If you’re searching for ghost towns in Wyoming, we’ve got you covered! Below are 17 different ghost towns you can explore across the great state of Wyoming along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.
We rate ghost towns in Wyoming based on their status. Here’s how our system works:
- Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
- Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
- Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
- Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
- Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
- Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.
Table Of Contents
- 1. Kirwin
- 2. Fort Fred Steele
- 3. Miners Delight
- 4. Jay Em
- 5. Piedmont
- 6. Sage
- 7. Bosler
- 8. Sherman
- 9. Sunrise
- 10. Walcott
- 11. Kane
- 12. South Pass City
- 13. Encampment
- 14. Fort Laramie
- 15. Atlantic City
- 16. Lost Springs
The town of Kirwin once had a population of around 200. At its peak, it was a thriving, small town. A sawmill, two general stores, a post office, and two hotels stood at the town’s center. There were also several cabins, stables, and sheds. Survivors of the mining town abandoned the site in the spring of 1907, and they left behind many of their belongings.
While there are still no active mining operations in the town, the U.S. Forest Service and the Wyoming State Preservation Office are working to stabilize the site for future visitors. Rusted tools and equipment are buried in the overgrown mountain vegetation.
Residents of Kirwin left behind traces of themselves in the buildings. The remaining buildings are for tourists to explore. The buildings have an air of decay and the lack of sunlight can make the hair on your neck stand up. Some local wildlife has set up shop in the dark corners.
2. Fort Fred Steele
Fort Fred Steele was established in 1868 to protect travelers heading west from outlaws and attacks from natives. As the Trans-Continental Union Pacific Railroad cut across Wyoming more people visited and stayed at the fort. This convenient method of transport also brought in loggers, ranchers, and miners who established settlements nearby.
Today, Fort Fred Steele lies in ruins just a few miles north of Route 80. It’s pretty cool to explore the unprotected ruins and admire the natural decay of a once-amazing structure. While it isn’t the most exciting ghost town in Wyoming, its still a cool ghost town to visit especially if you’re already headed down Route 80.
3. Miners Delight
Miner’s Delight in Wyoming is a ghost town that had only a hundred residents at its peak. It was one of the three towns that drove the Wyoming Gold Rush. The area was first settled by the Shoshone people before prospectors discovered gold in 1867. Miner’s Delight was the smallest town in the mining district, and travelers had to take great risks to reach this area.
Today, the town has historical significance as one of the last remaining ghost towns in Wyoming. There are tons of original log cabins to explore, giving it a very genuine ghost town feel.
4. Jay Em
Jay Em was established in the early 1900s as a service town to support ranchers and travelers in the area. During its peak, Jay Em had a general store, lumber yard, a stonework shop, and a few homes for the town’s full-time residents. In the early 1980s many residents had left the town behind due to dwindling traffic and a lack of opportunity.
Jay Em has a lot of structures and ruins left behind, making it one of my favorite ghost towns in Wyoming. The town is located in Granite State Park, and can require a 4×4 vehicle to access during harsh weather.
The small railroad town and timber community once flourished, but the onset of the Union Pacific railway cut through the area and eventually abandoned it. In 1868, the town became home to about twenty people and was deemed the muddiest place on the Lander-Rawlins stage road.
The Piedmont Ghost Town in Wyoming is a relic of a bygone era, but today it is mostly surrounded by subdivision. Those who visit should look out for the historic buildings. Another ghost town located near the Union Pacific rail line is Sage. This town’s atmosphere is haunted, and it is said to be the most haunted town in Wyoming.
The Sage area was the site of a historic railroad war between the Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line. The Union Pacific right-of-way passes through the town. Sage was abandoned during the 1950s and is now ironically overgrown with sagebrush.
Today, Sage is the last remaining town on the Union Pacific railroad right of way. It is a popular destination for ghost town-loving travelers. Sage is located on a secluded ridge with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, and is one of the most scenic ghost towns in Wyoming.
The town was named after Frank Bosler, who owned the Diamond Ranch, which was located in the area. In the early 20th century, Bosler was a small railroad-shipping center and road town. It had about 264 residents at the time of the 1940 U.S. Census, but it quickly faded after the Interstate Highway system was built, bypassing the town 20 miles to the south.
Bosler lies within the county of Albany County, just north of Laramie. The community is known for its many historical sites, such as the Bosler Art Center, which was erected in 1890. Bosler is also home to many artists and musicians.
Today, Bosler is mostly vacant, with just a couple of abandoned stores and outdated signs. Bosler is one of the many ghost towns in Wyoming that’s easily accessible from the main highway, making it a great quick stop during your weekend travels.
Status: Privately Owned
Built in the 1860s, Sherman was once a major stop on the transcontinental railroad. The town had numerous houses, as well as a five-stall roundhouse. When the highway was built it became the preferred method for moving goods and people, essentially bypassing the Sherman completely.
According to online research, Sherman is now privately owned with ruins scattered across barren land. Some of the most impressive features left behind are the Ames Monument and roundhouse ruins.
This mining town was once a part of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, and was even placed on the National Register of Historic Places. After several years of laying a foundation for the restoration, an investor and creative entrepreneur bought the town in 2011.
The actor had moved to Saudi Arabia and Libya in his early twenties, where he farmed. In his mid-20s, he returned to Wyoming and decided to take a gamble on real estate. Before becoming an investor, Voight had dabbled in acting, music, and even owning a dancehall. Since then, his passion for the area has grown and he hopes to open it up to the public.
Fortunately, today visitors can see this once-thriving town, and learn more about its history. Sunrise is one of the most underrated ghost towns in Wyoming, with various restored structures and close proximity to the highway making it an awesome place to check out along your travels.
Wolcott was officially established in 1900 after the town got its first post office. Unlike many ghost towns in Wyoming, Wolcott was a simple trading town offering travelers a safe and prosperous place to sell and trade their goods.
By 1918 the town’s population reached 100, with most residents being miners and workers who helped businesses ship resources such as wool, wood, and ore to other areas of the country. When reliance on the train died down, and the interstate was built, traffic to Walcott sharply declined.
While Wolcott is a shell of its former self, explorers can still find many original structures still standing, making it one of the best ghost towns in Wyoming to visit.
Kane is an abandoned town that existed near the confluence of the Bighorn and Shoshone rivers. However, Bighorn Lake soon flooded the town, and the residents of Kane had no say in its disappearance.
Despite its demise, the town still retains its cemetery. Kane is one of the luckier flooded ghost towns in Wyoming to have some remnants left above the water, so be sure to check it out if you’re in the area.
12. South Pass City
The town was a popular stop on the Oregon Trail and was a busy gold mining camp. Gold was discovered in the region in 1867, and South Pass City was founded soon thereafter. Like all boomtowns South Pass City eventually went bust, but not before passionate locals preserved much of the town’s buildings.
The ghost town is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Wyoming. It’s nestled in a small valley along Willow Creek, at the southeastern end of the Wind River Mountains. There’s plenty to see and do in South Pass so be sure to block out at least a day when visiting.
While the town of Encampment was once a thriving mining town, the early 1900s brought the end of the copper mining boom. After the collapse of the Penn-Wyoming mine, the population dwindled to just over 200 people.
Nowadays, this town is primarily supported by the timber industry, ranching, and recreation industries. There are many reasons to visit the town, but it is important to plan your trip wisely as some of the roads require all-terrain vehicles.
14. Fort Laramie
If you love history, you’ll want to visit Fort Laramie in Wyoming. Once a major trading post along the Oregon Trail, this abandoned post eventually became an active military post. Unfortunately, many of the buildings fell into disrepair over the years, but in 1937, the state bought the fort, adding it to the National Register of Historic Places.
The fort’s hospital is one of the main attractions along with the old cemetery and is surrounded by pale concrete walls. The roofless sanctuary is one of the most striking features of this ghost town.
Ghosts of other former military members are also reported to roam the grounds, including George, the former captain’s quarters. In the barracks, a hundred former soldiers are said to haunt the rooms. In Old Bedlam, a calvary officer is said to wander the grounds, urging visitors to remain quiet.
15. Atlantic City
The year 1868 was the year that gold miners descended on the region. At that time, there were two thousand miners living and working in Atlantic City.
The town continued to grow during the gold rush years, and its residents included part-time prospectors and vacationers. In the late 19th century, Atlantic City’s population had dwindled to just twelve people, although the post office was reopened three years later. After that, the town was nearly completely abandoned for 30 years.
The original log homes are still standing, as is the church and general store. A ghost tour is a great way to experience the old town and learn more about the history of mining in the region.
16. Lost Springs
Lost Springs was first settled in the late 1800s by railroad workers who were surveying the area. The town got its name after the first inhabitants couldn’t find the springs shown on the survey map. The town had around200 residents by 1920, many who worked at the nearby coal mine.
By 1960 the population dwindled to just five residents, and by 1976 the town was officially the smallest incorporated town in the United States.
Today Lost Spring has one resident, making this the loveliest ghost town in Wyoming. Explorers can check out the nearby ruins, along with the active Lost Bar, and Lost Springs General Store.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of ghost towns in Wyoming, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.
If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places, or explore other ghost towns across the country.