SWEETWATER CANYON WILDERNESS STUDY AREA
The Sweetwater Canyon WSA encompasses 9,056 acres of BLM-administered land without any split estate or private inholdings. The WSA lies along the southeastern flank of the Wind River Range in the high plains desert. The 5,538 acres recommended for wilderness include the core area of the Sweetwater River Canyon, which is roughly 7 miles long and averages 500 feet deep. The inaccessibility of the Sweetwater River means that outstanding opportunities for solitude exist in the dramatic canyon. Rainbow, brown, and brook trout inhabit the river and its tributaries, and moose, elk, mule deer and antelope may be found in the area, depending on the time of year. Golden eagles, prairie falcons and ferruginous and red-tailed hawks dot the skies. The river canyon offers opportunities for hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, nature study, and photography.
The Sweetwater Canyon WSA is accessed from the Hudson Atlantic City Road. Motorized travel is expressly prohibited. Additionally, the WSA is closed to mineral entry, including gold panning.
Access to wild lands inherently requires good navigational skills and four-wheel drive or high-clearance vehicles. Visitors should be prepared for adverse weather and road conditions. The WSAs in the BLM Field Office are primarily accessed by unnamed or unsigned two-track roads that in many cases may be difficult to find without sufficient 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.