Flickr album link: Big Sandy Recreation Area
The Big Sandy Recreation Area is located on Highway 191 a few miles north of Eden, Wyoming, which is a good spot to stock up on fuel and last minute necessities. Rock Springs is the closest major city and this long section of Highway 191 going north is a major tourism corridor to Teton National Park and Yellowstone. The majority of mainstream tourists simply overlook the lesser known destinations in between, because most are in too much of a hurry to get to the big national parks. For those who take the time to smell the roses, there are plenty of adventures to be found in the mountain forest wilderness areas near Boulder and of course the Big Sandy beckons to be experienced as well. These lesser known destinations are also a favorite of the local outdoorsmen, especially on the weekends. The developed campgrounds tend to stay busy all summer long, yet empty spots are fairly easy to find in the rustic primitive camping areas. There are plenty. of free camping options too and one of the best happens to be Big Sandy.
The Big Sandy Reservoir is the spot on the map to look for and this is where a unique developed dispersed campground can be found. The campground features basic facilities, picnic tables and chargrills along with drinking water. It is easy to find a cozy spot overlooking the lake and there are a few shade trees to be found. Local activities include fishing, personal watercraft boating and hiking the nature trail along Big Sandy Creek. The Big Sandy Reservoir is a good place to do some seasonal birding and all sorts of wildlife is drawn to the water. There are also 4x4 trails that go north into the back country of this gigantic sandy basin where large wild game can be viewed. Many of the dirt roads go to spots along the north shoreline and wetlands, but care must be taken to not drive into the muddy areas. The Big Sandy soil crust may look firm on top, but just underneath is the dreaded "peanut butter" slick mud that is guaranteed to cause any vehicle to become hopelessly stuck.
On the downside, high winds can kick up with little warning in the flat high desert landscape of the Big Sandy, so it is best to keep loose items secure. The recent severe drought that has affected the entire west has caused the lake water to recede, but there are still plenty of fish in the water. For this reason the Big Sandy Recreation Area is a little less attractive than it used to be, but with fewer visitors plenty of peace and quiet can be found in this scenic place!
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