Wyoming is full of fascinating history, and there is at least one museum in practically every town in the state to preserve the record for antiquity. What many people don’t know, however, is that you can visit a number of those historical centers for free. In fact, here are 10 enjoyable and educational Wyoming museums that don’t charge admission for sharing their treasures from the past.
1. Carbon County Museum, 904 West Walnut Street, Rawlins
There's a little of everything in the collection at the Carbon County Museum. Visitors can view Native American, agricultural, and railroad artifacts and learn about past residents and Wyoming outlaws.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2. Glenrock Paleontological Museum, 506 West Burch Street, Glenrock
Wyoming's history dates back to prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the area that would one day be the Cowboy State, and it's the remains of those ancient creatures that are on display at the Paleontological Museum in Glenrock. This museum got its start with a triceratops skeleton that was discovered just north of the city and now houses a variety of other species including T-Rex, Megalosaurus, and Allosaurus bones.
Hours: Seasonal. Call 307-436-2667 for current hours.
3. Hoofprints of the Past Museum, 344 Nolan Avenue, Kaycee
This is an awesome museum to visit for a peek into the Old West Wyoming is known for. Displays include Native American artifacts, information on the Dull Knife Battle, the Johnson County War, and the Outlaw Era. You can also tour the historic cabins and buildings on the property.
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
4. Chinese Joss House Museum, 920 Front Street, Evanston
Many people don't realize that a significant number of Chinese immigrants lived and worked in Wyoming in the late 1800s through the 1930s. The Joss House, which is a replica of a traditional Chinese place of worship, features a collection that tells the story of the Chinese residents of Unita County over a century ago, including historical photos, artifacts, and a scale model of Evanston's own Chinatown.
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
5. Meeteetse Museums, 1947 State Street, Meeteetse
No, that's not a typo. When you visit the museum in Meeteetse, you actually get three for the price of one - even though the price is free! They're all housed in the historic First National Bank of Meeteetse building constructed in 1901, and include not only area history such as ranching and archaeological artifacts and natural history but also features art and photography. The Meeteetse Museums also offer information and tours through local attractions including the Kirwin ghost town and Legend Rock petroglyphs.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
6. Nici Self Historical Museum, 2734 Snowy Range Road, Centennial
Between Laramie and Saratoga along WY-130, you'll find a beautifully kept collection of mining, ranching, farming, and railroad history. The displays are so extensive, many of them, such as equipment and a restored train caboose, are kept outside of the main building which happens to be an early 1900s Hahn's Peak and Pacific Railroad depot.
Hours: Thursday - Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
7. Red Onion Museum, 729 Birch Street, Upton
You'll find loads of vintage pictures, Native American artifacts, and relics from Upton's history at the Red Onion Museum. There's also a room dedicated entirely to military memorabilia.
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
8. Campbell County Rockpile Museum, 900 West 2nd Street, Gillette
Built at the site of a historic rock pile, the museum in Campbell County is brimming with Wyoming history. Everything from fossils to Native American artifacts, quilts, rifles, saddles, and a coal mining exhibit are enough to keep you riveted for an entire day. The museum offers kids' activities, too.
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9. Weidner Wildlife Museum, 2500 College Drive, Rock Springs
The Weidner Wildlife Museum is located on the Western Wyoming Community College Campus in Rock Springs. Once a private collection of wildlife specimens from around the world, the displays were donated to the college to allow the public to view and appreciate the fascinating mounts.
Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 1 to 4 p.m.
10. Anna Miller Museum, 401 Delaware, Newcastle
This museum comprises more than just one building - it's an entire complex complete with homesteaders' cabins, a one-room schoolhouse, a general store, and a Burlington-Northern caboose from the 1960s. Other displays include local history artifacts and fossils.
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.