Rock Springs

Founded In: 1888

Population: 24,045

Elevation: 6,759 ft

Median Income:  $42,584

Chamber of Commerce: http://rockspringschamber.com/

Rock Springs is in Sweetwater County and is known as the Home of 56 Nationalities because of the immigrants that came to work the coal mines that supplied the steam engines of the Union Pacific Railroad. There are still remains of the old coal mining towns outside of Rock Springs. Rock Springs is also known as the “City Where Dreams Are Made.”

Rock Springs is a diverse city full of western history. Outlaw gangs often passed through Rock Springs, and some settled here. In fact, as a young man, outlaw “Butch” Cassidy worked in Rock Springs as a butcher, and that is how he got the name “Butch.”

 

Climate

Rock Springs has a semi-arid climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. Precipitation is almost evenly spread throughout the year, with most months having about ½ inch of rain. The average annual precipitation is almost 9 inches, and snowfall is just over 43 inches.

 

Economy

A wide range of energy and extraction companies brings jobs and growth to the region. Industries include: trona mining, power generation, energy production, fertilizer manufacturing, and phosphate manufacturing. The area is noted for having the world’s largest known deposit of trona, a mineral that is refined into soda ash for glass making.

 

Things to Do

To get started, you might want to begin at The Rock Springs Historical Museum  http://www.rswy.net/department/?fDD=2-0. The museum houses many exhibits on the history of Rock Springs with special emphasis on the coal mining and multi-national heritage.  Exhibits rotate regularly.

If you’re still in the mood for more museum fun, consider The Natural History Museum at Western Wyoming (https://www.westernwyoming.edu/about/visit/natural_history.html).  The displays focus on the geology and archaeology of Southwest Wyoming. All the natural history displays are free and open to the public whenever the college is open.

If you are more into the great outdoors, Rock Springs has a wide variety of things for you to experience. The Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge (http://www.fws.gov/refuge/seedskadee/) lies the Green River, an oasis in the desert sagebrush plains of Wyoming. The name Seedskadee originated from the Shoshone Indian word “Sisk-a-dee-agie” meaning “river of the prairie hen.” The 27,230-acre Refuge is an important migration route and nesting area for migratory waterfowl and bird species.  The area was once used by nomadic Indian tribes, fur trappers, and early pioneers. Hundreds of thousands of pioneers crossed the treacherous Green River on what is now Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge.  The Oregon and Mormon Trails, which cross the refuge, have been designated as National Historic Trails by Congress. Jim Bridger and others operated ferries on the Green.

Another incredible expanse of acreage is Fossil Butte (https://www.nps.gov/fobu/index.htm ).  Some of the world’s best-preserved fossils are found here including fossilized fishes, insects, plants, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Fossils from Fossil Basin are located in museums around the world. A variety of fossils are displayed in the visitor center. You can experience the park by hiking or taking a scenic drive, or by joining in a fossil exploration with a paleontologist on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer months.

If you enjoy paleontology, you might also enjoy archeology at White Mountain Petroglyphs (https://www.tourwyoming.com/explore/sightseeing-and-attractions/white-mountain-petroglyphs.html). At White Mountain, the history of Wyoming is told through etchings of the Plains and Great Basin Indians in the sandstone walls.

Adobe Town (http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/nlcs/wsa/hdd/adobetown.html) is another opportunity to see paleontological remains.  Fossil remains of mammals are numerous and widely distributed throughout the area. You can also hike, backpack, sightsee, horseback ride, study nature and science, and photograph the beautiful area. Skull Creek Rim is a very colorful badland area. To the north of Skull Creek Rim is Monument Valley and Adobe Town Rim. These areas also contain badlands and formations similar to Skull Creek.

For those wanting to hike and camp, the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ashley/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5212203) might be just what you are looking for. It is South of I-80, between Green River and Rock Springs and extends into Vernal, Utah. Flaming Gorge hosts 360 miles of shoreline, mountain retreats, and 43 campgrounds.

Many come to the area to view the wild horses. You might want to try the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Tour (http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/field_offices/Rock_Springs/wildhorses/tour.html).  On a 24-mile self-guided tour beginning in Rock Springs or Green River you are likely to see wild horses, pronghorn, elk, deer, rabbits, coyotes, hawks, eagles and sage-grouse. Likelihood of seeing wildlife increases in the early morning or late afternoon. The tour takes about 1.5 hours and is on a gravel road.

The Sweetwater County Fair (http://www.sweetwaterevents.com/p/Events/207) brings 75,000 people for concerts, a trade show, agricultural exhibits, a family-friendly carnival, concessions and more. The fair has been named a Wyoming top 10 event by Americathbeautiful.com and the No. 1 top summer event by Wyoming Lifestyle magazine. Another big crowd-pleaser is the annual National High School Finals Rodeo (http://www.cam-plex.com/171/National-High-School-Finals-Rodeo), which brings more than 10,000 people to town from around the world for a week of activities and competitions.

In July, Rock Springs has its biggest Festival of the year called International Day (https://www.facebook.com/RSInternationalDay/) paying tribute to their status as “Home of 56 Nationalities,” locals and visitors can get a taste of the region’s rich heritage through exotic foods and local, regional and international entertainment.

Other festivals include:

Finally, watch live theater at the Broadway Theater downtown or The Western Wyoming Community College Theater. Throughout the year you may catch live performances, special events, and celebrations.

 

Places to Shop

Rock Springs has a wide mix of independent shops and national retailers. Whether you’re seeking boutique fashions, local products, or life’s essentials, you can find it in Rock Springs.

For everything you need in one stop, try White Mountain Mall http://www.whitemountainmall.com/.  The mall has great stores such as: Herberger’s, Ross Dress for Less, Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply, JoAnn Fabric and Craft, rue21, Maurices, Samuel’s Diamonds, Sally Beauty Supply, in addition to an 11 screen movie theater and Applebees!

Other shops in the area include:

  • Track 101 Outfitters: Family clothing store.
  • Amish Home Furniture: Solid wood, completely hand made furniture.
  • John Paras Furniture (http://www.johnparas.com/): Furniture, appliances, and mattresses.
  • Nature’s Touch-Log Furniture (http://ntlogfurniture.com/): The finest in custom built log furniture.
  • Cee Annas Originals: Gift shop and fine arts.
  • Desert Kitty Gifts: Gift shop
  • Local Color Handcrafted Gifts: Large collection of Wyoming photography on display, along with other artistic works.
  • Our Brother’s Keeper Bookstore (http://www.ourbrotherskeeperbooksandgifts.com/): Christian bookstore and gifts.
  • Jensen Jewelers (http://jensen-jewelers.com/): Offering jewelry and diamond engagement rings.
  • Reynolds Jewelers (http://reynoldsfinejewelry.com/): Fine jewelry
  • Sweet Sage (http://www.sweetsage.biz/): High-quality home décor with a personal touch.
  • Broadway Bargains: Thrift store with a wide selection of goods.

 

Where to Eat

In Rock Springs, the dining experience is as diverse as its population. The city offers a bounty of great places to eat:

  • Cowboy Donuts (http://www.cowboydonuts.com/): A donut and kolache menu that will overwhelm your senses.
  • Bonsai: Down-to-earth restaurant serving classic & original sushi rolls, plus Chinese & Japanese dishes.
  • Broadway Burger Station: Burgers, burgers, and more burgers!
  • Bitter Creek Brewing (http://www.bittercreekbrewing.com/): Microbrews and wine combined with a delectable menu of finest ingredients.
  • Wonderful House Restaurant: Lunch specials and Chinese classics along with familiar American dishes.
  • Coyote Creek Steakhouse & Saloon (http://www.coyotecreekrs.com/): Steakhouse that provides fine dining with a touch of the West.
  • Santa Fe Southwest Grill (http://santafesouthwestgrill.com/): Southwestern cuisine, plus margaritas and beer, served in rustic surroundings.
  • The 9 Iron Italian Grill (http://9irongrill.com/): The Italian specialties are well known locally, as are their aged, cut in-house sirloins and ribeyes.
  • Pasta Veloce (http://pasta-veloce.com/): Fast Italian meals with homemade sauces.
  • Siam King: Thai, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine.
  • Fiesta Guadalajara (http://fiestaguadalajararestaurant.com/): Authentic Mexican cuisine from burritos to tacos to enchiladas.
  • Remedies Grill: Burgers, fries, pizza & soda-fountain classics offered at a retro-style diner.
  • Pancho’s Mexican Food (http://www.panchosfastfood.com/): Authentic Mexican food offered 24 hours a day.
  • Chill Grill: American cuisine
  • Super Tortas Mina: Mexican restaurant offering homemade tortillas.
  • Los Cabos: Mexican fare with delicious fajitas.
  • Chop Stix Asian Bistro (http://www.chopstixasianbistro.com/index.html): Authentic, affordable Asian food.
  • White Mountain Mining Company (http://www.whitemountainmining.com/): Serving the choicest meats and seafood, freshest vegetables, and bread sticks that are baked fresh daily.
  • That Yogurt Place (http://www.thatyogurtplacellc.com/): Locally owned and operated frozen yogurt shop.
  • Boschetto’s European Market (http://www.boschettos.com/): High-quality Italian specialty food items, delicious sandwiches, and Kronski’s Sausage.
  • Cafe Rio (http://www.caferio.com/locations/store/rock-springs): Self-serve eatery dishing up Mexican classics including hand-rolled tortillas, burritos, and tacos.

 

Living in Rock Springs

Rock Springs is an outdoor lover’s paradise. The Green River and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area earned the city a spot on Livability.com’s Top 10 Awesome Water Cities list.

For those working and living in the area, the thriving energy industry has created a growing job market, and the school system is providing an excellent education to the children. For those craving a bigger city experience, Salt Lake City is just three hours away.

Cheyenne , Wyoming

Founded in: 1867 Population: 62,448 Elevation: 6,063 ft Median Income: $38,856 Chamber of Commerce: http://www.cheyennechamber.org/ Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming and is the most populous city in the state with approximately 63,000 people. The Cheyenne, Wyoming Metropolitan area has just over 90,000 people, and is the only city in…
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This information is believed to be accurate, but without any warranty.