Cheyenne Travel Guide

Downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming © Postdlf

The capital of Wyoming, and its largest city, the history of Cheyenne is intimately linked to the frontier history of the United States as a whole. Named by the Sioux, in honour of another Native American tribe (the Dzitsistes) that roamed the plains of the surrounding area, early settlers in Cheyenne worked on the Union Pacific Railroad until its completion in November 1867. Drawn by the promise of prosperity, gamblers and saloon owners, thieves and opportunists, prostitutes and ranch-hands, miners, transient railroad gangs, legitimate businessmen, soldiers from Camp Cheyenne, and men from Camp Carlin (a supply camp for fifteen northern army posts on the frontier), soon streamed in - creating possibly the most archetypal 'Western town' imaginable, and spawning thousands of cowboy narratives ever since.

These days, Cheyenne - with only about 60,000 permanent residents - has a very 'small town' feel to it, boasting all the friendliness and hospitality that that epithet usually implies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most tourist attractions in Cheyenne hark back to its glory days, with rodeos, an array of frontier museums, farmers' markets, and Old Fashioned Melodrama (at the Atlas Theatre) dominating the cultural fare. Eight-foot cowboy boots, painted by local artists, are dotted around the city, and there are a wealth of geocaches to be discovered, as well. For those with even a modicum of interest in America's frontier history - or for those who wish to spend some time in one of those most rare things, a laid-back, relaxing capital city - a trip to Cheyenne is highly recommended.

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