Wyoming is rugged country, and there’s no better way to see it than from the seat of a bike. Within a short drive of Rock Springs lie hundreds of miles of trails and a variety of terrain that can accommodate cyclists of all abilities – from families to the competitive biker.
“We have everything, from novice to expert, for a variety of people and skill levels,” says Jason Medler, owner of The Bike and Trike, the premier bike shop in Sweetwater County.
“With county roads, single-track and double-track trails, Sweetwater County has endless trails,” he says. “There’s high plains desert to riding 10,000 feet in the trees. Depending on how adventurous you want to be, you can go anywhere.”
One of the most popular trails is the 20-mile-long Cherokee Trail/Currant Creek Ranch Loop, which starts and ends at the former Currant Creek Ranch off County Road 33. It’s part of Little Mountain’s 250-mile network of trails. Other popular biking spots include Big Sandy Opening, Pilot Butte, Boar’s Tusk, Wilkins Peak and White Mountain, where sharp eyes may see actual seashells – a reminder that Rock Springs was once covered by ocean waters.
Bikers looking for stunning vistas can find their reward at Firehole Canyon, part of the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area south of Rock Springs off Interstate 80. The canyon features a large artificial lake with 375 miles of shoreline and brilliantly colored pillars called Chimney Rocks. The natural stone formations reach 1,500 feet high in places. Firehole Canyon and White Mountain are perennial favorites among out-of-towners.
“I have a friend who begs me to take him into Firehole Canyon every time he visits,” Medler says. “Same with White Mountain. My South Carolina friends love White Mountain.”
The competitive biker will find like company at races such as the 70-mile-long Laramie Enduro, the Stone Temple 8 in Cheyenne and the Tour de Wyoming, which typically sells out its 300 rider slots in minutes. Medler moved to Wyoming in the 1970s from Redwood City in Northern California.
While The Bike and Trike keeps him busy, he finds time to help maintain trails and signage along the Cherokee and Currant Creek runs on Little Mountain. That’s just part of the communal spirit among the outdoor sports community.
“Everything is shared around here,” he says. “There’s just so much space, and it’s wide open.” A variety of wildlife also shares the trails – wild horses, antelope, elk and deer. Such chance encounters are just part of the adventure, Medler says.
“There are two kinds of people who mountain bike. There’s the type that likes to go out and ride no matter what,” he says. “Then there are the people who want hand-built, hand-tamped trails. You have to take it as it comes and enjoy the view along the way.”
Find more on outdoor adventures and activities in Rock Springs, WY.