Less than five miles apart, South Pass City and Atlantic City are two historic mining towns that now operate as a reminder of the gold rush era in Wyoming. Both have maintained many of their original structures and offer a unique look at a different time period of the wild west.
Less than an hour of driving from Riverton, WY, through stunning views of the Lander Valley, and Red Canyon, South Pass City is a state historic site and offers rare tours of the mines and tunnels where early settlers searched for gold. The city hosts Gold Rush Days in July, which includes live music, gold panning, billiards, reenactments, and more. The town’s history contains more than just gold mining. Wyoming was the first territory in the U.S. to give women the right to vote, and South Pass City was the first place in the nation where a woman held public office.
Atlantic City can be considered a ghost town having only a few residents living there year-round, but many return in the summer to provide food service, lodging, and host summer events for visitors. Considered one of Wyoming’s oldest towns, Atlantic City is a stop along the Continental Divide Trail route and gets a steady stream of hikers, cyclists, and tourists passing through during the summer.
These hi just a short drive south of Riverton and makes a great day trip or addition to a visit to Lander. Riverton has even more to offer those interested in Wyoming’s wild west history including the Wind River Heritage Museum and the Wind River Indian Reservation. Come step back in history!