While you’re in town, why not explore the surrounding area? There are several options for day trips not far from Cheyenne, so you can jump right back into the rodeo action.

TO THE NORTH

Chugwater Soda Fountain

Town boosters claim this is the oldest operating soda fountain in Wyoming. The building dates back to 1916 and was once the town’s drug store. Make sure to grab a burger and malt.

To get there, take Interstate 25 about 45 miles north of Cheyenne to 314 First St. in Chugwater. The fountain is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call 307-422-3222.

Fort Laramie National Historic Site

This one-time military post, situated between Guernsey and Torrington on U.S. Highway 26, has been called the "crossroads of a nation moving west." Originally established in 1834 as a private fur trading fort, it evolved into the largest and best-known military post on the Northern Plains before being abandoned in 1890.

The park, located at 965 Gray Rocks Road in Fort Laramie, is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and the visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer. Admission is free. Call 307-837-2221 ext. 3002 or visit nps.gov/fola/index.htm for more information.

Oregon Trail Ruts State Historic Site

Back in about 1840, where Guernsey is now located was called the "emigrant wash tub" because pioneers would bathe there. Thousands of wagons rolling west on the Oregon Trail cut ruts into sandstone rock in the area, and one set, called the Guernsey Ruts, still can be seen today.

It is located off U.S. Highway 26, about three miles south of Guernsey. Admission to Wyoming state historic sites is $4 per day for adults and free for anyone under 18.

Register Cliff State Historic Site

This cliff, located three miles southeast of Guernsey via South Guernsey Road, provided Oregon Trail travelers with a "chalkboard" of sorts to write their names for those who followed. The landmark still remains much the way it looked to pioneers passing through on wagon trails in the 1800s.

The site is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission to Wyoming state historic sites is $4 per day for adults and free for anyone under 18. Call 307-836-2334 or visit wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/places-to-go/register-cliffs for more information.

TO THE SOUTH

Soapstone Prairie Natural Area

Enjoy a hike, bike ride or horseback ride on the 28 square miles of the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area in northern Colorado, where the Folsom culture camped 10,000 years ago.

The area is home to the Lindenmeier archeological site, which turned up needles, beads and stone tools when Smithsonian and Colorado Museum of Natural History scientists conducted excavations in the 1930s. Bison can potentially be seen from the road or from Cheyenne Rim Trail.

It is open daily from dawn to dusk, about 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free. No dogs are allowed on the grounds.

To get to the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area from Cheyenne, head south on Interstate 25 and take Colorado Exit 288 at Buckeye Road. Then head west and turn right at Terry Lake Road/North County Road 15, which will turn into Rawhide Flats Road.

For more information, visit fcgov.com/naturalareas/finder/soapstone.

Terry Bison Ranch

There are several offerings at this working ranch south of Cheyenne, including a restaurant, trail rides, fishing and a train tour. It is located off Exit 2 on Interstate 25. Call 307-634-4171 or go online to terrybisonranch.com for more information.

Take a ride on a train to see bison, camels, ostriches and other animals up close. Cost is $15 for adults and $7.50 for children ages 4-12. The train runs every hour and a half, beginning at 9 a.m., with the last trip boarding at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are first-come, first-served.

The old-fashioned dining train leaves Sunday at noon. Signup is at the Trading Post and must be completed by noon Saturday, either in person or over the phone. Cost is $30.90 for adults and $18.10 for children 5 and younger.

Hour-long horseback rides cost $60 and leave every half hour starting at 9 a.m., with the last ride leaving at 4:30 p.m. Two-hour rides cost $105 and leave at 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. – add breakfast to the morning ride for $15, or dinner to the evening ride for an additional $20.

Pony rides for kids ages 2-8 are available between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. A ride costs $10 per child.

TO THE EAST

Pine Bluffs

This small town is located 40 miles east of Cheyenne off Interstate 80 at exit 401. In the town’s early days, huge cattle drives came through to where cowboys would load them onto trains.

The Texas Trail Museum, located at 201 W. Third St., depicts the history of southeastern Laramie County through Plains Indian artifacts, buildings such as the county’s oldest schoolhouse, a Union Pacific caboose with railroad memorabilia and more. It’s open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, and admission is free. Call 307-245-3713 or visit travelwyoming.com/listings/texas-trail-museum/ for more information.

The Our Lady of Peace Shrine is the largest sculpture in Wyoming and the largest Marian statue in the U.S. The 30-foot concrete statue of the Virgin Mary with outstretched arms has been welcoming travelers on Interstate 80 since 1998. It can be seen up close by taking Exit 401. For more information, visit www.ourladyofpeaceshrine.com.

TO THE WEST

Ames Monument Historic Site

This 60-foot pyramid was put in place in 1882 to boost the tarnished reputations of the Ames brothers, who were behind the Transcontinental Railroad – dubbed the nation’s post-Civil War "mission to Mars" – which ended in scandal.

The monument marks the highest point of the historic coast-to-coast rail line and is the site of the former ghost town of Sherman.

Park grounds are open 24 hours a day year-round, weather permitting. To get there, drive west on Interstate 80 and take exit 329. Then head south and follow the signs. 

Admission to Wyoming state historic sites is $4 per day for adults and free for anyone under 18. Call 307-632-7946 or visit wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/places-to-go/ames-monument for more information.

Bit-O-Wyo Ranch

The Bit-O-Wyo Ranch offers one-, two- and three-hour trail rides at a cost of $45 per person per hour. Daily rides are scheduled at 9 a.m., 11 a.m, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., but other times can be reserved by special request.

The ranch also offers cowboy campfires, cabin rentals, a barn available for events and the WindRiders Adventure Camp. Check out the ranch’s website at www.bitowyoranch.com.

Reservations are required for all activities. To make a reservation, call 307-638-6924.

Bit-O-Wyo is located at 470 Happy Jack Road, 23 miles northwest of downtown Cheyenne.

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

Built in 1872, this frontier prison-turned-museum housed the infamous outlaw Butch Cassidy for a time. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The former state penitentiary, first a federal prison from 1872-90, is located at 975 Snowy Range Road in Laramie, just off Interstate 80 at exit 311. Entry fee is $9 for adults, $4.50 for kids ages 12-17 and free for children 11 and younger.

The prison is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. between May 1 and Sept. 30, with the last ticket sold one hour before closing. All tours are currently self-guided.

For more information, call 307-745-6161 or visit wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/places-to-go/wyoming-territorial-prison.

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