Flickr album link: South Pass Historic Mining Area
The South Pass Historic Mining Area covers over 30 square miles in central Wyoming and this certainly is an interesting destination to check out when touring Sinks Canyon or the Wind River Mountains. This unique historic mining district is spread out over a vast area and there are smooth dirt roads that go to the key points of interest. Most people visit the old ghost towns and mines in a high ground clearance vehicle, but the gentle rolling hills terrain is perfect for doing a bicycle tour.
There is literally one hole in the ground after another in this part of Wyoming and many of the old original abandoned mining camp structures are intact. Several of the towering mill head frame buildings still stand tall and each has a story to tell. When compared to other western mining districts, the oldest buildings in South Pass certainly do look rustic and this is because the gold rush began in this region way back in 1842. By 1867 mining operations throughout the hills went full swing and there was a sizable population. The living ghost towns of Atlantic City and South Pass are still occupied to this day, while the recent price of gold has brought a few local mines back to life. Visiting these two living ghost towns definitely is worthwhile and a lot can be learned about the history of this mining district when doing so.
The old South Pass Mill is the grandaddy of them all and this point of interest is definitely worth taking the time to explore. Some modern conveniences and lodging are offered in both Atlantic City and South Pass City, while dispersed camping spots can be found throughout the hills. Miner's Delight is yet another BLM ghost town to explore and there are also two developed campgrounds managed by the same agency. Stocking up heavy on fuel and supplies ahead of time is recommended, because there is so much ground to cover. There are also two track dirt trail destinations that only hikers, bikers and 4x4 riders can get to, so be sure to set aside plenty of extra time for the venture. More articles about the South Pass Mining Area will be published soon, so be sure to stay tuned!
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