Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of

« | Main | »

Prison Tour Fun

Old Hole door.Prisons are certainly no laughing matter, with their gas chambers, gallows, and electric chairs, and their daily melees of shower shivvings and cell block riots. Yet today, a number of old prisons have been given a reprieve as tourist attractions. That means that we must serve out our sentence as your guides….

We, in turn, rely on the guides we meet at prisons to ferret out the good stuff. Otherwise these places would be dull and gray, with a lot of poorly written signs to read. A guide can quickly point out the guard’s killing gun port over the prison cafeteria, or the cell where a famous convict languished.

We’ve had plenty of tours with guides, who — through years of tour experience, a passionate interest in the subject, or even a stint as a guard — can really bring a penal facility back to life. And then there are places like the Wyoming Frontier Prison, which we’re featuring this week. Its guides are knowledgeable, too, but they’re also young, and their delivery is breezy counterpoint to the usual procedural pall of crime and punishment.

Lens cap and the escape-proof cell.And aside from youthful enthusiasm, there’s flexibility to consider. We dropped a lens cap leaning through the bars and mesh of a welded-shut, escape proof cell. Our guide looked through the bars for only a second, then was down on her belly, flicked off her shoe and used it as a retrieval tool as she squeezed her willowy frame into a narrow gap between the door and the floor.

No retiree or ex-tower bull would (or could) do that!

Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum

Sections: Places Comments Off on Prison Tour Fun Team Field Report

Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum

500 W. Walnut St., Rawlins, WY
I-80 exit 211. Turn east onto Spruce St and drive 1.5 miles. Turn left onto 5th St., two blocks to Walnut St. The Prison will be straight ahead.
Summer daily 8-5, fewer hours and days off-season. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Discussion is closed.

Recent Posts


December 6, 2023

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Punk Rock Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada (Dec 4-10, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings