Regional Focus: West-central Wyoming, Segment #1
One summer evening while watching the full moon rise from our campsite in west-central Wyoming at the southern tip of the Wind River Mountain Range, we decided the conditions were just right for a little adventure. We dug out our headlamps, threw on a light jacket ,whistled for Max, and headed out to Miners Delight. What better way to explore an old ghost town than under the illumination of the full moon?
Miners Delight, once a thriving gold mining community
Miners Delight, originally Hamilton City, was once a thriving gold mining community. The town was named after the Miners Delight Mine, the richest gold mine in the area. It is one of three historical mining towns dating back to the late 1800’s. South Pass and Atlantic City being the other two. Although home to the richest mine in the area, Miners Delight remained small and isolated with a peak population of 100 in 1868.
The gold boom petered out by 1870 and the town became deserted. Over the years, people drifted through in search of their fortunes. The last resident left in the 1970’s and the town eventually came under the ownership of the BLM.
BLM maintains Miners Delight in a perpetual state of fortified decay in contrast to nearby South Pass City that was painstakingly restored (South Pass City to be featured in a future post).
We were so pleased to see little to no signs of graffiti, trash or mindless human destruction, only the expected detritus of natural decay. It is places like this that remind me how fortunate we are to have unrestricted access to federal lands and historical monuments such as this. To discover accessible places like this in such pristine unadulterated condition renews my faith in humankind.
The gatekeeper’s gaze
Parking for Miners Delight is available beside a small cemetery in a clearing atop a rise in the road. A small dark winding trail to the north of the cemetery provides access to the townsite. Just before reaching the first structures, the trail passes by a small slough or lagoon. Just as we were carefully making our way through this area, we heard a rustling in the brush nearby. Mr. RR scanned the area by the light of his headlamp, illuminating a pair of glowing eyes, The eyes followed us as we moved. It was more than a bit eerie until we were able to make out the dark form of a moose.
If only these walls could speak…
And then, there it was!
Oh… Its only Max jumping through a windowsill while my camera shutter stumbles in the dark
Take County Rd. 237 north from Atlantic City and turn east onto BLM Road 2324, Ft. Stambaugh Loop Road. From there travel east for 2 miles and follow the signs north to Miner’s Delight.
Miners Delight parking area GPS: 42.531878, -108.677781
If you’d like to read a Real Ghost story, click the link below