Flickr album link: Winton Ghost Town
Winton is an old coal mining ghost town that was abandoned back in the 1950s. This destination is located a few miles north of Rock Springs, Wyoming and the easiest route is to take Highway 191 to County Road 17, then follow the ranch roads east to the destination. The dirt roads in this region are composed of silt and gravel, so if rain is in the forecast it may be best to delay the trip. The road does get rougher closer to Winton, but most cars with higher than average ground clearance can handle the trip.
The drive to Winton is half the fun, because the majestic high desert terrain is captivating and many pronghorn antelope roam the grassy hills. Keeping a telephoto lens handy will likely result in capturing a once in a lifetime image, especially during the summer pronghorn foaling season. Stocking up in Rock Springs is also recommended because there are several more worthwhile destinations in this area, which include, Big Sandy, Killpecker Dunes and the White Mountain Petroglyphs. In fact, Winton Ghost Town is pretty much a side show destination to check out on the way to the more famous places, so it is best to plot this spot as a point of interest when planning an extensive tour of the area.
Only basic information about the Winton Ghost Town is available on the web, so there is not a lot of background material to present. Basically, winton was a coal mine company town that had enough infrastructure to support the community of workers and there was a hotel onsite. The foundations of many of the structures still exist and there are several odd walls built on the hillsides that seemingly serve no purpose at all. The geology around town is also mystifying, as the exposed bedrock is a buckled mess. The town of Winton actually used to cover a lot of ground, so a few hours can be spent exploring this interesting place. Winton is also a weekend warrior hangout for the locals, as the volumes of spray paint graffiti confirm. This old ghost town is slowly but surely fading away, so be sure to check it out before it vanishes altogether!
Leave no trace!
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