Carbon County owes much of its early history to the Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad gave names to unnamed places as it laid tracks westward over the Rocky Mountains that would eventually become the Trans-Continental Railroad. Well ahead of those tracks were Army surveyors laying out the route and marking the waterholes the great steam-locomotives would need to fill their empty tanks.

Rawlins, Wyoming

When General Grenville Dodge’s crew discovered a clear alkali-free spring, General John A. Rawlins made the comment, “If anything is ever named after me, I hope it will be a spring of water.” Shortly after that Dodge named this tiny oasis Rawlins Springs. In time, that oasis became a division point for the railroad, and the division point eventually became a town. Somewhere along the way, the town of Rawlins Springs became simply Rawlins.

In 1886, while Wyoming was still a territory, the legislature voted to construct a Territorial Prison and chose a site outside of Rawlins. Poor funding slowed construction, and the prison did not accept its first prisoner until thirteen years later. By that time, not only had Rawlins grown to completely surround the prison, Wyoming had also become a state.

This oppressive, medieval-looking, stone building was Wyoming’s only state prison for eighty years until a new, more modern, facility was built outside of Rawlins. The “Old Frontier Prison”, as it is best known, was closed in 1981. Today the “Old Pen” houses not only the Frontier Prison Museum, but also the Wyoming Peace Officers’ Museum, bringing the stories of Wyoming’s best and worst together in one place. The prison is open for tours during the summer months and it also hosts a special, reservation only, Halloween Night tour (not recommended for children).

Rawlins, Wyoming is a vibrant community with plenty to do & see.

Rawlins has much to offer visitors. Stop by one of our historic sites such as the notorious Frontier Prison or the Carbon County Museum. Take a trek downtown for shopping, dining, drinks and more. While you are downtown consider taking the downtown mural tour. This downtown educational walking tour celebrates the history of Carbon County through murals created by local artists. You will also want to check out the local events like SummerFest & the Carbon County Fair & Rodeo.

FRONTIER PRISON Built around the turn of the century from sandstone milled in the county, the prison housed criminals until the new state prison was built in 1981. On the National Register of Historic Places, the prison hosts a variety of activities and events with tours available from June through Labor Day weekend. Visit Website

CARBON COUNTY MUSEUM The Carbon County Museum houses an extensive collection of photographs and artifacts including boots, an ashtray and everyday items crafted from the anatomy of notorious outlaw Big Nose George. Visit Website

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN RAWLINS  A nationally designated historic district, downtown Rawlins is rich in 19th century architecture. Named for General John A. Rawlins, who commanded an expedition through the area, Rawlins traces its origins to the late 1860's and the early history of the Union Pacific Railroad. A 60 – 90 minute historic walking tour provides visitors with a fascinating glimpse into Rawlins' colorful past. Walking Tour guides can be picked up at the murals or click here for to download PDF version.

RAWLINS RECREATION CENTER This modern recreation center offers a host of indoor activities including three full-size basketball courts, a walking track, racquetball, handball courts, and a full indoor shooting range.

Old Union Pacific Train Depot Located at 400 West Front Street in Rawlins. Built at the end of the 19th century, it was given as a gift to the City of Rawlins and then refurbished at the end of the 20th century. There are now meeting rooms and a kitchen designed to accommodate small to medium sized groups.

Rochelle Ranch Golf Course Golfing at Rochelle Ranch Golf Course is 18 holes of outdoor  scenery at its best. This prairie golf course has a restaurant, bar, driving range and on-site golf pro. Great views and a good chance of seeing wildlife right on the course make this an adventurous golfers dream. The course is 7,925 yard in total and borders lakes and wetlands. The rates are reasonable and the atmosphere is casual.  This course open around April 1 each year. 307-324-7121 Visit Website

Rawlins Outdoor Shooting Complex Besides Trap, Skeet and 5 stand shotgun shooting, we have a 15 shooting position 300 yard rifle range, 1,000yard black powder rifle cartridge range and we are currently constructing a 10 position pistol range. Open to the public 307-324-PLAY

Drinks & Dining - Rawlins

Bucks Sports Grill 401 W. Cedar St. 307-328-5581 Visit Website
Bunkerz Bar & Grill Rawlins Golf Course
Cappy's Restaurant 2351 West Spruce Street 307-324-4847
Country Fair Restaurant I-80 and Higley Blvd 307-328-2103
Dirt Devil Café at Semino Boat Club Semino Road/County Road 351 720-620-3967
El Coyote Brown 114 5th St Rawlins, WY 82301 307-328-5533
Flying J Travel Plaza Interstate-80 307-328-0158
Huckleberry’s Bistro 509 West Cedar Street 307-324-4758
Michael's Big City Bar & Grill  1711 West Spruce Street 307-324-4868
Penny's Diner 2005 E Daley Street 307-324-4700
Peppermill Bar & Grill 1602 Inverness Boulevard 307-324-8100
Shogunz Pizzeria & Bar A Family Café & Pizzeria 309 W Cedar Street 307-328-5550 Website


Aspen House Restaurant Distinctive dining in Victorian Elegance. Nestled in the historic downtown of Rawlins is The Aspen House Restaurant, an intimate, fine dining establishment built in 1905. The Aspen House offers a distinctive dining experience, where guests may dine in private rooms or at tables in larger rooms. Offerings include Rack of Lamb, Blackened Rib Eye, Handcut Steaks, Seafood, Vegetarian Fare and Fine Wines. 318 5th Street 307-324-4787


Anong’s Thai Cuisine For authentic and delicious Thai food it is hard to beat this place. From highly desirable entrees to the best Thai desserts Anong’s Thai Cusine is heavenly. Open daily. 210 5th Street 307-324-6262
China House 1800 East Cedar Street 307-324-3636
Dragon Gate Restaurant 1730 West Spruce Street  M-Sa 11-9:30PM, Sun 4-9PM Visit Website


Rose's Lariat 410 East Cedar Street 307-324-5261
The Cloverleaf Cafe 113 4th Street 307-324-9841
Su Casa 705 East Lincoln Avenue, Sinclair WY 307-324-1745


Jerry's Donuts 606 East Cedar Street 307-324-2673
Sweet Katees Sweet Katees is a gourmet bake shop that offers tasty, homemade treats like cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, specialty cakes and much more. 416 West Cedar St, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301 307-328-5218


Domino's Pizza 312 West Cedar Street 307-328-1400
2225 East Cedar Street 307-324-7377
Pizza Hut
506 Higley Boulevard 307-328-1000
1400 Higley Boulevard 307-324-2893
2222 East Cedar Street 307-324-6130
Taco Johns
1821 East Cedar Street 307-324-4932
Taco Bell/KFC
2421 East Cedar Street in the Rawlins Plaza 307-328-5890
Burger King 2510 E Cedar St, Rawlins, WY 82301 307-324-3866

Shopping - Rawlins

All My Love Flowers & Gifts Flowers & Gifts 411 W Cedar
Artistry in Glass Stained Glass Art & Ceramics 213 2nd
Art Floral & Gifts Flowers, Balloons &Formal Wear 1409 W Spruce
BiRite Gifts Chocolate, Cards, Purfume 300 3rd Street
City Market Grocery, Photo Developing, Pharmacy 1409 W Spruce
Rasmusson Furniture 316 W Cedar St (307)324-2781
Davidson Gun & Grocery Hunting & Fishing Supplies / Licenses 729 W David
Graphic Sports Sporting Equipment & Shoes 405 W Cedar
Old Pen Gift Shoppe Wyoming History Books, Post Cards. 500 W Walnut
Windy Corner Unique Gifts 310 W Cedar

Rawlins Wyoming Gallery

  • Depot
  • Territorial Prison
  • Territorial Prison
  • Rawlins Park
  • Wyoming Peace Officer Museum
  • Rawlins
  • Union Pacific
  • Territorial Prison
  • Mansion
  • County Fair
  • Rochelle Ranch Golf
  • Scenery
  • Prison Museum
  • Bucks Sports Grill
  • County Fair