The Cowboy State is rich in Western history and lore, not to mention its fair share of legendary bandits. You can experience the vibrant Wild West through the history of famous Wyoming outlaws such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Here are some of the best places in Wyoming to catch the outlaw spirit.

Who Were Famous Wyoming Outlaws?

While the pioneers embraced westward expansion, the sparsely populated settlements amid relatively desolate surroundings made Wyoming a prime location for Old West bandits. Among a long local list of outlaw legends, many became nationally infamous, making their mark in American history. Two of these names will likely ring a bell: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Butch Cassidy: Robert LeRoy Parker

Robert LeRoy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, embarked on a long and fascinating crime spree that started in the late 1800s when he was just a teenager. Usually in the company of a band of Old West bandits, he quickly became a pack leader in strings of train and bank robberies and rustling horses and cattle. Always a complicated character, many reports said that he gave what he stole to those less fortunate, but that didn’t keep his posse, known as the Wild Bunch, out of the crosshairs of the law. Eventually, he left the United States for Argentina.

Sundance Kid: Harry Longabough

Harry Longabough, nicknamed Sundance Kid as a nod to the city where he served time, was also a member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, which was reportedly responsible for many high-profile robberies across the West. Additionally, he appeared to have a special connection to Cassidy himself, as he and his girlfriend accompanied him to Argentina in the early 1900s. Once they arrived, they started a ranch together but were back to outlaw activities in 5 short years. Some reports say they died together in a shootout with the law; others claim Sundance made his way back to the United States and lived a quiet life. Due to the nature of an Old West bandit’s lifestyle, no one knows what ultimately happened to either of them.

What is a Famous Hideout in Wyoming for Outlaws?

One of the most famous hideouts in outlaw history is located in the northern part of Wyoming, just outside the Bighorn Mountains. This remote valley is partially enclosed by sandstone, and the ample protection it provides undoubtedly led to its name: Hole-in-the-Wall. Not only did this enclave house Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and their Wild Bunch, but it was also a haven for other outlaws looking for shelter from Wyoming’s climate while they were passing through.

Top 8 Places to Experience the History of Wyoming’s Famous Outlaws

Old West bandits were always on the move, and that means they stopped or stayed in many spots across the state. These are the top 8 places you can visit today to experience the Cowboy State like its most infamous outlaws.

 1. Hole-in-the-Wall | Kaycee, WY

Not much has changed at Hole-in-the-Wall, near Kaycee, where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid from posses in the late 1800s. The hills are still rugged with the same grand views. The spot is accessible through Willow Creek Ranch, whose owners celebrate their former visitors — you can even stay overnight at the ranch and explore what remains of the hideout cabins. While these are interesting, the ranch has plenty of other history, including Native American teepee rings, petroglyphs and homestead cabins on horseback or foot.

 2. Original Hole-in-the-Wall Cabin | Cody, WY

Along with 25 other buildings dating from 1879 to 1901, you can find the original Hole-in-the-Wall two-room cabin of Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and Kid Curry at Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming. Here, you can experience outlaw history by walking the boardwalks and exploring a saloon, blacksmith shop, post office, school and more than 100 horse-drawn vehicles.

3. Historic Occidental Hotel | Buffalo, WY

The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo is the quintessential Wild West hotel, complete with an exciting outlaw history: It was a regular host to Cassidy, Sundance and other iconic (and sometimes infamous) figures in Wyoming lore. Today, you can peruse antiques and artifacts in the lobby, have a drink at the restored saloon bar and even sleep in rooms named after the Old West bandits.

4. The Birth of a Legend | Sundance, WY

The Sundance Kid, formerly Harry Longabaugh, received his famous nickname after being imprisoned in Sundance for stealing horses. The town is still full of old-fashioned Western charm, including the history of even more famous Wyoming outlaws at the Crook County Museum & 1875 Gallery. Make sure to spend some time here while exploring the northeast part of the Cowboy State.

5. Cowboy Bar | Meeteetse, WY

Cassidy called the Meeteetse area home for several years and was arrested outside the local Cowboy Bar. Still open for business today, you can belly up to the ornate wood bar — a rare, hand-carved original that was installed in 1893 — and try to count all 56 bullet holes made during the saloon’s rough-and-tumble Wild West past.

6. Butch Cassidy the Butcher | Rock Springs, WY

Legend has it that Robert Leroy Parker picked up the “Cassidy” part of his new name to avoid shaming his family with his illegal antics. He earned his famous first name, “Butch,” while working in a butcher shop in southwest Wyoming’s Rock Springs. You can learn more about his time there and more fascinating outlaw history at the Rock Springs Historical Museum.

 7. Wild Bunch Hideout | Baggs, WY

Baggs is right on the Wyoming-Colorado border, making it a perfect hideout and rendezvous point for members of the Wild Bunch after a big robbery. In addition to leader Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Wild Bunch included other famous Wyoming outlaws like Harvey Logan and Elzy Lay. After checking out the Outlaw Stop, enjoy some of the best natural landscape and wildlife viewing in Medicine Bow National Forest and Sierra Madre Mountain Range. 

8. Wyoming State Penitentiary | Laramie, WY

Butch Cassidy spent 18 months in the Wyoming State Penitentiary, now the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, in Laramie. Visitors can discover Wyoming’s outlaw history by touring the restored buildings and attending special events such as Butch Cassidy Days.

To learn more about Old West bandits, Wyoming history and the wonders of the Cowboy State past and present, check out our list of top podcasts.

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