Rock Springs Travel Guide, Wyoming
Rock Springs is not a special touristy destination and not much has been done to doll it up to attract tourists. But you must not see this as a disadvantage as you can see a real city not spoiled by unnatural beauty. Its residents remain the center of the business and cultural world.
The city’s name is pretty attractive for those who know nothing about it and have never been to Rock Springs, they might imagine there are springs around but the springs that gave the city its name dried up a long time ago when mining was the main industry in the area.
Most people see it as an industrial city and its roots are deep in mining. This was what helped the city develop. But besides mining there was the railway present in the early days of the city. Mining has its bad periods that were partially solved by bringing Chinese laborers to the dissatisfaction of the workers who could not ask for a pay raise. A Chinese community soon developed adding to the cultural diversity of the city.
Soon other businesses followed and made the city be even more industrialized. The next discovery was oil and gas and its extraction brought in more people. Things started to go for the better and wages raised. As the city developed fast as more money came in. This can be seen in the city’s architecture and infrastructure, not as orderly and planed as other cities that had time to plan their development.
Rock Springs is also a city of passers by, be them truckers who stop for a meal or those who wait for their train and while doing so they spend their few hours visiting the city. There are also the students who come to study at the Western Wyoming College enhancing the city’s cultural scene.
The most interesting part of the city is the historic downtown with weathered brick and wooden buildings. One of the most visited is the Ranch House where visitors can see many antique pieces of furniture. The choice of the way you visit is yours; you can have a self guided tour of a guided one on request.
The city’s cultural scene is not as poor as you would expect to be in an industrial city. There are also some museums worth a visit. Among them is The Rock Springs Historical Museum featuring exhibits telling the city’s mining history while the building hosting the museum is an example of fine Romanesque architecture. Original paintings by renowned artists can be seen at into the Community Fine Arts Center.
Even if the city is not as interesting for tourists, its love for the outdoors shows in the many outdoor opportunities you have at your disposal. Stating from the city’s Western Wyoming Community College Natural History Museum with interesting dinosaur displays and some fish and plant fossils you can go on exploring the outdoors at Fossil Butte National Monument where you can see the fossils in their original place. It is exciting to be in such an area you can imagine how it was like then, a different world with animals, plants and insects that now they would seem strange to you.
The outdoors offer activities for every taste and shape. If you are not much into activity you can have nice relaxing nature walks offered by Nature Trails and Flint Hills Forest Trail and the Texaco Nature Trail while the Dorothy Griffin Akin Wildflower Walk is a sheer delight. A stroll in the Memorial Tree Walks will delight your eyes with interesting specimen trees and native grasses and wildflowers can be seen at Kansas Native Plant Garden.
For more active people there are numerous sports opportunities with Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area offering excellent fishing and raft-floating.
Without being a very popular city among tourists the outdoors to be found in the area surely attract many who love nature strolls and a bit of action.
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