About Downtown Rawlins


Rawlins, Wyoming is located in south-central Wyoming along the busy 1-80 corridor. Situated on the cusp of the Continental Divide and on the border of the Red Desert, Rawlins has a unique beauty and is a great base for year-round outdoor recreation. Nestled at the base of unique geological uplifts, Rawlins’ beautiful historic downtown is the focus of several major revitalization projects headed by Rawlins DDA/Main Street. The charming atmosphere of small boutiques, first class restaurants, casual eateries, and beautiful parks welcomes residents and weary travelers alike to relax. We invite you to wile away the day by enjoying our beautiful architecture and shopping opportunities.

Rawlins, originally Rawlins Springs, sprung up on the edge of the Red Desert as a last chance stop for water on the Continental Railroad before the long dusty stretch across the frontier. General Rawlins, scouting for water stops for the railroad in 1867, found a fresh spring and remarked it was the sweetest water he’d ever tasted. He went on to say that if anything was ever named for him he’d like it to be a spring of water; hence the name Rawlins Springs. The town’s remote position on the edge of the Red Desert made it a perfect location for the first state penitentiary; staff, supplies and inmates could be brought in by train but escape in the desert would be difficult. The town has since established itself as a small, comfortable oasis on the frontier. An abundance of trees, friendly people and beautiful architecture has lifted Rawlins out of its former moniker of ‘prison town’. Now the town prides itself on its diverse population, multicultural heritage, small town values and the beautiful traditions that make us unique.

“A Walk Through Carbon County History”

Take a walk though time and space with Rawlins’ downtown mural tour. This educational walking tour, funded by Rawlins DDA/Main Street, Carbon County School District #1 Recreation Board and the Wyoming Arts Council, celebrates the history of Carbon County through murals created by local artists in 2005-2007. The 12 murals highlight the history and natural beauty of south central Wyoming. From the innovate work of Thomas Edison and James Candlish to the splendor of the native pronghorn and aspen, the mural tour shows the diverse and rich history of the region. Pick up a brochure at the Rawlins DDA/Main Street Office (in the Rainbow Teton Entrepreneur Center at 116 4th St.), Rawlins Chamber of Commerce, or at any of the murals. A good place to start and pick up the brochure is at the Depot Park, at the corner of 4th and Front Streets. It can also be downloaded here .


Space Availability

Downtown Rawlins is an ever-increasingly vibrant and full destination for shopping, dining, and other services. With over twenty stores, over ten restaurants and bars, and over fifty service providers, Rawlins’ downtown is an alive location for those businesses who are looking for a strategic position to place themselves. In 2006, the downtown had 70% occupancy. In 2013, we are 90% occupied for spaces that are move-in ready. Below are the local realtors who may have listings for the downtown area.


Snowy Range Graphics 2008