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Explore Wyoming’s Salt to Stone Region: A Family Road Trip Planner

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Hey there intrepid family explorers! 

Summer is coming and I know you’re getting ready to disconnect from the chaos of family life – all those endless errands, carpool demands, and extra-curricular BUSYNESS.

One of the best ways to do that is by immersing yourself in wide-open spaces, where you can reconnect with nature and embark on outdoor adventures with your family. (I mean, will the kids be whining on the back of an ATV?)

Killpecker Sand Dunes

This summer (2024) we’re exchanging the chaos for the thrill of a family road trip to Wyoming. I can’t wait to recenter myself and learn to breathe again in wide open spaces with nothing else on my calendar to do but have fun.

In this blog post, we’ll explore our approach to organizing a family trip to southwest Wyoming. We’ll provide a glimpse into our itinerary, tailored activities for every family member’s interests, and share the resources that guided our planning for this upcoming adventure.

Table Of Contents

Why Visit the Salt to Stone Region in Wyoming?

view of green valley and red mountains
Red Canyon Overlook

While we’re partnering with Travel Wyoming on this trip, we were given the gift of a blank canvas and the freedom to choose where in Wyoming to visit. 

We decided to road trip the Salt to Stone region in southwest Wyoming. Since we have time constraints due to school schedules, we wanted to visit an area of Wyoming that is easy to get to and get around. It’s only a two-hour direct flight to Salt Lake City from Raleigh and then a two-hour drive to our first stop in the Salt to Stone region. 

We were looking for a lesser-known Wyoming destination filled with stunning landscapes, outdoors adventure activities, and small towns.

As with any good trip, we also want to experience indigenous culture and farm-to-table experiences, including Wyoming’s renowned beef cuisine and local breweries.

Through my research (see resources used below) I discovered all of this in the Salt to Stone region: wild horse tours, ATV mountain adventures, fossil digging, paddling opportunities, ghost towns, unique Western pitchfork campfire dinners, and sandboarding down sand dunes that sing.

Our Salt to Stone Itinerary

Our six-day road trip will loop us around the areas of Kemmerer, Pinedale, South Pass City, Lander, and Rock Springs.

We’re renting a 4WD from Salt Lake City airport as its’ recommended for some of the areas we’ll be driving to. Another reason to love a road trip in this region of Wyoming—off road adventures!

Day 1: Kemmerer – Pinedale

fremont lake
Fremont Lake
  • Explore Fossils at Fossil Butte National Monument in Kemmerer where you’ll find some of the largest collection of fish fossils in the world. You can’t dig for fossils at the national monument, but you can view them at the museum and enjoy hiking on their trails. American Fossil is a place nearby where you can dig for fossils. 
  • Paddling boarding/ kayaking on Fremont Lake As soon as Craig saw Fremont Lake, he said, “We have to stay there!” Gorgeous views and serenity of lake love. What more is there to love?
  • Check in: Lakeside Lodge I cannot wait for that early morning sunrise coffee and sunset wine from the deck of our lakeside cottage. That’s the serenity I’m always seeking.

Day 2: Pinedale

atv driving through mountain road with lake in background
ATV adventures
  • ATV adventure on the scenic Skyline Drive and over to Half Moon Lake for lunch. This was our teen, Kalyra’s number one choice! We love zipping around in an ATV!
  • Exploring Downtown Pinedale with an afternoon brewery visit to Wind River Brewery.
  • Pitchfork Fondue Western Cookout A cultural outdoor dining experience under the stars

Day 3: South Pass & Lander

wild horses running across the plains at sunset
Wild horses in Wyoming
  • Historical viewpoints of wagon ruts along the Oregon Trail and over the Continental Divide
  • South Pass City State Historic Site – a ghost town that was once a gold mining boom town.
  • Red Canyon Scenic Overlook – We’re always planning for a panoramic vista pitstop!
  • Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary tour – hello wild horses in stunning scenery!! This is also a tour that honors Native American culture and shares their deep connection to horses. This was Savannah’s and my pick for the trip.
  • Check in: I also couldn’t resist a unique B&B stay in The Millhouse, which was the town’s first flour mill.

Day 4: Lander

stores line the road in downtown lander
Downtown Lander
  • Sinks Canyon State Park: Hiking in nature always calls us. In this state park we can see where the Popo Agie River disappears into a limestone cavern and reappears hours later at “The Rise.” We’ll also enjoy the Hike the Falls Trail to see a series of waterfalls.
  • Explore Downtown Lander – Looking forward to yummy treats, artisan coffee, local brews, farm-to-table food experiences, and live music.

Day 5: Rock Springs

family sandboarding down killpecker sand dunes wyoming
Looking forward to sandboarding fun
  • White Mountain Petroglyphs –  see the history of The Plains and Great Basin Native Americans told through etchings on the sandstone walks of White Mountain.
  • Sand surfing at Killpecker Sand Dunes – listen to the singing of the second largest active sand dune field in the world as we surf them. 
  • Explore Downtown Rock Springs – more local culture, food, and brews.
  • Check in: Outlaw Inn, a Western themed hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Our itinerary was crafted to tell a story of fun adventures, in wide-open spaces, where fewer feet imprint the earth.

Resources Used to Researching Wyoming Trip

Mon and daughter reading a magazine about Wyoming.
The Wyoming Official Travel Guide was helpful

All trips start with some kind of research.To avoid being overwhelmed by too much information, we like to stick to trustworthy resources that have the experience, expertise, and authority on a destination.

We’ll be creating an in-depth blog post, photos, and IG videos after our trip to help you plan a trip to the Salt to Stone Region. 

For now, we can share the planning resources we have used for this summer Wyoming trip.

  • The Wyoming Official Travel Guide is a fantastic resource for its visual information, paper map, and tips for traveling in each region of the state. You can get your own Wyoming travel guide from Wyoming Tourism here.
  • With maps, itinerary guides, and regional sections, the Travel Wyoming website makes it easy to research the different kinds of trips available in Wyoming to cater to all interests. Travel Wyoming’s online directory makes it easy to search for unique places to stay as well as local places to eat and drink. 
  • Regional websites made it easier to find even more information on highlights and things to do in each area, including logistics on getting around. These websites were linked to from the Travel Wyoming site.
<em>Using the Travel Wyoming website for research<em>
Hand holding a magazine.
Helpful resource for itineraries

A Few More Booking Tips

  • Remember not to cram too much in. Leave space between the important tours and attractions, especially if traveling longer distances, to allow for any delays. Any extra time you end up having can be used for rest, to linger in a café, explore a new trail, or to discover a local secret.
  • As we’re planning to visit Wyoming over Memorial Day Weekend – the first weekend of the summer travel season in Wyoming – we had to plan for a couple of alternative tours and attractions in our itinerary, just in case the weather interrupted it.
  • I used spreadsheets, Notion, and Google maps to record my research, plot out our route, and craft each day’s schedule. It also makes it easy when it comes to booking each experience as all key information is easy to find, and I can easily record confirmation numbers and access it when I arrive. 
  • Book everything as far in advance as you can, so you don’t miss out on popular attractions, flights, and accommodation. I am so happy all key parts to this summer trip in Wyoming are already booked!

Remember to Travel Responsibly

Moose in the bushes

In a destination like Wyoming with its endless wildlife and natural spaces, it’s important to be conscious travelers. Love Mother Nature, leave only footprints, and take only photographs and memories. 

Stay on the marked trails when hiking, get permits when required, drive safely, respect local culture and traditions, and NEVER go near wildlife—no matter how cute you think that selfie may be. We intend to purchase bear spray when we arrive in Wyoming (you can’t travel on planes with it) just to be safe.

Click to learn more tips on responsible travel in Wyoming. 

We’re Ready for a Great Time in Wyoming

family walking on sand dunes
Killpecker Sand Dunes

With almost everything booked and an itinerary crafted, we are now ready for memorable moments in the Salt to Stone region of Wyoming.

This summer road trip incorporates what we love most about travel: adventure in beautiful outdoor spaces to help us disconnect from the chaos and reconnect with each other. 

Join our email community and follow us on Instagram and Facebook so you don’t miss our footage of the trip. 

We’ll also have an in-depth blog post written upon return. We’ll see you in Wyoming over Memorial Weekend!

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