The small town of Rawlins in the center of Wyoming is an interesting stop off on the I-80 journey to Salt Lake City or Chicago. There is not that much to do in Rawlins, however, apart from visit the massive Wyoming Frontier Prison and associated museum, wander the historic district and marvel at the red desert.
Frontier Prison is located on Fifth and Walnut streets and is open during office hours from late May to August; other times of the year by reservation only. The prison was in service for most of the 20th century until its closure in 1981 and is now a famous tourist attraction where visitors can walk through the creepy corridors and cells.
Downtown Rawlins itself is one of several architectural styles featuring wood, brick, terracotta, stone, and concrete buildings in the Historical District. Shopping and dining options are reasonable and there are plenty of inns to kick back in.
Wyoming State Penitentiary: see the prisoner living conditions; tours are available daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Wyoming Frontier Prison & Museum: ‘The Old Pen’ features many historical displays, including makeshift inmate weapons and prisoner escape stories.
Carbon County Museum: visit this fascinating museum to learn a bit more about Carbon County history.