Wyoming’s South Pass City is a Must-Visit Ghost Town Experience
If you love Wyoming and you love ghost towns, you have to make South Pass City a planned stop at some point in your life. I would argue it's one of the most well-preserved ghost towns in America and it's just a hop, skip and a jump away.
My family has lived in Wyoming for several years now and I have to confess that I take it for granted that things I now know about may be brand new to someone else who either doesn't live here or hasn't been here as long. Gotta shout out to Only In Your State for the reminder about how remarkable South Pass City is.
If you've never adventured in South Pass City, it's just to the west of Jeffrey City and south of the Wind River Reservation.
This family shared their adventure in South Pass City from last summer.
If this sounds like fun to you, you don't have long to wait to explore. The official South Pass City website says they'll be open starting on May 8.
I was checking out their events page and they already have a history hunt and hike scheduled for this year. Plus, you can take guided tours of the city. The English Tunnel tour wasn't available last year due to the pandemic, but may make a comeback this year. Tunnel tours for the win.
One of my friends spent some time in South Pass City and shared his pictures from the experience.
As Wikipedia documents, South Pass City, Wyoming had its first brush with greatness in 1861 when Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens) passed through the area and ended up including his experience there in his writing of "Roughing It".
South Pass really began to be a bustle of activity when gold was discovered near there in 1866. The population boomed and within a few years the town boasted the first female justice of the peace ever in Esther Hobart Morris.
By the time the town reached the mid-1870's, the gold supplies had shrunk as did the population. That trend continued from that era to the ghost town that it is today.
We are fortunate to have so much rich history in Wyoming and South Pass City is a great part of it. You really can't miss if you're looking for a relatively short family trip.