Rawlins

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

Rawlins provides a variety of dining options and a welcome atmosphere. Cusine types you can discover include American, Asian & Thai, Italian, Mexican, Fine Dining, Specialty and more. Scroll through our list of available dining options or click here to view all dining options.

View all Drinks & Dining

Shopping in Rawlins

Geekish Things

Geekish Things

Rawlins
307-370-0190

Geekish Things

Rasmusson Furniture

Rasmusson Furniture

Rawlins
307-324-2781

Rasmusson Furniture

A & B Surplus

A & B Surplus

Rawlins
307-324-2771

A & B Surplus

Red Desert Arts

Red Desert Arts

Rawlins
307-321-9920

Red Desert Arts

Bi-Rite Sporting Goods

Bi-Rite Sporting Goods

Rawlins
307-324-3401

Bi-Rite Sporting Goods

Old Pen Gift Shoppe

Old Pen Gift Shoppe

Rawlins
307-328-4004

Old Pen Gift Shoppe

Choir Loft

Choir Loft

Rawlins
307-328-5092

Choir Loft

Floors N’ More

Floors N’ More

Rawlins
307-324-6100

Floors N’ More

Family Dollar

Family Dollar

Rawlins
Your neighborhood Fa

Family Dollar

Windswept Goods

Windswept Goods

Rawlins
307-321-2669

Windswept Goods

Wyoming Gals Boutique

Wyoming Gals Boutique

Rawlins
307-321-8409

Wyoming Gals Boutique

Rawlins Thrift Store

Rawlins Thrift Store

Rawlins
307-328-5833

Rawlins Thrift Store

City Market

City Market

Rawlins

City Market

Mabuhay Oriental Market

Mabuhay Oriental Market

Rawlins
307-324-5544

Mabuhay Oriental Market

Davidson Gun & Grocery

Davidson Gun & Grocery

Rawlins
307-324-3880

Davidson Gun & Grocery

Jackson Art

Jackson Art

Rawlins
208-407-4045

Jackson Art

Walmart Supercenter

Walmart Supercenter

Rawlins
307-417-3001

Walmart Supercenter

All My Love Flowers

All My Love Flowers

Rawlins
307-324-6000

All My Love Flowers

Artistry in Glass

Artistry in Glass

Rawlins
307-328-1988

Artistry in Glass

Drinks & Dining in Rawlins

Turnbuckle Lounge at Best Western Cotton Tree Inn

Turnbuckle Lounge at Best Western Cotton Tree Inn

Rawlins
307-324-2737

Turnbuckle Lounge at Best Western Cotton Tree Inn

Subway

Subway

Rawlins
307-324-6130

Subway

Subway

Subway

Rawlins
307-328-2103

Subway

Deb B's Family Espresso

Deb B's Family Espresso

Rawlins
307-324-2919

Deb B's Family Espresso

Rice & Noodle

Rice & Noodle

Rawlins
307-324-5177

Rice & Noodle

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Rawlins
307-328-5890

Taco Bell

Country Pride Restaurant

Country Pride Restaurant

Rawlins
(307) 324-8722

Country Pride Restaurant

Rose's Lariat

Rose's Lariat

Rawlins
307-324-5261

Rose's Lariat

Aspen House

Aspen House

Rawlins
307-324-4787

Aspen House

Cappy’s Restaurant

Cappy’s Restaurant

Rawlins
307-324-4847

Cappy’s Restaurant

Buck’s Sports Grill

Buck’s Sports Grill

Rawlins
307-328-5581

Buck’s Sports Grill

Shogunz Pizzeria

Shogunz Pizzeria

Rawlins
307-328-5550

Shogunz Pizzeria

Taco John’s

Taco John’s

Rawlins
307-324-4932

Taco John’s

Michael’s Big City Steakhouse

Michael’s Big City Steakhouse

Rawlins
307-324-4868

Michael’s Big City Steakhouse

Anong’s Thai Cuisine

Anong’s Thai Cuisine

Rawlins
307-324-6262

Anong’s Thai Cuisine

M&M Steakhouse

M&M Steakhouse

Rawlins
307-324-2783

M&M Steakhouse

Peppermill Bar & Cactus Jack’s BBQ

Peppermill Bar & Cactus Jack’s BBQ

Rawlins
307-324-8100

Peppermill Bar & Cactus Jack’s BBQ

Penny's Diner

Penny's Diner

Rawlins
(307) 324-4700

Penny's Diner

West End Cafe

West End Cafe

Rawlins
307-710-2233

West End Cafe

McDonald’s

McDonald’s

Rawlins
307-324-7377

McDonald’s

Denny's

Denny's

Rawlins
307-324-0078

Denny's

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut

Rawlins
307-324-7706

Pizza Hut

Domino’s

Domino’s

Rawlins
307-328-1400

Domino’s

The Grindz

The Grindz

Rawlins
307-324-4758

The Grindz

Burger King

Burger King

Rawlins
307-324-3866

Burger King

Four Season Chinese Restaurant

Four Season Chinese Restaurant

Rawlins
307-324-0565

Four Season Chinese Restaurant

Video: Visit the "Old Pen"

Wyoming Frontier Prison

Video: Fort Fred Steele

Fort Fred Steele is a historic site just a short drive from Rawlins. The fort was established by the Union Pacific Railroad during the construction of the transcontinental railroad in 1868. History lovers will want to take some time to stop by and tour the area.

Fort Fred Steele

Rawlins Wyoming Gallery