Photo: Cheyenne Frontier Days

How to Experience Real Cowboy Culture in Cheyenne, Wyoming

by Matador Creators Feb 1, 2023

If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable way to experience cowboy culture, head to Cheyenne, Wyoming. From horseback riding and rodeos to historic walking tours and Wild West shows, Cheyenne has plenty of things to do to experience the modern version of the what the West was.

Wild West experiences in Cheyenne

roping cattle at cheyenne frontier days

Photo: Judy Myers

Cheyenne Frontier Days

Cheyenne Frontier Days is an annual summer event in the city of Cheyenne, and has grown to become one of the most highly anticipated events in the state. An early Wild West celebration, the festival brings together rodeos, parades, carnivals, concerts, and other performances for two 12-day stretches in July each year. Despite the transition from rough frontier town to modern city, Cheyenne still honors its heritage with a diverse celebration that draws hundreds of thousands of people from throughout the region. With thrilling rodeos and events such as chuckwagon races and wild horse steeples chasing competitions, Cheyenne Frontier Days is an exciting journey into America’s rugged and colorful past.

Cheyenne Gunslingers Show

The live Cheyenne Gunslingers Show highlights the history of the old West through real stories from early cowboy times while enjoying interactive gun fight scenes live on stage. Featuring fast draw shooting exhibitions and plenty of sharpshooting expertise, it’s an exciting and historical way to spend an evening. Kids and adults alike will enjoy seeing first-hand the skills once needed by lawmen, outlaws, and others who lived on the Western frontier.

Cheyenne Gunslingers: Gunslinger Square and 15th and Pioneer

Terry Bison Ranch

feeding a bison at terry bison ranch in wyoming

Photo: Terry Bison Ranch

Terry Bison Ranch lets visitors the chance to experience a majestic landscape of grassy plains filled with bison and other creatures at nearly every turn. Visitors can take part in cattle drives, see live shows featuring longhorns, and go for a horseback ride. For those who enjoy a bit of history and nostalgia, train tours and old homestead exhibits offer glimpses into the Wild West are available as well. Situated just minutes away from downtown Cheyenne, the Terry Bison Ranch is an excellent way to spend time outdoors while immersing oneself in the local heritage.

Terry Bison Ranch: 51 I-25 Frontage Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82007

Outlaw Saloon

Outlaw Saloon in Cheyenne is the epitome of Western hospitality. On any given night, you’ll find the sound of fiddles and steel guitars leading locals and visitors to the dance floor. There are free line dancing lessons every night of the week, and once the sun sets it’s pretty much non-stop dancing until closing time.

Outlaw Saloon: 312 S Greeley Hwy, Cheyenne, WY 82007

Horseback Riding

horseback riding near cheyenne wyoming

Photo: Allen Meyer

Horseback riding is the epitome of cowboy culture, and Cheyenne offers some of the best in the country. There are plenty of places to go horseback riding through Wyoming’s wide open hills, picturesque landscapes, and trails, including Curt Gowdy State Park, Medicine-Bow Routt National Forest, and Happy Jack Recreation Area & Pole Mountain Open Space. Some ranches like Bit-O-Wyo Ranch, and Terry Bison Ranch also offer guided horseback riding experiences, which are perfect for beginners.

Cheyenne horseback riding companies

Cheyenne Depot

Cheyenne Depot is an iconic piece of the American West. Built in 1880 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1983, this natural stone building served as a central point for the Union Pacific Railroad during the late 19th century. At its peak, this station had up to 40 passenger trains coming and going each day. Today, it’s been converted into a museum filled with artifacts chronicling the city’s pioneering past. Tourists can explore interactive exhibits that transport them back to the Old West while they learn about Cheyenne’s history. Most notably, folks will be able to get an up-close view of one of Union Pacific’s classic locomotives from 1923 or take a guided tour to see what happens inside an operating steam train.

Cheyenne Depot: 121 W 15th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

Nelson Museum of the West

different types of spurs at museum of the west in cheyenne

Photo: Matthew Idler

The Nelson Museum of the West is a treasure trove of Western history. The museum was founded in 1983 with a mission to preserve and provide visitors insight into the lives, cultures, and customs of the people who have called the West their home. With over 4,000 artifacts on display, it showcases memorabilia from Native American tribes to historic wagons, cowboy outfits, and antique firearms. Visitors can interact with replicas of a 19th century trading post and tipi encampment onsite. Additionally, the museum frequently hosts unique events such as lectures, plays, and film screenings dedicated to cultures and heritage found across the West.

Historic Downtown Walking Tour

A historic downtown walking tour of Cheyenne is a great way to explore the history and charm of the city. Starting at the western terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad, participants can take in fascinating stories about Cheyenne’s storied past and get a glimpse into its rich cultural fabric. Along the way, you’ll observe beautiful architecture and well-preserved buildings that are vibrant reminders of this city’s legacy.

Cheyenne Walking Tour: West 15th Street and Capitol Avenue Cheyenne, WY 82001

Where to Stay

hell on wheels in cheyenne flags

Photo: Judy Myers

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

The Lincoln Loft

The Lincoln Loft is an ideal rental for those looking for relaxation in the heart of the city. A newly renovated loft right behind the historic Lincoln Theater music venue, This stylish loft offers modern comfort and convenience, including a fully equipped kitchen, smart television, and luxurious king-sized bed. With its open floor plan, vacationers can move around easily while still enjoying the cozy atmosphere.

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Cottage in the heart of Cheyenne

When it comes to convenience, and being able to easily explore all Cheyenne has to offer, it doesn’t get much better than this cottage. Just blocks from the Capitol building and Frontier Park, this Airbnb has a large dining area and breakfast nook, as well as a sunroom and private backyard with fire pits. Close to all your shopping and dining needs, this cottage also boasts a Western aesthetic charm that’ll make you feel right at home.

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Nagle Warren Mansion B&B

At the Nagle Warren Mansion B&B, guests are invited to step back in time to experience the grandeur of this iconic late 19th century building, carefully restored to its original glory. Attractions such as the Wyoming State Museum and historic Lincoln Park are close nearby.

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The Historic Plains Hotel

Located in the heart of Cheyenne, the Historic Plains Hotel is a cultural landmark and favorite lodging of presidents and other celebrities for over 100 years. Serving business travelers and vacationers alike, the hotel offers renowned friendly service, comfortable accommodations, and top-tier dining. History buffs will also delight in exploring the hotel’s impressive collection of artifacts from years past, showcasing the trappings of the Cattle Barons, railroad tycoons, and Indigenous culture.

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