Just 90 miles north of Denver is the capital of Wyoming, the charming little city of Cheyenne. 62,800 people call Cheyenne their home, making it the most populous city in the entire state. While Cheyenne may be small in size, it is great in the name of history.
In 1869 the Wyoming Territory government became the first in history to grant women the right the vote. The U.S. women’s suffrage movement would have to work for 50 more years in order for it to become a federal law, and during that time many other countries, including New Zealand, Australia and Finland would pass the same legislation.
This great victory is celebrated here, even in the Wyoming Sate Museum. It’s free admission and has exhibits on the history of Wyoming, Native American culture, and even dinosaurs. My favorite spot was a little corner dedicated to the passage of women’s suffrage.
Unfortunately, the Capitol building is currently under restoration. Otherwise, I would recommend stopping there to view the statue of Esther Hobart Morris. She become Wyoming’s first female Chief Justice and was a a pioneer in the women’s suffrage movement.
If you want to spend a day in Cheyenne, here are some other itinerary suggestions:
- Cheyenne Depot & Museum – This is a National Historic Landmark and many people stop in to see the transformation of transportation across this state.
- Cheyenne Street Trolley – Explore Cheyenne on a 90-minute hop-on, hop-off trolley tour.
- Historic Governor’s Mansion – This home was in use from 1905-1976 and is free. It is self-guided, and you can choose to take an audio tour.
- Cheyenne Botanic Gardens – You can find this in Lyons Park and spend a few hours strolling through the gardens.
After spending some time downtown, hop on US 80 and travel west about 30 miles. The first stop is in the town Buford. It is America’s smallest town, with a population of 1! A sign, home and gas station are all that can be found here, but it’s a fun photo opportunity. I stumbled across this town accidentally, but now I can brag that I’ve been to America’s smallest town!
Fives miles down the road, take exit 329 into Vedauwoo National Recreation Area. Located in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, this is a fun place for camping, picnics and a little hiking. It’s $10 to camp overnight or $5 for a day visit. If you have an annual Parks pass that will also get you in!
I hiked on Turtle Rock Trail, although there were no maps left at the entrance, so I did not venture too far. It winds through the forest and offers pretty views of birch trees, flowers and balanced rocks.
If you drive further into the recreation area there is a gazebo, as well as paved walking and biking trails that wind around Turtle Rock, which is huge, by the way. The park is hardly busy, making for a serene afternoon.
It was a great way to end the day! Although little, Cheyenne is a charming capital city. Although there are not many options downtown for things to do, it is surrounded by outdoor activities!
At the end of July is a huge festival, Frontier Days, which they’ve already started decorating for. It offers the world’s largest rodeo as well as parades, food and music. It sounds like a great time of year to visit Cheyenne.
Until next time, keep exploring and happy summer!