Stroll along the Sweetwater River with the help of a pack animal. What Is It? Not far from Lander, vast, rolling plains give way to the high desert refuge of Sweetwater Canyon. Here, the Sweetwater River has carved through blocky granite walls to form rugged 500-foot walls and cliffs dappled with fissures and cracks. On your way into the canyon, take note of the southern Wind River Range looming to the east. Why Do It? As you stroll along the Sweetwater, you’ll find yourself slowing down and relaxing to match the rhythm of the river. The canyon is magnificent and the river, which slowly snakes through the landscape, has excellent rainbow and brown trout fishing. Take time to cast into the bountiful pools and riffles scattered throughout the crystal-clear water and to meander up the many draws—lined with stands of aspen, willow, and birch—leading into and out of the canyon. Antelope, desert elk, sage grouse, hawks, falcons, and prairie dogs are among the wildlife that call this canyon home, so keep your camera handy. Make It Happen: Though you can walk this spectacular canyon on your own by grabbing a couple of maps and a copy of Hiking Wyoming by Bill Hunger, why not go guided with llamas and explore unencumbered by a heavy pack? Lander Llama Company offers a range of llama pack trips into the wilderness.

Wyoming: Wander in Sweetwater Canyon

Stroll along the Sweetwater River with the help of a pack animal. What Is It? Not far from Lander, vast, rolling plains give way to the high desert refuge of Sweetwater Canyon. Here, the Sweetwater River has carved through blocky granite walls to form rugged 500-foot walls and cliffs dappled with fissures and cracks. On your way into the canyon, take note of the southern Wind River Range looming to the east. Why Do It? As you stroll along the Sweetwater, you’ll find yourself slowing down and relaxing to match the rhythm of the river. The canyon is magnificent and the river, which slowly snakes through the landscape, has excellent rainbow and brown trout fishing. Take time to cast into the bountiful pools and riffles scattered throughout the crystal-clear water and to meander up the many draws—lined with stands of aspen, willow, and birch—leading into and out of the canyon. Antelope, desert elk, sage grouse, hawks, falcons, and prairie dogs are among the wildlife that call this canyon home, so keep your camera handy. Make It Happen: Though you can walk this spectacular canyon on your own by grabbing a couple of maps and a copy of Hiking Wyoming by Bill Hunger, why not go guided with llamas and explore unencumbered by a heavy pack? Lander Llama Company offers a range of llama pack trips into the wilderness.
Photograph by Lowell Georgia, National Geographic

America’s Best Summer Weekend Adventures

Great adventures are all around us—and summer is the ideal time to seek them. To give you some ideas and inspiration, every weekday we will be sharing a different U.S. summer weekend adventure, state-by-state.

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