Interested in unique experiences and dominating landscape features? Massive rock structures and seemingly endless amounts of sand dunes bring people out from all over to enjoy the great outdoors and sand sports in this southwest Wyoming gem. When it’s time to take a break from the sandy ups and downs, the area has many other intriguing places to visit and sights to see. To get there, travel north on US -191 out of Rock Springs for 11 miles, then take a left turn onto County Rd 17 and continue for 22 miles.
Located southwest of the Killpecker Sand Dunes, a volcanic core rises above the surrounding environment commanding attention from a great distance. It was aptly named Boar’s Tusk as this geological feature juts up 400 ft, towering over everything in the vicinity and splitting into two towers. Hiking up to the rock towers and around the base is a must when visiting the site. However, as of 2022, rock climbing on Boar’s Tusk is illegal.
Killpecker Sand Dunes
Alongside the massive rock wonder, Boar’s Tusk lies mounds of sand that spread over vast miles, appearing like a small sea with soft waves. The Killpecker Sand Dunes are known for sledding and sandboarding. Effortlessly gliding down infinite grains appeals to adventures of all ages. Novice riders and hikers can play on small dunes and flatter areas, but more experienced riders can find dunes with enough height to create an intoxicating thrill. The combination of all sizes of sand dunes makes this location perfect for family gatherings, or reunions. 4-wheelers, side-by-sides, and other recreational vehicles also enjoy the glittering, sun-kissed sand hills.
A bonus to all the glorious scenery and hair-tingling excitement is that the Killpecker Sand Dunes are a fee-free area and the entertainment is ADA-accessible, making this a more enticing and family-friendly outing.
Camping at the sand dunes can stretch your fun from an afternoon into an amazing weekend of non-stop fun. The Killpecker Sand Dunes Open Play Area Campground is free to the public and encompasses all of the sand dunes. There are no designated spots and the area uses a first comes first in basis. The only way in is on dirt roads so expect ruts in some areas. In the spring the roads have not been graded and it may be harder to get larger campers or motorhomes that are close to the ground to make it. There is a grassy area that can make tent camping softer but it may be covered with water in the spring. Trees in the area are sparse so a canopy can help with the heat.
White Mountain Petroglyphs
Not far from the Killpecker Sand Dunes are the White Mountain Petroglyphs. The petroglyps display four different Native American rock art panels dating back more than 200 years. They are an easy hike only .75 miles, plan on spending around an hour to two to explore the area. The petroglyphs have about 12 thousand visitors per year and are ADA-accessable when arranged through the fild office for driving access.
Animals also enjoy the beautiful landscape and the sand dunes offer a unique ecosystem in Wyoming. You may run into wild horses that roam the area or see something even more uncommon, a desert elk herd. Other everyday animal experiences include lizards, snakes, and the sounds of coyotes howling at dawn and dusk.
With the spacious Wyoming skies, the night scene is just as inspiring. The stars appear to double in number as the city lights are far from view, making this a perfect spot to stargaze or pop out your telescope and search for some constellations. Pictures of the night sky will make your encounter all the more memorable with Boar’s tusk in the foreground.
Souvenirs and Necessities
Need a little city life or forgot your sunblock? Rock Springs can provide you with all the necessities you need at just over 30 miles to the southwest. Rock Springs also hosts the annual Dune Days in June. Also, about 30 miles away to the north is a small town named Farson. In Farson you can get a large delicious ice cream cone and adorable souvenirs at the very cute and old-fashioned Farson Mercantile. You won’t regret stopping for one on a hot day.
Speaking of a hot day and sunblock, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty, along with water. It can get hot and dry in the dunes in the summer, but very cold at night in the winter. Cell phone service is not reliable in the area so coming prepared is essential.
A friendly reminder to respect the environment, and pack out what you pack in. Keep in mind that vegetation in these areas is very sensitive, try to stay away from areas with vegetation when using motorized vehicles. This is a public place, be respectful so that everyone can continue to enjoy this area for generations to come.