Heading into Wyoming I really only knew two things about the state. One – it’s beautiful. Two – there are a lot of ghost towns. As much as we love just cruising around and checking things out, sometimes it can be a bit of a gamble going on the hunt for ghost towns. You never know what you’re going to drive an hour off the main road to find is actually highly protected private property or not even standing anymore.
We decided to gamble on Piedmont. The photos online looked promising. The bumpy dirt road that led us there took us beside grazing cows and a lazily flowing stream. It felt like it took forever but it was beautiful.
We stopped at the old charcoal kilns. They had a sign and some picnic benches, making them feel a little touristy for my tastes. That plus the fact some of the ghost town itself was behind a fence immediately meant actually getting to explore wasn’t an option.
We watched as the one other group of people there, a very regular looking family, parked their massive truck right up beside one of the buildings on the top of a hill (that doesn’t have an actual road going up to it) It was then we decided it would totally be okay to walk up to the houses… because at least we weren’t driving up to it, right?*
Piedmont was settled in 1869. There was a general store, a hotel, school, post office and more. This little town flourished until around 1910 when the Aspen Tunnel was built meaning the train no longer came through. This marked the slow decline of Piedmont. The town managed to hold on until the 1940s though.
Now, what’s left is honestly one of the most impressive ghost towns I’ve ever personally visited. Places like this one are usually converted into parks and become tourist hot spots. As great as those are, I prefer things left to rot on their own. I wanna see an actual ghost town, not something protected and maintained. I don’t really know who takes care of Piedmont, if anyone, or how its managed to stay graffiti-free for all this time but I’m sure glad to have been able to see it in it’s current state.
Other posts from this trip –
- Ohio to Arizona & back
- the abandoned Anasazi Inn
- Mel Gould’s
- Mountainview Cemetery + Wild Horses
- road tripping – abandoned gas station
*After researching Piedmont, it seems as though this is private property and that it is watched after pretty carefully so explore at your own risk. I recommend bringing some binoculars and just looking from the road.