Medicine Bow

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Medicine Bow



Long before it became well known as the setting for Owen Wister's novel, "The Virginian", Medicine Bow had been a rough and rugged, wild west town. Ideally located along the Medicine Bow River, the town was first established as weigh-station for freight and passengers along the Overland Trail and later as a principle point of delivery for construction of the Union Pacific Railroad and US Mail route. In recent years, Medicine Bow has capitalized on it's strong winds with the development of commercial wind farms, located just north of town.

Public Education

Medicine Bow Elementary (K-6) is a public school located in Medicine Bow. H-E-M Junior/Senior High School (7-12) is located 20 miles west of Medicine Bow in Hanna. H-E-M is one of three high schools in Carbon County School District #2 and serves the communities of Hanna, Medicine Bow and Elk Mountain. It has a graduation rate of 86%. Carbon County School District #2 has a total enrollment of about 556 students, with schools located in the communities of Elk Mountain, Encampment, Hanna, Medicine Bow and Saratoga.

Medicine Bow's cost of living is 12.9% lower than the U.S. average.


Households in Medicine Bow earn a median yearly income of $54,470. 15.97% of the households earn more than the national average each year. Household expenditures average $58,488 per year.


72.27% of the people in Medicine Bow are homeowners. The median home cost in Medicine Bow is $122,700. Homes here have appreciated in value by 67.7% over the last 10 years. The average rent for a 2-bedroom dwelling is $890/month.

Wyoming Business Council and Best Places.


The Medicine Bow Rural Health Clinic​ is a family practice clinic offering blood draws and multiple diagnostic tests, including strep throat screens, wound cultures, pap tests and many other procedures. They are equipped with a urine analyzer, hemoglobin A1C device, protime/INR that provides on-site results in minutes.

Did you know?

One of the earliest large-scale wind operations in the nation, and the first in Wyoming, was operated by the Bureau of Reclamation as the Medicine Bow Wind Project. Wyoming’s first wind energy was generated in 1982 by two wind turbines in Medicine Bow.

Did you know?

In 1913, the nation’s first transcontinental highway, the Lincoln Highway, entered Medicine Bow, along with prosperity and economic growth.

Did you know?

The Carnegie diplodocus was discovered in 1899, north of Medicine Bow. Hundreds of bones were unearthed and shipped from Como Bluff to different locations around the world.

Recreation and culture

Things to Do

Ghost Town of Carbon

Located 9 miles east and southeast of Hanna, the town of Carbon was founded in 1868 as Wyoming's first coal town. In 1890, a fire destroyed most of the town's structures. Today, only traces of the old town and the cemetery remain.

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Medicine Bow Museum

Located in the Union Pacific railroad depot, the Museum features early settlement and railroad memorabilia, photographs of the Como Bluffs dinosaur discovery site, "The Virginian" memorabilia and the Owen Wister Cabin and Monument.

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The Historic Virginian Hotel

Built in 1911, the three-story hotel takes it’s name from Owen Wister’s famous novel. At the time, it was the largest hotel between Denver and Salt Lake City. Today, it still operates as hotel and restaurant, with one of the finest old-time western bars in Wyoming.

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