With a rich heritage of pioneering spirit and a landscape that’s as beautiful as it is rugged, the state of Wyoming is a treasure trove for those seeking to explore abandoned places in Wyoming. These derelict sites bear the marks of a storied past, echoing with tales of the gold rush, the railroad’s rise, and the relentless march of time and nature.
Adventurers and history enthusiasts will find a diverse array of places to explore in Wyoming, from forgotten mining towns to deserted homesteads, each place a hauntingly beautiful testament to human ambition and resilience.
Note: Many of these locations are in an extremely delicate state. Specifics on locations, such as coordinates or maps, are not given. This is done so purposefully as a barrier to entry to those who may mean harm to these spots. I want to ensure that these abandoned places in Wyoming are known about, but stay as vandalism and destruction free as possible. Remember: Take only photos, leave only footprints.
Breakdown: The Top 10 and More
If you have a specific location from the list below that you would like to immediately get more information about, click the links in the list to snap straight to that abandoned places in Wyoming location.
Broaden Your Horizons Beyond Wyoming
Are you interested in venturing outside the state of Wyoming? Maybe you live close to the state line, or maybe you’re just looking for adventures outside your home state. Whatever the case may be, here are some guides to bordering states that may be helpful in effective urban exploration:
Don’t Forget About Trespassing Laws
It is important when considering abandoned places in Wyoming to know the basics of Wyoming trespassing laws. Luckily, we have developed a massive guide to trespassing laws in all 50 states. For laws that specifically relate to Wyoming, please click here.
Without any further ado, let’s hop into the list of abandoned places!
The Best Abandoned Places in Wyoming
Atlantic City (Atlantic City)
Situated amidst the sweeping landscapes of Fremont County, Wyoming, Atlantic City is a semi-ghost town that bears witness to an era of gold-fuelled prosperity. Founded during the significant gold rush of the 1860s, the town served as the dwelling for over 500 miners and their families at its peak. Today, despite a modest population of steadfast inhabitants, the town is a tangible testament to its former glory, with its deserted mines, derelict buildings, and old, weather-beaten graveyard.
Visitors to Atlantic City can take a leisurely stroll down its main street, which is now designated as a Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As you traverse the old town’s core, you’re walking on the cobbled footsteps of gold seekers who, centuries ago, thrived amidst the same mountains and streams. Every nook and cranny whispers tales of the town’s golden days, igniting the imagination with images of horse-drawn carriages, busy saloons, and bustling mineyards.
The natural environment encircling Atlantic City accentuates its enchanting allure. Nestled beneath the towering Wind River Range, the town is framed by a panorama of undulating hills and vast open skies. The tranquil beauty of the Wyoming wilderness imbues Atlantic City with a serene, contemplative atmosphere that compels urban explorers to delve deeper into its historical narrative.
Carbon Cemetery (Carbon)
Serving as a poignant monument to Wyoming’s once flourishing coal industry, Carbon Cemetery lies near the abandoned town of Carbon. In the 1860s, Carbon was a dynamic coal-mining town with an array of saloons, hotels, and stores. Its destiny was dramatically altered when the transcontinental railroad shifted from coal to oil, leading to the gradual decline of the town and its eventual abandonment.
The cemetery stands as a solemn tribute to the lives that once invigorated the town. Enclosed by an aged wooden fence that bears the mark of years gone by, the cemetery is a quiet enclave filled with a collection of gravestones. These markers, some ornate and others humble, date back to the late 19th century. Each one tells a unique story, providing a personal connection to the individuals who braved harsh winters and toiled in the mines.
Nestled within the stark, rugged beauty of Wyoming’s landscape, Carbon Cemetery stirs a sense of deep reverence and introspection. As the wind whistles through the nearby trees and the solitary hum of nature serves as the only soundtrack, a visit to Carbon Cemetery transforms into a journey back through time, into the heart of Wyoming’s historic past.
Gebo Ghost Town (Thermopolis)
Located close to Thermopolis, the ghost town of Gebo stands as a stark testament to Wyoming’s extensive coal mining history. Named after Samuel Wilford Gebo, who established the first coal mines in the area, Gebo was once a bustling hub of activity and the largest town in Hot Springs County. In its heyday in the early 20th century, the town’s population swelled to over 20,000 inhabitants, and it boasted an impressive infrastructure that included a school, stores, hotels, and even a jail.
However, the tide turned for Gebo with the closure of the last mine in 1938, marking the beginning of the town’s gradual descent into desertion. Now, the skeletal remains of Gebo’s past are all that’s left. The decaying buildings, abandoned homes, and old mining structures scattered around the town provide a hauntingly beautiful tableau of a once-thriving community.
Despite the palpable decay, the original layout of Gebo remains intact, allowing visitors to imagine the hustle and bustle that once pervaded these now silent streets. The experience of exploring Gebo is akin to stepping into a time capsule, offering a compelling view into the ebbs and flows of life in a quintessential American mining town. As you wander through the deserted streets, the echoes of laughter, chatter, and the clattering of coal mining resonate in the air, offering an unforgettable exploration experience.
The Smith Mansion (Cody)
Perched high atop a hill overlooking the Wapiti Valley, near the eastern gate of Yellowstone National Park, the Smith Mansion stands as an architectural marvel and an eerie testament to one man’s dream. This colossal, multi-tiered wooden structure, the brainchild of Wyoming native Francis Lee Smith, was built single-handedly over a period of more than two decades. A testament to human endurance, ingenuity, and eccentricity, the structure spirals upward in an awe-inspiring maze of beams, balconies, and rooms.
Smith, an engineer by profession, dedicated the majority of his adult life to the creation of this labyrinthine mansion. He sourced the wood from the surrounding forests and constructed every piece by hand. Unfortunately, he met an untimely death during the mansion’s construction, falling from one of its many levels. Since then, the mansion has been abandoned, with Smith’s dream left unfinished.
Today, the mansion is a fascinating spectacle of architectural wonder, looming over the landscape like a ghostly ship navigating an ocean of grass and wildflowers. The towering structure, with its rickety ladders and precariously hanging platforms, serves as a stark reminder of Smith’s tenacious pursuit of his dream. For urban explorers and architecture enthusiasts alike, the Smith Mansion offers a uniquely haunting and captivating destination.
Miner’s Delight (Lander)
Miner’s Delight, located near the city of Lander, Wyoming, was once a thriving mining camp during the state’s gold rush in the late 19th century. The community was formally known as Hamilton City, but the miners affectionately referred to it as Miner’s Delight, a moniker that has endured to the present day.
At its peak, Miner’s Delight boasted about 75 buildings, including a schoolhouse, post office, and the Miner’s Delight Mine, from which the town derived its popular name. The gold extracted from this mine was renowned for its high quality, leading to the town’s brief period of prosperity. However, as the gold veins were exhausted, the town began its slow descent into oblivion.
Today, Miner’s Delight is a desolate ghost town, with only a few structures still standing, including the remnants of log cabins, the mine’s hoist house, and various mining equipment. The dilapidated buildings, slowly succumbing to the elements, paint a poignant picture of the boom and bust cycle inherent to mining towns. For urban explorers, Miner’s Delight offers a fascinating glimpse into the state’s gold mining history, and the quiet desolation adds an aura of mystery to the experience.
Wyoming Frontier Prison (Rawlins)
A chilling monument to the grim reality of incarceration, the Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins is a haunting embodiment of history. This formidable structure, with its high stone walls and foreboding towers, first opened its doors in 1901 and operated for over 80 years before its closure in 1981. It housed thousands of inmates throughout its history, and its eerie solitude now serves as a stark reminder of its storied past.
The prison was renowned for its brutal conditions and was home to various forms of punishment, including a dungeon for solitary confinement, and later, a gas chamber. The institution was frequently overcrowded, adding to the hardship of those incarcerated within its walls.
Today, the Wyoming Frontier Prison is open to the public for guided tours, where visitors can explore the vacant cell blocks, solitary confinement cells, the chilling execution chamber, and the eerie chapel. The austere stone walls, rusted iron bars, and echoes of past inhabitants create an atmospheric exploration experience.
Each room tells a different chapter of the prison’s history, making it a must-visit site for history buffs and urban explorers alike. The echoes of the past resonate throughout the deserted prison, offering a chilling, yet intriguing experience for urban explorers.
Kirwin Ghost Town (Meeteetse)
High in the Absaroka Mountains, near the town of Meeteetse, Wyoming, lies the haunting ghost town of Kirwin. Established in the late 19th century during a period of silver prospecting, Kirwin was once a bustling mining town, complete with a post office, a few businesses, and numerous homes. The town’s dreams of prosperity were abruptly shattered by a deadly avalanche in 1907, leading to a mass exodus and the town’s subsequent abandonment.
Today, Kirwin exists as an isolated outpost in Wyoming’s wilderness, a haunting relic of the state’s mining history. Over two dozen structures still stand, including cabins, an assay office, and remnants of the mines. The harsh alpine weather and the passage of time have lent an air of desolation and decay to these structures, adding to their eerie allure.
Access to Kirwin is no small task, requiring a high-clearance vehicle and a willingness to navigate rugged mountain trails. However, the journey is part of the experience, taking explorers through breathtaking wilderness and offering an exciting, immersive glimpse into the harsh realities of mining life in the Wild West.
Como Bluff Fossil Cabin (Medicine Bow)
Constructed entirely from dinosaur bones, the Como Bluff Fossil Cabin near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, is a unique and surreal monument to paleontological history. The cabin was built in 1932 by Thomas Boylan, who spent seventeen years collecting dinosaur bones from the nearby Como Bluff, a famed site for Jurassic and Cretaceous fossils.
Boylan intended the cabin to serve as a tourist attraction, labeling it as the “world’s oldest cabin.” However, as interest waned over the years, the cabin was eventually abandoned. It’s said to contain over 5,796 individual dinosaur bones, a figure that gives testament to Boylan’s dedication and the rich paleontological history of the region.
Today, the cabin stands alone on the windswept Wyoming landscape, its fossil-embedded walls a curiosity for passing explorers. Each bone embedded in the structure has a story millions of years in the making, making the cabin a must-see for history lovers and urban explorers alike.
Winton Tunnel (Gillette)
The Winton Tunnel, located near Gillette, Wyoming, is a testament to the state’s rich railroad history. Constructed in 1891 as part of the Burlington Northern Railroad line, this 1,600-foot long tunnel is carved straight through a solid sandstone ridge. The tunnel served as an important railway link for many years until it was abandoned in 1983.
The tunnel’s isolation and the absence of any nearby human activity have given it an eerie silence that is only occasionally broken by the rustling of leaves or the distant call of a bird. The tunnel’s opening looms dark and foreboding against the landscape, inviting explorers to delve into its shadows.
Despite years of neglect, the tunnel’s structure remains sound, its stone walls bearing the marks of manual labor and machinery from a bygone era. Urban explorers and history enthusiasts who visit the Winton Tunnel can experience firsthand the haunting atmosphere and quiet solitude of this forgotten piece of Wyoming’s railway history.
Trail End State Historic Site (Sheridan)
The Trail End State Historic Site in Sheridan, Wyoming, stands as a beautifully preserved example of early 20th-century elegance and wealth. This sprawling Flemish Revival mansion, also known as Kendrick Mansion, was once the home of Wyoming cattle baron and politician John B. Kendrick.
Construction of the mansion was completed in 1913, and it stands as a symbol of the opulence of the era. Despite its beauty, the mansion has experienced periods of abandonment. After the last of the Kendricks moved out in 1933, the mansion was unoccupied until 1959 when it was donated to the State of Wyoming.
The mansion is a hub of ghostly tales, with many reported sightings of spectral figures, perhaps members of the Kendrick family, still occupying their beloved home. Despite its occasional use for historical tours, the mansion’s vast size and old age give it a feel of a place lost in time, especially in its less-visited areas. Visitors frequently report an eerie feeling of being watched and an unsettling quiet that pervades the vast rooms and long, empty corridors.
Our Final Thoughts on Abandoned Places in Wyoming
Those who are into urban exploration in the Wyoming area should get comfortable with Wyoming trespassing laws. Luckily, we have developed a massive guide to trespassing laws in all 50 states. For laws that specifically relate to Wyoming, please click here.
For more about obtaining permission to explore abandoned places, check out our guide Explore Abandoned Buildings: How To Get Permission. Finally, if you are wanting to find more abandoned places in Wyoming, check out my resource How To Find Abandoned Places With Google Maps.
- John Bourscheid, Killer Urbex