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The Most Affordable Mountain Town in the West! πŸ”οΈπŸš‚ - Laramie, Wyoming.

Today: The Vedauwoo Rock Formations, Skiing, and more high-altitude fun!

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Laramie, Wyoming, is a town where the past and present merge to create an affordable yet high quality of life. Home to the University of Wyoming, the state's only four-year university, it plays a central role in the town's cultural and academic life. The university hosts numerous events and sports, bringing vibrancy and youthful energy to the town.

Walking through Historic Downtown Laramie, you'll find well-preserved 19th-century buildings that house unique shops, cafes, and restaurants. This area reflects the town's rich railroad history. The downtown area is not just for shopping and dining but also a place to appreciate the town's historical architecture and community spirit.

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Laramie, as the most affordable mountain town, is also a hotspot for outdoorsmen. The nearby Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Snowy Range Mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, and camping. These natural landscapes are perfect for those looking to explore Wyoming's rugged beauty and enjoy outdoor adventures.

For history buffs, the Wyoming Territorial Prison is a must-see. This historic site, once home to the infamous outlaw Butch Cassidy, now serves as a museum. It offers a fascinating look into the life of prisoners in the late 1800s and the history of the American West.

Cultural events are a big part of life in Laramie. The Laramie Jubilee Days, for instance, celebrate Wyoming's statehood every July with rodeos, parades, and live music. This annual event draws visitors from all over, creating a festive atmosphere that showcases local traditions and community pride. The 4th of July lasts much longer in Laramie!

Overall, Laramie offers a unique blend of educational, historical, and outdoor experiences. Whether you're visiting for its academic environment, historical sites, or outdoor activities, Laramie and all the beauty surrounding it make it a special place to visit in Wyoming.

Do Not Miss These Stops While in Laramie!

University of Wyoming Geological Museum

  • Location: Located in the S.H. Knight Geology Building on the University of Wyoming campus.

  • Exhibits:

    • Big Al: A cast of a nearly complete juvenile Allosaurus discovered near Shell, Wyoming.

    • Apatosaurus: The museum houses a massive Apatosaurus, which dominates the space.

    • Pleistocene and Eocene Displays: Paintings by Samuel Knight depicting ancient Wyoming landscapes and fauna.

  • Activities: Explore detailed exhibits of Wyoming's prehistoric past, including various fossils and geological formations.

  • Fun Facts: The museum is named after Samuel H. Knight, a notable geology professor at the university. The museum is free to the public but closed on Mondays.

Vedauwoo Recreation Area

  • Location: Located 16 miles east of Laramie off I-80.

  • Activities:

    • Rock Climbing: Known for its granite rock formations, it's a popular spot for climbers.

    • Hiking and Biking: Trails vary from easy to challenging, offering picturesque views.

    • Camping: Designated campsites are available for overnight stays.

  • Fun Facts: The name "Vedauwoo" comes from the Arapaho word meaning "earth-born." It's perfect for photographers due to its unique rock formations.

Medicine Bow National Forest

  • Location: Extends into southeastern Wyoming, with access points near Laramie.

  • Activities:

    • Hiking: Numerous trails, including the popular Snowy Range Scenic Byway.

    • Fishing: Alpine lakes and streams are teeming with fish.

    • Camping: Multiple campgrounds provide a rustic outdoor experience.

  • Fun Facts: The forest covers over one million acres and is part of the Rocky Mountains. It's named after the Medicine Bow Mountains.

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

  • Location: 975 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY.

  • Exhibits:

    • Historic Prison Tour: Explore the cells and learn about the notorious outlaws held here, including Butch Cassidy.

    • Living History Events: Reenactments and demonstrations depicting 19th-century prison life.

  • Activities: Self-guided and guided tours, educational programs, and special events.

  • Fun Facts: The prison operated from 1872 to 1903 and is one of the best-preserved territorial prisons in the U.S.

Laramie Plains Museum at the Historic Ivinson Mansion

  • Location: 603 Ivinson Avenue, Laramie, WY.

  • Exhibits:

    • Victorian Mansion Tour: Explore the historic Ivinson Mansion and its period furnishings.

    • Local History: Exhibits cover various aspects of Laramie's history, including pioneer life and the development of the town.

  • Activities: Guided tours and special events, including themed tours and educational programs.

  • Fun Facts: The mansion was built in the late 19th century by prominent Laramie residents Edward and Jane Ivinson.

Lincoln Monument Rest Area

  • Location: Located on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie.

  • Attractions:

    • Lincoln Bust: A 12-foot tall bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln.

    • Scenic Views: Offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

  • Activities: A great spot for a quick rest and photo opportunities.

  • Fun Facts: The monument was created by Robert Russin, a University of Wyoming art professor, to commemorate Lincoln's 150th birthday.

Snowy Range Ski Area

  • Location: 3254 WY-130, Centennial, WY (approximately 30 miles west of Laramie).

  • Activities:

    • Skiing and Snowboarding: A variety of runs suitable for all skill levels.

    • Snowshoeing: Trails are available for you snowshoe-ers.

    • Winter Events: Seasonal events and activities.

  • Fun Facts: The Snowy Range Ski Area offers a more intimate and affordable skiing experience compared to larger resorts, with stunning views of the Snowy Range Mountains.

Laramie wasn’t always what it is today…

Established in the 1860s during the westward expansion, Laramie quickly became a vital stop along the Union Pacific Railroad. Named after Jacques La Ramie, a French-Canadian fur trader, the town initially thrived as a cattle ranching, mining, and transportation hub.

In its early years, Laramie played a significant role in the development of the American West. The establishment of Fort Sanders in 1866 brought a military presence to the region, ensuring protection for settlers and facilitating trade. By the late 1860s, the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad further bolstered Laramie's economy, transforming it into a bustling center of commerce and a gateway to the frontier.

As the town grew, so did its cultural and educational institutions. The University of Wyoming, founded in 1886, became a cornerstone of Laramie's identity, contributing to the intellectual and social fabric of the community. The university's presence attracted scholars, artists, and thinkers, enriching the town with a vibrant cultural scene and fostering innovation in various fields.

Laramie's history is also marked by notable milestones in American legal and social history. In 1870, it hosted the first woman's jury in the United States, marking a significant step forward in women's rights. The event highlighted Laramie's progressive spirit and commitment to equality, setting a precedent for future legal reforms across the country.

Today, Laramie continues to honor its Western heritage while embracing modernity. The town's historic downtown district preserves its frontier-era architecture, offering visitors a glimpse into its past. Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the nearby Medicine Bow Mountains, providing ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, and wildlife viewing. Laramie's enduring charm, coupled with its rich historical legacy, makes it a beloved destination for residents and tourists alike, showcasing Wyoming's unique blend of rugged beauty and cultural vitality.

See you in Laramie!

Dave Dugdale

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