Flickr album link: South Pass City
South Pass City simply is a must to visit when doing the grand tour of the South Pass Historic Mining Area. This BLM managed historic area covers a vast amount of land in central Wyoming and a previous article covers most of the details. There are literally dozens upon dozens of old gold mines, mining camps and pockets of deep wilderness to experience in this big park and there are a few ghost towns to discover too. South Pass City is one such place and this tiny little remnant of the past is very much alive in this modern age. In fact, some of the old gold mines are active too, so it is best to respect privacy at the occupied sites and heed any posted no trespassing signs.
South Pass City is a living ghost town and the local folks now cater to the summer season tourist trade. This tiny town is a Wyoming State Historic Site that has over 30 structures from way back in the 1860s and 1870s, when the mining boom was at a peak. South Pass City began as an Oregon Trail stage stop and telegraph station in the 1850s, then the discovery of gold at the neighboring Carissa Mine changed all that. Soon South Pass City evolved into a boom town complete with a mercantile and hotel. The era of prosperity did not last long after the overzealous mining claims fell well short of expectations and by the 1870s old South Pass City was almost completely abandoned. A few steadfast pioneers kept this town on the map till the mid 1900s and at about this same time nationwide historic preservation efforts came into play. The rejuvenation of South Pass City continues to this day with state funding and the section of the restored old town is now a major tourist attraction.
There are several historic information placards in South Pass City that provide insight into the past. Information about the entire South Pass Mining Area is freely available too. The Carissa Mine is right next door and just the sight of this old grand mill site will captivate visitors for hours. The English Tunnel is yet another local attraction and participating in a guided tour will lend to many more discoveries. South Pass City certainly is the hub for tourism in this end of the park, so be sure to set plenty of time aside for this entertaining family oriented destination!
Leave no trace!
Destination West YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/@DestinationWestOrg
Donations help the Destinaton West project continue into the future!
Go Fund Me!
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies