If you've never adventured to Kirwin, Wyoming, you're missing out. High mountain peaks, the winding Wood River, the wildlife and rich history are some of the key attractions.

The drive alone through the Shoshone National Forest is worth the trip, but then you add in the history and breath taking views, you'll make a return trip for sure. The trip from Meeteetse to Kirwin is just over 30 miles, but it will take you almost 2 hours to get there.

A 4 wheel drive, high clearance vehicle or off road vehicle is recommended and needed for the last segment of the drive.

Map to Kirwin Wyoming
Google Maps

When you leave Meeteetse and head to the Shoshone National Forest, you're greeted with herds of bison, cattle, mule deer, pronghorn, elk, with the potential to see a few moose, big horn sheep, mountain goats, mountain lions and grizzly bears.

The history of Kirwin begins in 1870 when prospectors came to look for gold, but were forced to leave because the area was part of the 1868 treaty with the Shoshone Tribe.

The man the town is named after is William Kirwin. He found gold and silver when was on a hunting trip in the 1880's and not long after, the word go out and prospectors started to roll in.

When you're driving up the mountain, you wonder how on earth anyone ever found that area and how they stumbled on gold.

The town was in it's prime from the late 1890's - 1907 when an avalanche destroyed buildings and killed 3 people. Even though the area remained a busy spot for some prospectors, hunters and fishers, it never really produced enough gold, silver or copper to make that much money.

The Double Dee Ranch started in 1931 and is known for Amelia Earhart and her husband George Palmer Putnam, a New York publisher, visited. They fell in love with the area and asked for a cabin to be built for them. When she disappeared, the construction ended and was never completed.

Even though gold, silver and copper are in those mountains, the rich history of Shoshone National Forest and Kirwin are priceless.

If you've never been, here's some encouragement for you.

Wyoming's Beauty Runs Deep In Shoshone National Forest

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The drive into the canyon is quite the beautiful drive. It's not too far from Kaycee, but you'll need a vehicle with good clearance and suspension. When you arrive to the Outlaw Cave Campground, you're mind is blown from the size of the canyon. The drive and hike are worth every minute spent on the road to get there.

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