Atlantic City Campground, Wyoming

atlantic city campground wyoming

Atlantic City Campground is a tiny little BLM (Bureau of Land Management) campground a few miles from tiny little Atlantic City, Wyoming. Surrounded by open range beef cattle, the campground is nestled in a grove of aspen and pine trees.

When I researched campgrounds in the area before our family trip in June of this year, one site I came across suggested this as a lovely spot. I’m so glad we took their advice. We enjoyed our campsite as well as the unique area itself.

This area is the very southern end of the Wind River Mountains, about a half hour from Lander. No big peaks here, but still at an elevation of 8,100 feet. That means cool nights, even in the summer. We were told they can get snow any month of the year up there (I suppose that’s the case anywhere in the mountains).

What we loved about this campground

It’s a lovely spot

Suddenly there’s a grove of trees in what seems like the middle of nowhere. It’s evidently popular, too—there were several other campers there besides us. There are 18 spacious, shady sites at only $6 a night. Can’t beat it! Vault toilets, very good water in the nearby spigots, no showers.

atlantic city campground campsite
Our lovely pull-through campsite.

This is bear country, so there are bear-proof garbage containers in the campground. Your food needs to be secured in your vehicle at night.

It’s surrounded by open range

So different from our native Minnesota. This little campground is fenced and has cattle guard at the front gate to keep the cattle out, not in! When we drove out in the morning to be on our way to Laramie, we had to stop for a group of cows and calves in the road.

Atlantic city cattle
Some locals on our road out. (Notice the landscape—very typical of this area of Wyoming)

The surrounding landscape is very barren looking: scrub grasses, sagebrush, vast rolling hills. We saw parts of the Wind River Range to the north/northwest at times.

It’s in historic gold mining territory

Many boom-and-bust gold mining towns were in the area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Some are now ghost towns. Atlantic City is still kicking with a booming population of “about 57.”

Just a few miles from the campground is South Pass City, a gold mining community that’s been restored by some dedicated historians and supported by descendants of the boom era there…

South Pass City—a Wyoming State Historic Site

We thoroughly enjoyed our couple of hours in South Pass City. Some of the buildings are original structures that have been restored. Others are newly built to match old photos of the originals. And a few are still in the plans for future construction.

south pass city
South Pass City—replica gold mining town and Wyoming State Historic Site.

Some fun facts about the history of South Pass City:

  • Wyoming became the first state to allow women to vote, thanks to a bill introduced by a South Pass legislator (1869).
  • The first woman judge in the nation lived in South Pass City (1870).
  • The local jail did double-duty as a one-room school house for a time.
  • That same jail is the oldest one in Wyoming (if I’m remembering my facts right!).
south pass city jail
My family in front of the jail attempting to look dastardly—with their candy cigarettes our son bought at the Mercantile! (Haven’t seen those in years!)

Here’s a short video on the South Pass City website about its history.

We camped at Atlantic City Campground with the intention of visiting South Pass City, and are glad we did. Not only was it convenient for our history lesson, it’s a beautiful little campground in its own right.

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