We are boondocking right off the Wild Horse Canyon Road that runs between Green River and the highway east of Rock Springs. For our last day in Green River we rode out and back on the gravel road to Pilot Butte. Our ride was 25 miles with 1300′ of climbing. On a weekday during our 25 mile ride two cars passed us.
The majority of wild horses in Wyoming are located in the southwestern part of the state. The appropriate management level for wild horses in Wyoming is approximately 2,490 to 3,725 horses. Approximately 1,100 to 1,600 wild horses can be found on the public lands managed by the Rock Springs Field Office. Wild horses have no true natural predators other than an occasional mountain lion so populations increase rapidly. When populations of wildlife, wild horses and livestock exceed the capabilities of their habitat, the environment begins to suffer. To thwart this, the BLM rounds some up and offers them up for adoption every so often.
While the only wild horses we saw on our ride out an back to Pilot Butte were far off in the distance, we did see piles of horse poop along the road. Apparently stud horses make the piles to mark their territory. I’m so thankful humans don’t do this. Along the way we saw several large coyotes, antelope, deer, rabbits, and lots of birds.
At 7932′ Pilot Butte is the highest point on White Mountain. The famous landmark is visible up to 30 miles in all directions and has been used as a marker by people since prehistoric times. Indeed, I can see it from where I sit here at camp typing this post. We rode right up to the base of it and then had to get off and hike the rest of the way. It doesn’t look like much from far away, other than a butte, but a swath of wildflowers cover the ground and rocky outcroppings surround it. There is pretty much nothing for miles and miles around and from way up top that is even more apparent.