Home » Explore the Rich History of the West

Explore the Rich History of the West

Carbon County is 7,897 square miles from the mountains to the deserts.

It is known for it’s rich natural resources, gorgeous mountains, scenic vistas and pristine rivers and streams. Come to Carbon County and leave the crowds behind. Historically, Carbon County has been traversed by the Overland Trail, Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, and both the original route of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Lincoln Highway. Interstate 80 is now the trail of choice for most travelers through the county, although several scenic back roads and byways offer pleasant alternatives.

Itinerary Overview

Suggested Time:

4 Days

Day 1

Carbon County Museum

Rawlins, Wyoming

Learn the history of western expansion at the Carbon County Museum. Your “Wild West” adventure begins with fascinating exhibits including a new Union Pacific exhibit, Women’s exhibit, Native American exhibit, Art exhibit and an “Outlaws” exhibit featuring Big Nose George Parrot.

Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum

Rawlins, Wyoming

Looking for an authentic experience that’s a tad creepy, yet educational? Tour the Wyoming Frontier Prison, Wyoming’s first state penitentiary. Currently operated as a museum, this impressive stone fortress once housed Wyoming’s most infamous outlaws. Excellent tour guides tell interesting stories of the inmates prison life.

Historic Downtown Rawlins

Rawlins, Wyoming

Take a break for lunch and explore Historic Downtown Rawlins. Rich in 19th century architecture, downtown Rawlins has several unique shops and stores. Rawlins boasts a great selection of restaurants with good eats: steaks, burgers, seafood, Thai, pasta, pizza and authentic Mexican. Then take a walk though history with Rawlins’ downtown mural tour. 14 murals created by local artists highlight the history and natural beauty of Carbon County.

Day 2

Parco/Sinclair Museum

Sinclair, Wyoming

The Parco/Sinclair Museum is located inside the Sinclair Town Hall, in a room that was originally the First National Bank of Parco. Collections date back to the 1930’s and feature the founding of the town of Parco (Producers And Refiners Company) and the building of the oil refinery. This company town was purchased by Sinclair Oil in 1935, so there is plenty of Sinclair’s history here as well.

Day 2

Fort Steele State Historic Site

Sinclair, Wyoming

The Fort was built in 1868 on the North Platte River to protect the men building the Union Pacific Railroad from attacks by Native Americans. There are still many foundations, a few original structures and occasionally trains pass by over the bridge, giving you a sense of life in the past.

Seminoe-Alcova Back Country Byway

The Seminoe-Alcova Backcountry Byway is 64 miles long between Sinclair on Interstate 80 and Alcova on Wyoming Highway 220. Driving time is around two hours traveling at a leisurely pace. The byway is a combination of paved and graveled roads and is generally passable from May to November. The byway segment begins just north of Seminoe State Park and runs through the Seminoe Mountains.

Day 3

Hobo Hot Springs Pools

Saratoga, Wyoming

Free and open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, these mineral hot spring pools are the ultimate for healthy relaxation. Water temperatures range from 101 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit; the Lobster Pot is a steamy 120 degrees. The “Not-So-Hot” Pool offers cooler temperatures. Restrooms, changing and shower facilities are available on-site.

Saratoga Museum

Saratoga, Wyoming

Learn the history of Saratoga and the Upper North Platte River Valley through exhibits that include: minerals and gems ranging from India to Antarctica, hands-on dinosaur poop, a Columbian mammoth tooth, vintage toys, a buffalo kill site and a one-bedroom cabin.

Snowy Range Scenic Byway

Centennial, Wyoming

The Snowy Range Scenic Byway crosses the Medicine Bow Mountain Range and includes 29 miles of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest on Wyoming Highway 130. This byway is located in southern Wyoming and can be reached by exiting Interstate 80 at Laramie or at Walcott Junction, approximately 20 miles east of Rawlins.

Lake Marie

Medicine Bow, Wyoming

Lake Marie lies below majestic Medicine Bow Peak and is named after Mrs. Mary (Marie) Bellamy. Marie led a successful suffrage drive that resulted in the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. She was also the first woman elected to the Wyoming Legislature in 1910.

Day 4

Grand Encampment Museum

Encampment, Wyoming

Experience Encampment from a century ago! At the turn of the 20th century, Encampment was a booming copper mining town with saloons, a 16-mile long tramway, stage stops and more. The Grand Encampment Museum (GEM) highlights this local history and offers fun tours through 15 historic buildings that represent the copper mining, ranching, and logging history. We also highlight Women of the Mountain West at the GEM. Come learn about women fire lookouts and other women who documented the West through photographs and diaries.


Riverside, Wyoming

Formerly a ranching headquarters on the Encampment River, the town of Doggett was established in 1897 by the Doggett Brothers. As co-owners of a grocery store in Saratoga, the Doggetts expanded their business to the newly platted 13-acre, six-block town. Within a year, the town of Doggett included a livery stable, blacksmith shop, grocery store, saloon, restaurant and served as a shipping center for the mines. In 1900, the Riverside Addition was added to the town of Doggett, and the town was later renamed Riverside.

Battle Highway

Encampment, Wyoming

Known as “Battle Highway,” Highway 70 stretches west between the Encampment River Valley and the Little Snake River Valley. Typically open Memorial Day through October, weather permitting, this 28-mile paved route is simply beautiful. It passes over the crest of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range at 9,955 feet and crosses the Continental Divide. Along the route, there are several recommended stops of historic and natural interest.

Hit the road with other great itineraries.

Wyoming’s open roads and beautiful scenery make it an ideal state for a road trip.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap