If you are looking for a Sakon Nakhon temple to do some hiking, then Tham Thoeng Nak Nimit Priest's Camp (สำนักสงฆ์ถ้ำเทิ้งนาคนิมิต) is the place to go. The area consists of many acres at the side of Phu Phan Mountain, with long cement and natural paths running up the mountainside toward Wat Tham Wang Kaen (วัดถ้ำวังแคน). The area where the mountain paths start, which is home to several Kutis (monk's lodgings) also goes by the name Samnak Song Pung Pao (สํานักสงฆ์ปุ่งเป้า), which translates to the Monastery that Hits the Target.
As you walk up the mountainside path, the trail is posted with inspirational Thai Buddhist sayings, such as รอยยิ้มและเสียงหัวเราะ คือ…ยาอายุวัฒนะ, meaning "Smiling and Laughing is an Elixir of Life".
Note that you need to be in fairly good shape to scale the mountainside path, or plan to take frequent breaks. There are tubs of water along the path to quench your thirst, but to be on the safe side, it would probably be better to bring your own water with you. After hiking a bit over 1 kilometer, you'll arrive at the entrance gate to Wat Tham Wang Kaen (The Temple of the Palace Cave) on your right. You'll continue walking a little while until you arrive at the temple grounds, with its gorgeous Naga and Buddha statue in the center.
You don't have to scale the mountain to enjoy Tham Thoeng Nak Nimit Priest's Camp, which is identified as a "Priest's Camp Site" or Monastery (สำนักสงฆ์), because it has yet to receive Royal approval as a Wat/Temple. Before you arrive at the entrance of the Buddhist camp, you'll find a tall pagoda with Buddha statues, a golden laughing Buddha, and a statue of Luang Pu Thuat or Luang Phor Tuad. According to legend, when Luang Phor Thuad was a baby, a large snake curled about him, but did not harm the child. Instead the snake spit out a multi-colored crystal ball onto the baby's chest and slithered away.
It is because of this legend that you will see a sculpture of the Buddha sitting inside a multi-headed Naga serpent that looks like a cobra, and another sculpture where the Buddha is sitting inside a fanged cobra. One of the great things about Sakon Nakhon temples is that while there are always some similar statues and icons, there are still different and unique sculptures and/or murals to enjoy.
While you are on your way here, don't forget to drop by Wat Pasutharam, which is located about 1.5 km before you reach Tham Thoeng Nak Nimit Priest's Camp Site. Wat Pasutharam has an interesting white sculpture of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.