South Pass City

Wyoming Historic Gold Camps ...

Copyright 2006-Present by All rights reserved.
Carissa Saloon
South Pass City is a beautifully preserved ghost town. It is located at an elevation of 7805 feet, just a short
distance off Highway 28, about thirty-five miles southeast of Lander, Wyoming. It is situated at the southern end of the
Wind River Mountain Range on Willow Creek. The area was historically significant for a number of reasons. Four
National Historic Trails pass through the South Pass area:  the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer and the Pony
Express, so many 19th century emigrants used this route to cross the Continental Divide on their way further west.
Also, this area was a major site for gold discovery, with gold being first discovered on Strawberry Creek in 1842, and
with big discoveries later on in 1867 on Cariso Gulch.

South Pass City was founded a short time later, in the summer of 1868. The gold strike on Cariso Gulch was located
about 10 miles north of the South Pass Stage station. The Carissa Mine was eventually established here and became
the most important mine in the area. It lasted the longest and was the best gold producer in the area and provided
employment for many of the folks living here.

The community once had a population of around 2,000 people, but today, may only have a few dozen. Steps were
taken in the 1950's and 60's to preserve the area as a historic site and today the community consists of two parts:  
South Pass City, in which a small number of residents live, and the South Pass City State Historic Site.

Over 20 original structures still exist on the historic site, along with wagons, mining equipment, and other "Old West"
artifacts. Visitors can take a leisurely walking tour to explore the 39 acre site. Here are some pictures of the South
Pass City Historic Site that we took when visiting in the Summer of 2007.
View of the Hotel,
Restaurant, Exchange
Saloon and Butcher Shop
Libby Cabin
The Cave
Old Buggy
Mining Car
10 Stamp Mill
Gold Panning, Gold Prospecting
Pictures of inside  the Exchange Saloon
Back View of the Hotel,
Restaurant, Exchange
Saloon and Store
Mining Tunnel
View looking out
from Mine Tunnel
Ore Wagons
Mine entrance outside town
In addition to South Pass City, there are
other small historic mining towns and
camps nearby.
Atlantic City is just a short
distance to the northeast, and as the town's
name implies, it is on the Atlantic side of the
Continental Divide. Long-abandoned gold
mines dot the hillsides of the town, and it
still has a few commercial establishments
dating back to the gold rush era. When we
visited we enjoyed driving around the town
and thinking back to what the area must
have been like when the trails were still
alive and active carrying pioneers out west
and the gold rush was still on.
Miner's Delight is also nearby. It was a gold camp long ago and today is a genuine ghost town administered by the
Bureau of Land Management. The parking lot to this area is near it's old cemetery. From there you take a short hike
along a good trail to the town site that contains the remains of a gold-mine era stamp mill, and a number of log
structures. When we visited the trail was good and the hike was pretty easy, but I do remember that there were some
big deer flies or something like that, so you may want to spray yourself with some insect repellent before making the
trek. Here are just a few pictures that we took during our visit in 2007.
Church - Atlantic City, Wyoming
Miners Delight Townsite
Miners Delight
Cemetery Marker
Miners Delight Entrance
St. Andrews Church
Atlantic City
Atlantic City
Miners Delight log building
Miners Delight log building
Miners Delight log building
Miners Delight Log Buildings
Miners Delight Historic
Favorite Family Vacations
Old west wagon
Official Marker
Atlantic City  Wyoming
Hamilton City Wyoming
grave marker 1800s
South Pass City Wyoming