desert Trail, the Green Mountain Trail, and the Sand Dunes Trail.
Sand dune surfing can be practiced at the Killpeckers Sand Dunes, just north of Rock Springs. Despite not being very steep, this is actually the largest dune field in North America. The Open Play Area Campground is the best spot for sandboarding as ATV vehicles are not allowed there.
The Red Desert is home to a number of ATV trails that offer the opportunity to explore the area by off-road vehicle.
The Killpeckers Sand Dunes are also one of the most ideal locations for dune bashing and driving ATVs as there are many areas which are free from vegetation.
The Red Desert is home to a number of campgrounds and other accommodations that offer the opportunity to experience the beauty of the area.
There are a number of campgrounds and other accommodations available in the Red Desert, including developed campgrounds with facilities such as restrooms and drinking water, as well as dispersed camping areas where you can pitch a tent or park an RV.
See the Coyotes
The Red Desert in Wyoming is home to a variety of wildlife, including coyotes. Coyotes can be found in a variety of habitats within the Red Desert, including open grasslands, sagebrush flats, and rocky hillsides. They are adaptable animals and can thrive in a range of environments.
Coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk, and they are known to be vocal animals, often communicating through howls and yips. It is best to be cautious when encountering coyotes, as they can be unpredictable and may pose a threat to humans and pets.
If you are interested in seeing coyotes in the Red Desert, it is a good idea to be respectful of their habitat and to follow all safety guidelines and regulations. You may be able to spot coyotes while hiking, driving, or camping in the area. It is important to keep a safe distance from coyotes and to never approach or feed them.
Visiting small desert towns and communities
The Red Desert is home to a number of small towns and communities that offer a variety of amenities and services for visitors, including restaurants, hotels, and other accommodations.
Some of these towns include:
- Rock Springs: Located in the southern part of the Red Desert, Rock Springs is the largest city in the area and is home to a variety of amenities and services for visitors.
- Green River: Located in the eastern part of the Red Desert, Green River is a small city that is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, including fishing, boating, and hiking.
- Farson: Located in the western part of the Red Desert, Farson is a small town that is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities and its proximity to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
- Pinedale: Located in the northern part of the Red Desert, Pinedale is a small town that is known for its outdoor recreation opportunities and its proximity to the Wind River Range.
Red Desert Wyoming FAQs
Where is the Red Desert in Wyoming?
The Red Desert is located in south-central Wyoming, spanning across three counties: Sweetwater, Carbon, and Fremont. It is a vast and diverse landscape characterized by its unique geological features, expansive plains, and vibrant desert ecosystems.
Sweetwater County, located in the western part of the Red Desert, is home to major cities such as Rock Springs and Green River. Carbon County, situated to the north, includes towns like Rawlins, while Fremont County, to the east, borders the iconic Wind River Range.
The Red Desert covers an extensive area, encompassing approximately 9,320 square miles (24,130 square kilometers) of Wyoming’s territory. Its boundaries are not precisely defined, but it generally extends from the Great Divide Basin in the north to the Colorado-Wyoming border in the south.
What cities are in the Red Desert?
The Red Desert region includes several cities and towns that are scattered throughout its vast expanse. The largest city within the Red Desert is Rock Springs, located in Sweetwater County. Rock Springs serves as a regional hub and offers various amenities, including shopping centers, restaurants, and recreational facilities.
Green River, another significant city in the Red Desert, lies adjacent to Rock Springs. It is known for its beautiful riverfront, outdoor activities, and historical attractions. Rawlins, situated to the north, is a historic city that serves as a gateway to the Red Desert. It offers a glimpse into the area’s past with its preserved buildings and museums.
While these cities provide essential services and amenities, it’s important to note that the Red Desert is predominantly characterized by its vast, unpopulated stretches of open land, showcasing the natural beauty and ruggedness of the Wyoming landscape.
What is the population of the Red Desert Wyoming?
The Red Desert is primarily a sparsely populated region, with the human population dispersed across its vast territory. The approximate population of the Red Desert is around 40,000 people. However, it’s important to note that the majority of the population resides in the cities and towns surrounding the Red Desert, such as Rock Springs, Green River, and Rawlins.
The true essence of the Red Desert lies in its expansive and wild landscapes, where nature thrives and wildlife roams freely.
How big is the Red Desert?
The Red Desert is an immense and awe-inspiring landscape that spans a vast area. It covers approximately 9,320 square miles (24,130 square kilometers) of Wyoming’s territory.
To put its size into perspective, the Red Desert is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Its expansive plains, rolling hills, colorful sand dunes, and unique rock formations make it a visually striking and diverse region.
Within the Red Desert, you can find various geological formations, including the Killpecker Sand Dunes, the Great Divide Basin, and the Adobe Town Badlands. These natural wonders contribute to the Red Desert’s distinctiveness and offer opportunities for exploration and discovery.
Where to see wild horses in the Red Desert Wyoming?
The Red Desert is known for its abundant wildlife, and one of its iconic inhabitants is the wild horse.
If you’re interested in observing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, there are several areas within the Red Desert where you can have the chance to encounter wild horses:
1. Green Mountain Wild Horse Herd Management Area:
This area is located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Rock Springs.
It spans over 704,000 acres and provides a habitat for a diverse population of wild horses.
2. Crooks Mountain Wild Horse Herd Management Area:
This area is located about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Rawlins.
It covers approximately 225,000 acres and is home to a herd of wild horses that roam the open plains.
3. Antelope Hills Wild Horse Herd Management Area:
This area is located about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southwest of Rock Springs.
It encompasses around 159,000 acres and offers opportunities to witness wild horses in their natural environment.
4. Stewart Creek Wild Horse Herd Management Area:
This area is located about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Green River.
It spans over 136,000 acres and is managed to maintain a sustainable population of wild horses.
5. Lost Creek Wild Horse Herd Management Area:
This area is located about 80 miles (129 kilometers) west of Rawlins.
It covers approximately 244,000 acres and provides a sanctuary for a herd of wild horses to roam freely.
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