Wyoming January 21, 2020
These 9 Remarkable Ruins In Wyoming Will Transport You To The Past
Wyoming’s history is absolutely fascinating, and it is so well preserved! Our state has yet to fall victim to rapid development and urbanization, and many of our cultural landmarks are seemingly untouched. The most important archaeological sites in Wyoming are yours to explore! Many of these sites are remote and require a 4×4 or high clearance vehicle for access. As always, leave no trace and respect these sacred sites.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Castle Gardens, Riverton
The Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site is one of the most famous in the west. These rock carvings date back to between 1000 AD and 1250 AD, and they were carved by Athabaskans, who were related to the Navajo and Apache people. The unique shield-style petroglyphs are the signature of Castle Gardens.
Kirwin is a much more recent ruin than any of the others on the list, but its story is fascinating, and this ghost town is worth visiting. It was swiftly abandoned after a deadly avalanche and much of the town is still standing as quiet, decaying ruins.
3. Oregon Trail Ruts Historic Site, Guernsey
The Oregon Trail Ruts historic site is one place where you can almost walk through time. Close your eyes as you stand next to these wagon wheel ruts and imagine traveling through this barren land, hoping for a better life on the other side of your difficult journey.
4. Legends Rock, Thermopolis
Legends Rock is a remote petroglyph site in Hot Springs County that remains well hidden and off-the-beaten-path. This significant archaeological site in Wyoming shows off carvings and artwork from 10,000 years ago. More than 283 individual drawings depict thunderbirds, elk, and ceremonially-dressed people.
5. Vore Buffalo Jump, Sundance
The Vore Buffalo Jump was discovered in the 1970s during the construction of I-90. The site was a natural sinkhole that indigenous people used in buffalo hunting. Archaeologists estimate that more than 4,000 bison were hunted here! Thousands of bones and remnants of the hunt remain.
6. Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite, Greybull
Red Gulch is one of the most fascinating places in Wyoming! Visit to walk in the actual footprints of enormous dinosaurs that once roamed this land. This incredible gulch might be the most underrated archaeological site in the country.
7. White Mountain Petroglyph Site, Rock Springs
Every year, thousands of history buffs visit the White Mountain Petroglyphs Site. This culturally important site is sacred to four Native American tribes, and the rock art carvings date back to nearly a thousand years ago.
8. Mummy Cave, Cody
Mummy Cave is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountains. The earliest layers of artifact from Mummy Cave date back to 7300 BC. Most of the evidence points to the conclusion that those who occupied Mummy Cave were big game hunters from the Great Plains. Many of the artifacts found point to the Shoshonean people, dating back to 2470 BC. Pottery, basketwork, and a mummified man in sheepskin were recovered here. The namesake Mummy dated back to the year 770.
Thousands of animal bones were discovered in Mummy Cave, and most could not be identified. Of the ones that could be, the majority were sheep and deer. The fact that so many sheep were discovered here, despite the odd location, revealed that Mummy Cave was most likely a gathering site for high-altitude hunters.
9. Medicine Lodge Petroglyphs, Hyattville
The Medicine Lodge Petroglyph site is near Hyattville and worth visiting if you're in the area. There are hundreds of these ancient drawings dating back 2,000 years. Wyoming's history is fascinating when you can see it through the eyes of the first residents.
Visit the BLM Wyoming website, here, for more information about these significant archaeological sites. Address: Castle Gardens, Wyoming, USA Address: Kirwin, WY 82433, USA Address: Guernsey, WY 82214, USA Address: 220 Park St, Thermopolis, WY 82443, USA Address: 369 Old U.S. 14, Sundance, WY 82729, USA Address: Greybull, WY 82426, USA Address: Medicine Lodge St, Hyattville, WY 82428, USA Address: 1637 US-16, Cody, WY 82414, USA Address: White Mountain, Wyoming 82901, USA