Ayres Natural Bridge Park

By Melissa Mehle, Editor

unnamed (1).pngWow. A destination that starts with a winding country road and gives no hint of the serene scenic hideaway that lies ahead. The park is located about 2 miles south of the Oregon Trail, 11 miles West of Douglas, WY on County Road 13. The span at the bottom of the bridge is about 150 ft and the depth under the center of the arch is about 18 ft. La Prele Creek flows under this natural limestone arch. “Nature has done her work well and it is doubtful if there is any scenery in the West that will compare in beauty with this spot.” (Douglas Enterprise, May 25th, 1920).

Two people near Ayres Natural Bridge 1938. Photo courtesy of the American Heritage Center.

Two people near Ayres Natural Bridge 1938. Photo courtesy of the American Heritage Center.

Before a road was built in the early 1900’s visitors had to climb down steep canyon walls and combat heavy brush on the canyon floor. Because of this, there are only a small number of written accounts from early travelers.

The bridge was named after Alvah Washington Ayres. Alvah was born in Pennsylvania in 1841 and first arrived in the area in 1865. According to an article in the Douglas times, “Alvah W. Ayres was one of the real pioneers of Wyoming.” In 1882 he settled on a ranch on the LaPrele Creek where the bridge is located and it became his home until his death in 1918. After his death, the land was donated to Converse County.

Today the park is still owned and well maintained by Converse County. There is no entry fee and first come first serve camping right next to the Bridge. One can be assured to have a good night’s rest while being lulled by the rustling creek.




Douglas Enterprise no. 16 August 20, 1918, page 5

Douglas Enterprise no. 4 May 25, 1920, page 1

Bill Barlow’s Budget Anniversary Edition January 01, 1907, page 37

1 Comment

  • byJoyAnn
    Posted December 29, 2021 12:14 pm 0Likes

    I can’t believe there’s no other comments. This is one of the coolest little Parks.

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