Like many southern Wyoming communities, Rawlins dates back to the year 1868, when the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad were being laid across the virgin Wyoming landscape. By 1870, Rawlins had become an important "jumping off place" for stagecoaches and wagon trains for the new gold fields around South Pass City to the northwest. Through the 1870s, it was a wild, hard town with outlaw activity a normal part of daily life. By the end of the decade, however, the town's established citizens had taken things into their own hands in vigilante action that climaxed with the lynching and skinning of the region's most notorious outlaw - "Big Nose" George Parrott.
Today, Rawlins is the center of a thriving sheep and cattle industry and still is a major "station" on the Union Pacific. Coal, uranium, oil and gas are found in the area. Rawlins is also a full-facility tourism center and is the point where US 287 branches off to the northwest to serve both Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. It roughly follows the original route of the Rawlins-Lander-Fort Washakie stagecoach road.
Don't Miss: The Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum in Rawlins is said to be haunted with history. The Carbon County Museum offers visitors a chance to learn about the region and the colorful characters who shaped the early history of Wyoming, such as Verna Keays and Big Nose George Parrothttp://www.carboncountymuseum.org