Wyoming’s Frontier Prison

Wyoming Frontier Prison, Rawlins, Wyoming

Address: 500 W. Walnut Street, Rawlins, WY 82301, Carbon County

Highlights

  • National Register of Historic Places
  • The Prison Museum exhibits are free
    can be explored at your own pace 
  • Guided tours through prison
  • History of famous inmates
  • New Exhibit: Wyoming State Penitentiary
  • The Old Pen Gift Shop 
  • City of Rawlins walking path to the old prison cemetery

Key Details

  • Museum: Free admission 
    • Hours of Operation:
    • M-TH 9am-12pm;1pm-4pm
    • Call to verify hours
  • Guided Tours: about 1 hour
    • Hours of Operation:
    • Every hour on the half-hour
    • M-TH 10:30am – 1:30pm 
  • Cost:
    • Adults $12
    • Children (6-12) $10; 
    • Seniors (60+) $10
    • For Groups 10+ call for reservation

Overview

The number of outlaws in the Wild West required law and order. Rawlins, Wyoming, is home to Wyoming’s first state penitentiary, now known as the Wyoming Frontier Prison. The prison opened in December 1901 with 104 cells, no electricity or running water, and inadequate heating. More cells were added over the years, including solitary confinement, maximum security, and execution “death houses”. Approximately 13,500 people were incarcerated here through 1981, including 11 women – 14 death sentences were carried out through hanging and a gas chamber. You’ll find guided tours, exhibits, a museum, and a gift shop at the prison. What’s more, the Rawlins Interpretive Trail will lead you to the old prison cemetery.

Cell block, Frontier Prison, Rawlins, WY
Cell block, Frontier Prison, Rawlins, WY