Southern Wyoming may not be at the top of your list in terms of destinations to visit in the United States. After all, the notable national parks are all located in the opposite direction. But north of the Colorado border, highways 25, 80, and 90 allow you to take the backroads. You never know what you might find!
The Town of One
Buford is one of the first places you can stop when crossing into the state from the south. There’s one gas station with a small store and coffee shop inside. This is the entirety of the town and its only resident is the man who works there. Stop for a photo at the sign that says “Population: 1.” Nearby there’s also a tree that grows through a rock in the middle of the highway and an unusual pyramid built by the Ames Brothers.
The Prison That Held Cassidy
Laramie has the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, a museum that tells of the prison’s notable history. This is where the worst of criminals were kept, including Wild West legend Butch Cassidy. You can also visit the seemingly out of place Abraham Lincoln Memorial Monument nearby, which celebrated the president’s 150th birthday.
A Real-Life Ghost Town
South Pass City now exists for visitors, but it was once a bustling town where gold miners at the Carissa Mine and their families lived. It was used on and off from the 1800s to the 1950s. It became a living history museum in 2003. The buildings, including a hotel, schoolhouse, and homes, have either been restored or rebuilt.
Free and Public Hot Springs
Hot springs are found all out west, some owned by spas and some in the woods. But the town of Saratoga’s Hobo Hot Springs are a highlight. The natural hot springs are open 24/7 and free to the public. The mineral and algae waters’ temperatures range from 100 to 119 degrees Fahrenheit.
A Haunted, Abandoned Prison
There’s more than one creepy prison in Southern Wyoming. Rawlins is home to the Wyoming Frontier Prison, nicknamed “The Old Pen.” The town was a stop on the Union Pacific Railroad, so the jail was full of train robbers and other outlaws. You can tour the building, which is said to be haunted.
So if you’re looking for places to stop on a road trip through the USA, consider Wyoming’s offbeat landmarks.