DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND WILDERNESS STUDY AREA
The Sand Dunes WSA provides great opportunities for experiencing naturalness, solitude, and primitive and unconfined recreation. The WSA is in natural condition, with a few seismic and two-track trails, reservoirs, and fences. Solitude is available due to the WSA’s topography and large acreage. Some of the most popular forms of recreation include camping, rock founding, hiking, hunting, and off-road sightseeing after visitors pass the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
Further opportunities include geologic and archeological values. Fossil deposits and evidence of early man can be found throughout the WSAs. Indians pursuing a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle occupied the area continuously for 9,000 years. The Pine Springs archaeological site, a cultural ACEC, is adjacent to the WSAs. The southeast flanks of Black Mountain are covered by one of the most extensive (and significant) tipi ring sites in southwestern Wyoming.
The area is characterized by highly eroded badlands surrounding two large mesas of high relief. Elevation ranges from 6,200 feet in the northern washes of Devils Playground to 8,012 feet on the Twin Butte Mesa. Very little vegetation grows on the WSA’s badlands, though there are some pockets of sagebrush, saltbrush and juniper. Motorized travel is expressly prohibited. Additionally, the WSA is closed to mineral entry, including gold panning.
Access to wild lands inherently requires navigational skills and in many cases, four wheel-drive/high clearance vehicles. Visitors should be prepared for adverse weather and road conditions. The WSAs found in the BLM High Desert District are primarily accessed by unnamed/unsigned two track roads; in many cases, these roads maybe difficult or impossible to find without good navigational skills and equipment.
Wilderness Study Areas
WSAs are undeveloped federal lands that retain their primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, and are managed so as not to impair their suitability for preservation as wilderness. Backcountry recreation is a common use along with Leave no Trace Outdoor ethics. Please be advised these areas are restricted and do not allow for the use of motorized and mechanized equipment.