Flickr album link: Sinks Canyon State Park
Sinks Canyon State Park is located on Wyoming Highway 131 up in the Wind River Mountains. The paved highway follows a natural pass through the length of this high elevation canyon, so easy access is guaranteed through the warm weather seasons. This state park is primarily a day trip destination that is equipped with picnic spots and there is an open space recreation area that features a playground. Two campgrounds are located onsite and there are plenty of campsites to be found in the surrounding national forest. This is a good thing, because there is plenty to explore in this region, especially if you have a 4x4 vehicle.
Exploring everything there is to see and do in Sinks Canyon can take a few days, but the majority of visitors are content with taking in the sights for about a half day. This park is also in a remote location far away from where the mainstream tourists go at Yellowstone, so overcrowding is rarely a problem. As can be seen in the photos, Sinks Canyon State Park is very much a family oriented destination that boasts a picturesque setting and this unique geological area offers a great learning experience for visitors of all ages.
This state park was named after a geological feature called the sinks, which is rarely encountered anywhere else. The mountain peaks in this area were dramatically thrust upward and where the canyons are carved, layers upon layers of sedimentary rock strata can be seen. Ancient aquifer caves exist where softer layers of sandstone and limestone have eroded away, while the Popo Agie River has shaped this landscape as well. The area where Popo Agie River drops into a large cavern is called the sinks and where is exits way downstream into a large natural pool is called the rise. Watching the powerful river water disappear into the chasm is a mesmerizing sight to see and there is a boardwalk next to the visitor center that makes this easy to do. In fact, the visitor center also serves as a natural resource museum and educational center, so a lot can be learned while doing the riverside walking tour.
High winds can be expected at Sinks Canyon when summer storms approach and clouds literally envelope the towering cliffs in this high elevation. The river rapids certainly add a dramatic touch, so this destination definitely is a great spot for landscape artists. Sinks Canyon State Park may seem like it is too far away to bother with when casually browsing a map, but this could not be further from the truth. Sinks Canyon certainly is a once in a lifetime destination that simply must be placed high on the list. Be sure to pack a big picnic basket because this is a day trip destination like no other!
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