I'm sure you all know that the best way to see and appreciate Wyoming is NOT from the interstate. The same thing could be said about Wyoming counties. Perhaps you stick to I25 or State Highway 26 when you zip through Platte County, but if you do, you will miss some of the most fascinating places in the state.
During summer weekends, one of the biggest (temporary) towns in the state is
Glendo State Park where thousands of boaters, fishermen, and campers gather.
Guernsey State Park is one of the prettiest parks anywhere and a real testament to the hundreds of CCC workers who designed and constructed the impressive stonework structures there.
You can almost hear the roll of dice, clinking beer mugs, and tinkly pianos when you visit the tiny town of Hartville, once one of the rowdiest in the Old West. The nearby
Sunrise Mine and town site played an essential role in the operation of Rockefeller’s
Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in Pueblo, Colorado, by furnishing massive amounts of iron ore. Long before that, wandering Native American tribes traveled through the area and unique specimens of their existence found there are changing archeologists’ ideas about ancient times. Spanish Diggings, a Native American quarry site, was used from 1,500 to 500 years ago.
The area around Guernsey is amazingly diverse. Some of the most famous landmarks on the Oregon Trail/California/Mormon Trail, Pony Express, and Cheyenne
Deadwood Stage Trail can be found nearby. Modern Camp Guernsey is an important training site for both the Air Force and the Army National Guard. Onsite, they also operate the Wyoming ChalleNGe Academy, geared to provide teenagers with a unique opportunity for success. Nearby, a massive railroad maintenance and repair site covers acres.
By traveling south out of Guernsey, you will pass storage facilities for gas and oil and training sites for the Guard. You will travel through some beautiful hills and meadows with majestic Laramie Peak always visible in the distance. You will soon come to the
Perhaps you stick to I25 or State Highway 26 when you zip through Platte County, but if you do, you will miss some of the most fascinating places in the state.
Grayrocks Dam and Reservoir which is a storage facility for the Laramie River/ Missouri Basin power plant looming up from the landscape. It is one of the largest consumer operated facilities in the country and provides electric power for thousands.
Wheatland was founded because of irrigation. Early land developers saw the advantages of a fairly level plain fed by precipitation from the nearby mountain range. The Wyoming Development Company was formed by wealthy investors from the U.S. and Europe. Water was impounded in reservoirs and thousands of miles of irrigation canals were dug--mostly by hand--to make the land productive for farming and ranching. You can drive almost anywhere in the county and come across irrigation ditches, and if youʼre really adventurous, you can travel up through the mountains to the reservoir and even to the historic tunnel which diverted water from the Blue Grass to the Sybille for irrigation. And while youʼre in the mountains, you might as well visit some of the interesting places up there like Garrett, Laramie Peak, the Laramie Peak Boy Scout Camp, Camp Grace, and Hubbardʼs Cupboard. Even though some of these locations are in Albany County, you can see Wheatland and the surrounding valley from most places, and the views are fantastic.
The tiny town of Slater was once home to one of the biggest sheep facilities in the world and the not-quite-so tiny town of Chugwater was headquarters for the Swan
Land and Cattle Company, at one time the largest ranch in the country owning and leasing land from Saratoga to Ogallala, Nebraska. The historic ranch buildings are still visible on the southern outskirts of the town.
Deteriorating homestead cabins dot the county, furnishing reminders of the hardy people who came to Platte County to try and establish new lives. Railroad tracks and gigantic power lines now crisscross the plains where they struggled to survive.
From historic to modern, Platte County has all this--and so much more. Take time to enjoy it all.