Devils Gate along the Oregon Trail north of Rawlins, Wyoming. Ferruginous hawk. Rafters on the North Platte River near Rawlins, Wyoming. Sage grouse near Rawlins, Wyoming. Wind turbines on Foote Creek Rim east of Rawlins, Wyoming.
BLM>Wyoming>Field Offices>Rawlins>Overview
Print Page
Rawlins Field Office


The Rawlins Field Office has many unique features. Straddling the Continental Divide, waters originating in the field office flow into three different basins--the Mississippi, Colorado, and Great Divide Basin. The latter is a large closed basin which splits the Continental Divide. No streams flow out of the basin, meaning that the precipitation falling within the basin never reaches either the Pacific or the Atlantic Oceans. This is a unique geological and hydrologic feature, as the Continental Divide does not split anywhere else in the United States.

We have high mountains, high plains, and high deserts. In fact, the lowest point in the field office, near the Nebraska border, is over 5,000 ft in elevation. This lofty landscape provides habitat for a great number of wildlife, including rare mammals, fish, and birds. We're home to the only known wild population of black-footed ferrets in Wyoming. The black-footed ferret is considered the most endangered species in North America. We have more nesting pairs of the ferruginous hawk than anywere else in Wyoming. And, of course, we have pronghorn antelope. Did you know that there are more antelope in Wyoming than there are people?

Those looking for outdoor adventure can find it here. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail which crosses the field office area offers opportunities for anything from a day hike to a 3,000-mile trek. Mountain bikers can find anything from flat to steep to test their skills. Other recreational activities include hunting, fishing, camping, river floating, and just plain sightseeing.

In the 1920s, over three million sheep grazed the area but the sheep industry has waned and cattle now outnumber sheep on the range. Gas and oil wells dot the landscape and coal lies under it, providing energy for the nation. Even the ever-present wind has been harnessed for energy--the largest commercial wind energy project in the Intermountain West is within our boundaries. The historic Overland and Cherokee Trails cross the southern part of the area. Where prehistoric mammals and dinosaurs once roamed (some sites in the field office have yielded the only fossil record of several extinct species), wild horses now share the range with livestock and wildlife.

pronghorn antelope

windpower project

black-footed ferret