Buffalo Hump WSA Location: Sweetwater County
Nearest Town: Rock Springs (30 miles)
BLM Acreage: 10,300 acres
Recommended for Wilderness: 6,080 acres
Primitive & Unconfined Recreation:
Most of the primitive and unconfined recreation opportunities are found in the eastern and southern portions of the unit. These activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, bird watching, wildlife photography, horseback riding and hunting.
The outstanding scenic quality of this WSA enhances the recreational values. The moving sand dunes provide for a dynamic rather than static viewshed.
The Buffalo Hump WSA encompasses 10,300 acres of BLM-administered land with no private or state inholdings. This is a sand dune area of many sand valleys, blowouts, dunes and hills. The northern and western part of the area contains ponds, grass-covered marshes and playas. The southern and eastern part includes active dunes and meadows. This area and the adjacent Sand Dunes WSA are part of the range of the only herd of desert elk in Wyoming.
The Buffalo Hump WSA is essentially in a natural condition exhibiting an undisturbed sagebrush-grassland ecosystem intermingled with active sand dunes. There are some two-track trails, seismograph lines, livestock pit reservoirs, and a segment of sand fence. However, these intrusions do not detract from the overall integrity and naturalness of the area.
The eastern portion of the WSA consists primarily of moving and stabilized sand dunes that match the dunes in the Sand Dunes WSA. The two WSAs are only separated by an abandoned railroad bed. The western side of the WSA consists of rolling stabilized sand dunes covered with sagebrush and grasses.
Due to the topographic relief in the southern and eastern portions of the WSA, the remoteness of the area provides outstanding solitude.
Few roads exist outside the WSA; therefore, outside sights and sounds are practically non-existent. The numerous sand hills and overhangs accompanied by fresh water ponds provide scores of opportunities for solitude.
The Buffalo Hump WSA lies within a mile of two very important archaeological sites. These are the Finley site and the Eden-Farson site, where a distinctive projectile point gave evidence of one of man’s earliest inhabited sites in North America. Therefore, it is highly probable that other significant sites may be located within the WSA.
The area attracts wild horses, mule deer, the unique herd of desert elk and large numbers of pronghorn antelope. Raptors and coyotes are frequent visitors to the area, plus reports of cougar use have been received in the recent past.
Part of the Buffalo Hump WSA lies within the Greater Sand Dunes Recreation Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The ACEC management plan provides wildlife and cultural resource protection and promotes appropriate recreation use.
The greatest special feature of the WSA is the dunes themselves. Pure white sand changes the landscape with every wind storm, building 100-foot drifts and hiding all imprints of man’s visits.