During its more than 80-year history as a corrections facility, approximately 13,500 inmates called the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins “home.”
Wyoming’s Frontier Prison, often referred to as the “Old Pen,” housed 11 women from when it opened in 1901 until 1909, at which point it became a facility primarily for men.
While much of the state’s tourism is contained in the national parks in the north, the southern half of the state enjoys a slower lifestyle. Driving along any of the highways connecting the small towns in Carbon County is reminiscent of the true Old West; dude ranches galore and fly fishing without competition.
This vast 7,964 square mile county takes in the towns of Rawlins (the county seat), Sinclair, Hanna, Medicine Bow, Elk Mountain, Saratoga, Riverside, Encampment, Savery, and Baggs. Boasting two scenic byways over the Snowy Range and Battle Mountain, the North Platte and Little Snake River Valleys, Encampment River, Saratoga natural Hot Springs, numerous designated wilderness areas and the Contintental Divide trail, outdoor enthusiasts can seek many types of of adventures. Located off the beaten path, visitors will find an abundance of well known trails passing through Carbon County that are rich with cultural and historic stories of cowboys, Indians, fur trappers, emigrants and outlaws, that exist today as they did in the late 1800's.
Many of Carbon County's early inhabitants were miners. The mining community was transient, accustomed to leaving if better mineral deposits were found elsewhere. This created ghost towns which offer an excellent choice for exploration and geocaching. Here are a few of these spooky ghost towns!
They’re woven together by ranching, coal, oil and a growing wind turbine industry. Break up your drive by stopping at some of these small-town attractions.
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