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- TRAVEL TOOLS
The wild west is home to some truly breathtaking gems that few have explored, and the crown jewel can be found right here in Sweetwater County. Located in the Red Desert, adventurers will find the rugged badlands, wild horses, desert flora and true off the grid experiences that make up Adobe Town. The Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area is the largest WSA in the state, comprising 82,350 acres. The area can be difficult to access but with the right skills and tools, you can experience Adobe Town for yourself.
In 1869, General A.A. Humphreys and Geologist Clarence King led a geological exploration through Adobe Town to survey the land and document the area’s landscapes, noting their picturesque architectural forms. The area contains thousands of years of history, dating back to the prehistoric Eocene Epoch to the Paleo Indian inhabitants through to the present.
At the turn of the century, infamous outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were said to have used the remote landscapes of Adobe Town as a hideout. In 1900, they stashed the horses used to rob a Union Pacific train in Tipton, Wyoming in Adobe Town. Learn more about the history of Rock Springs and the outlaws who roamed the area.
There are many ways to experience the wild beauty of Adobe Town including horseback riding, camping, backpacking, hiking, hunting, wildlife viewing and photography. At 7,000 feet above sea level, the colorful Skull Creek Rim is the main geological feature of Adobe Town featuring impressive badlands and weathered rock formations. The rim and cliffs below are the recommended area for recreation. Other areas of interest include Adobe Town Rim and Monument Valley which lay north of Skull Creek Rim.
Adobe Town is located in the truly rugged landscapes of the Red Desert and should only be explored by those well-equipped and experienced in navigation. Starting from Rock Springs, take I-80 east to exit 142 for Bitter Creek Road. Continue south on Bitter Creek Road/County Road 19 for 24 miles. Head east at the fork toward BLM Road 4412, off of CR-19. After about four miles, turn left to continue on BLM Road 4412. At the junction, continue straight to reach the Skull Creek access road and WSA boundary. Turn left at the junction to head toward Adobe Town Rim. For more information, contact the Rock Springs Field Office or view an interactive map of the Red Desert.
Disclaimer: This is a true “off the grid experience,” and cell service is limited! Make sure you have extra water and food; a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle with thick tires (and a spare tire) to traverse the dirt roads; extra fuel; GPS; and BLM map. Do not attempt to visit the area when conditions are wet. Let someone know where you are headed and when you plan to return.