Cheyenne, wy

Cheyenne, Wyoming
State Capital
City of Cheyenne

Capitol Ave. in Downtown Cheyenne
Official seal of Cheyenne, Wyoming
Nickname(s): Magic City of the Plains; Capital City (of Wyoming); The Frontier City

Coordinates: 41°8′44″N 104°48′7″W / 41.14556°N 104.80194°W / 41.14556; -104.80194Coordinates: 41°8′44″N 104°48′7″W / 41.14556°N 104.80194°W / 41.14556; -104.80194

Country United States
State Wyoming
County Laramie
Founded 1867
 • Mayor Richard Kaysen[1]
 • City 24.63 sq mi (63.79 km2)
 • Land 24.52 sq mi (63.51 km2)
 • Water 0.11 sq mi (0.28 km2)  0.45%
Elevation 6,062 ft (1,848 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • City 59,466
 • Estimate (2012[4]) 61,537
 • Density 2,425.2/sq mi (936.4/km2)
 • Urban 71,775
 • Metro 91,738
Time zone Mountain (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) Mountain (UTC-6)
Area code(s) 307
FIPS code 56-13900[5]
GNIS feature ID 1609077[6]
Most populous Wyoming City

Cheyenne (/ʃˈæn/ or /ʃˈɛn/) (Arapaho: Hítesííno'óowú' [7]) is the capital and most populous city of the US state of Wyoming and the county seat of Laramie County.[8] It is the principal city of the Cheyenne, Wyoming, Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Laramie County. The population was 59,466 at the 2010 census.[9] Cheyenne is the northern terminus of the extensive and fast-growing Front Range Urban Corridor that stretches from Cheyenne to Pueblo, Colorado, and has a population of 5,467,633 according to the 2010 United States Census.[3][10] Cheyenne is situated on Crow Creek and Dry Creek. The Cheyenne, Wyoming Metropolitan Area had a 2010 population of 91,738, making it the 354th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.


On July 5, 1867, General Grenville M. Dodge and his survey crew platted the site now known as Cheyenne in Dakota Territory (later Wyoming Territory). This site was chosen as the point at which the Union Pacific Railroad crossed Crow Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River. The city was not named by Dodge, as his memoirs state, but rather by friends who accompanied him to the area Dodge called "Crow Creek Crossing." It was named for the American Indian Cheyenne nation, one of the most famous and prominent Great Plains tribes closely allied with the Arapaho.

The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad brought hopes of prosperity to the region when it reached Cheyenne on November 13, 1867. The population at the time numbered over 4,000 , and grew rapidly. This rapid growth earned the city the nickname "Magic City of the Plains."

1867 also saw the establishment of Fort D. A. Russell, 3 miles west of the city. The fort was later renamed Francis E. Warren Air Force Base.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association met at The Cheyenne Club, which allegedly acted as an interim government for the territory. Many of the WSGA's rules and regulations became state laws.

The Wyoming State Capitol was constructed between 1886 and 1890, with further improvements being completed in 1917.

The Cheyenne Regional Airport was opened in 1920, initially serving as a stop for airmail. It soon developed into a civil-military airport, serving DC-3s and various military craft. During World War II, hundreds of B-17s, B-24s, and PBYs were outfitted and upgraded at the airfield. Today, it serves a number of military functions, as well as a high-altitude testbed for civilian craft.[11]

Geography and climate

Cheyenne is located at 41°8′44″N 104°48′7″W / 41.14556°N 104.80194°W / 41.14556; -104.80194 (41.145548, −104.802042)[12]. Lying near the southeast corner of the state, it is one of the least centrally located state capitals in the nation (together with cities such as Carson City, Nevada; Juneau, Alaska; and Topeka, Kansas).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.63 square miles (63.79 km2), of which, 24.52 square miles (63.51 km2) is land and 0.11 square miles (0.28 km2) is water.[2]


Cheyenne, like most of the rest of Wyoming, is semi-arid (Köppen BSk). Winters are cold and moderately long, but relatively dry, with a December average of 27.7 °F (−2.4 °C), highs that fail to reach freezing occur 35 days per year, and lows dip to the 0 °F (−18 °C) mark on 9.2 nights.[13] However, the cold is often interrupted, with chinook winds blowing downslope from the Rockies that can bring warm conditions, bringing the high above 50 °F (10 °C) on 20 days from December to February.[14] Snowfall is greatest in March and April, averaging 60 inches (152 cm) for the season, yet thick snow cover rarely stays.[14][14] Summers are warm, with a July average of 69.4 °F (20.8 °C), and highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on 12 days. Spring and autumn are quick transitions, with the median freeze dates being May 12 and September 26.[14] The annual precipitation tends to be concentrated from May to August and is low during fall and winter, contributing to the area's 2980 hours (~68% of the possible total) of sunshine per year. On July 16, 1979 an F3 tornado struck Cheyenne causing one death and 40 injuries.[15] It was the most destructive tornado in Wyoming history.[16]

Climate data for Cheyenne, Wyoming (Cheyenne Regional Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
Average high °F (°C) 39.5
Average low °F (°C) 18.0
Record low °F (°C) −38
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.33
Snowfall inches (cm) 5.8
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 4.9 6.2 8.6 10.3 12.4 11.4 10.7 11.0 8.3 7.4 6.4 6.2 103.8
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 5.6 6.6 7.9 6.4 1.8 0.2 0 0 0.7 3.4 5.8 6.7 45.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 192.2 203.4 254.2 273.0 291.4 303.0 316.2 297.6 261.0 235.6 180.0 176.7 2,984.3
Source: NOAA (extremes 1872−present)[13] HKO (sun only, 1961−1990)[17]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201261,5373.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
1870-2000 census[19]
2012 estimate[4][20]

At the 2005–2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, the city's population was 89.3% White (79.2% non-Hispanic White alone), 12.7% Hispanic or Latino (of any race), 4.5% Black or African American, 2.5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.1% Asian and 6.4% from some other race.[21] 22.5% of the total population had a Bachelor's degree or higher.[22]

2010 census

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 59,466 people, 25,557 households, and 15,269 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,425.2 inhabitants per square mile (936.4 /km2). There were 27,283 housing units at an average density of 1,112.7 per square mile (429.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.44% White, 2.88% African American, 0.96% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 4.0% from other races, and 3.28%% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.45% of the population.

There were 25,557 households of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.3% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the city was 36.5 years. 24% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.9% were from 25 to 44; 26.2% were from 45 to 64; and 13.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.3% male and 50.7% female.

2000 census

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 53,011 people, 22,324 households, 14,175 families residing in the city, and 81,607 people residing in the Metropolitan Statistical Area making it the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Wyoming. The population density was 2,511.4 inhabitants per square mile (969.6/km²). There were 23,782 housing units at an average density of 1,126.7 per square mile (435.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.1% White, 2.8% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 4.4% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 12.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 22,324 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,856, and the median income for a family was $46,771. Males had a median income of $32,286 versus $24,529 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,809. About 6.3% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.


Cheyenne's government consists of a mayor and a city council. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The city council has nine members each of whom are elected from one of three wards. Each ward elects three members. The Mayors Office is responsible for managing the various City Departments which consist of Street/Alley, Police, Fire, Parks, Fleet Maintenance, Traffic, Sanitation, Downtown Historic District, Weed and Pest, Facilities Maintenance, and Cemetery. The Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities is owned by the city but is semi autonomous.[23]


Primary and secondary schools

Public education in the city of Cheyenne is provided by Laramie County School District #1. The district is served by four high schools, Central High on the northwest side, East High on the east side, South High on the south side, and Triumph High, also on the south side.

Colleges and universities

Cheyenne is home to the Laramie County Community College (LCCC), as well as a branch of Institute of Business & Medical Careers, and a branch of University of Phoenix.


Government is the largest sector of Cheyenne's economy. The state of Wyoming operates a multitude of offices in downtown Cheyenne. Many area residents are employed by or are dependent on the U.S. Air Force, through F.E. Warren Air Force Base to the west of the city, or by the Wyoming National Guard. Railroads remain a major economic force for the city, with both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific employing many residents.[24]

Due much in part to work done by Cheyenne's economic development agency "Green House Data Center powered by wind energy.

Cheyenne's high elevation, coupled with its position on the continent, make it one of the windiest cities in America. The abundance of wind makes Cheyenne an opportune place to develop wind energy. Wind turbines are currently being placed around Laramie County. Laramie County Community College is home to a leading wind energy technician program, where students learn to maintain these turbines. The opening of a Vestas wind turbine blade assembly in nearby Weld County, Colorado, as well as other alternative energy manufacturing facilities around Colorado, are transforming the region into a center for alternative energy.

Great Lakes Airlines and Taco John's are headquartered in Cheyenne.[26][27]

Cheyenne has one of only three enclosed shopping malls in Wyoming, the Frontier Mall. The other two are the Eastridge Mall in Casper, and the White Mountain Mall in Rock Springs.

List of tallest buildings in Cheyenne:

  • Wyoming State Capitol 146 ft.
  • Wyoming Financial Center 110 ft.
  • Joseph C. O'Mahoney Federal Building 80 ft.
  • Burke Senior Center 80 ft.
  • Cheyenne Regional Medical Center 70 ft.

Museums and Culture

  • Wyoming State Museum
  • Wyoming Botanic Gardens
  • Cheyenne Little Theatre Players
  • Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum
  • Cheyenne Depot Museum
  • Terry Bison Ranch
  • Nelson Museum of the West

Parks and Recreation

The Paul Smith Children's Village at the Gardens), paddle boat rentals in Lions Park (summers only), cemeteries, forestry operations, community house, Youth Activity Center and a miniature golf park. The Cheyenne Parks and Recreation Department also operates a 37 mile American Hiking Society..

Professional sports

The Cheyenne Warriors were founded as an American Professional Football League team in 2012. After playing a season in the APFL, they announced a move to the Indoor Football League. Shortly after the owner of the team died in December 2012, the Warriors announced that they were forming the new Developmental Football League. After playing several games in this new league, the team folded in May 2013.


Historic places

Over fifty different locations in Cheyenne are listed on the National Register of Historical Places, including:

  • The Historic Plains Hotel (added 1978)
  • the Atlas Theatre (added 1973)
  • Union Pacific Depot (1973)
  • the Governor's Mansion (1969)
  • Nagle-Warren Mansion (1976)
  • First Presbyterian Church (1869)
  • First United Methodist Church (1975)
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church (1970)
  • St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral (1974)
  • Cheyenne High School (2005)
  • High Plains Horticulture Research Station a.k.a. High Plains Arboretum (1930 - 1974)
  • Storey Gymnasium (2005)
  • Park Addition School (1970)
  • Big Boy Steam Engine (1956)
  • Botanic Gardens Rotary Century Plaza & Steam Locomotive (1921)

Several districts in the city are also listed, including:

  • the Downtown District (1978, with boundary increase in 1980, 1988, 1996. Encompasses 205 acres (0.83 km2) and 67 buildings)
  • Lakeview District (1996, 350 acres 109 buildings)
  • Rainsford District (1984, 1980 acres 288 buildings)
  • Capitol North District (1980, 204 acres 112 buildings)
  • Fort David A. Russell (1969, 6300 acres 19 buildings)
  • Union Pacific Roundhouse, Turntable and Machine Shop (1992, 113 acres 2 buildings)
  • South Side District (2006)



Interstate highways


  • North-South Interstate running from New Mexico to Wyoming intersects I-80 southwest of Cheyenne.


  • East-West Interstate running from California to New Jersey. Intersects I-25 southwest of Cheyenne.


  • North-South interstate that runs concurrent with US 85 from I-80 to US 30.
    (It is the only Interstate Highway that is not up to Interstate Highway standards along its entire route)

US routes

US 30 (Lincolnway)

  • East-West route through Cheyenne

US 85 (South Greely Highway, Central Avenue (Southbound), Warren Avenue (Northbound))

  • North-South route through Cheyenne

US 87

  • North-South through Cheyenne that runs concurrent with I-25 through Cheyenne

Wyoming state highways

WYO 210 (Happy Jack Road)

  • East-West route from I-25/US 87 (Exit 10) west out of Cheyenne towards Laramie

WYO 212 (College Drive, Four Mile Road)

  • North-South route that forms a beltway around Cheyenne. From I-25 (Exit 7) to WYO 219

WYO 219 (Yellowstone Road)

  • North-South route from US 85 in Cheyenne near the Cheyenne Airport north out of the city

WYO 221 (Fox Farm Road)

  • East-west route from US 85 east to WYO 212 in Cheyenne

WYO 222 (Fort Access Road)

  • North-South route from WYO 225 just southeast of Cheyenne and travels north to F.E. Warren Air Force Base and continues on its north route east of the city to WYO 221

WYO 225 (Otto Road)

  • East-West route from I-80/US 30 southwest of Cheyenne west

Local Bus Service

Cheyenne provides local hourly bus service from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. There is no Sunday service.


Cheyenne Regional Airport features daily service from Great Lakes Airlines to Denver.


The Union Pacific and BNSF railroads intersect in Cheyenne. The city is home to a BNSF railyard, as well as the Union Pacific's steam program. UP's 844 and 3985 reside in the steam shop.[28]

Cheyenne Frontier Days

Cheyenne Frontier Days, which occurs during 10 days centered around the last full week in July, is the largest outdoor rodeo in the US. The events include professional bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, team roping, bronc riding, steer roping, bareback riding and many others. During this week there are many parades and other events. Additionally there is a carnival with numerous rides, games and shops.[29]


Fictional references to Cheyenne

Movies and television

In the Spike TV series Blue Mountain State, the main characters Alex Moran and Sammy Cacciatore are from Cheyenne.

In the animated series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Amuro Ray is held under House Arrest, confined to Cheyenne.

Three novels by Philip K. Dick are partly set in Cheyenne. In The Man in the High Castle, Hawthorne Abendsen lives in the eponymous "High Castle" in Cheyenne. In Dr. Bloodmoney, it is the seat of a military dictatorship. In The Penultimate Truth, several characters are linked by post-apocalyptic Cheyenne.

In the American serial drama Jericho, Cheyenne is the capital city of the Allied States of America, a separatist faction of the United States formed after a surprise nuclear attack on the country's major metropolitan areas.

In the 1984 motion picture Red Dawn, Cheyenne is the farthest north that the Cuban, Soviet, and Nicaraguan forces have pushed American forces. In the motion picture Ready to Rumble, the two main protagonists go to a live WCW Monday Night Nitro in Cheyenne.


Sister cities

Cheyenne's sister cities are:

Notable people


External links

  • City of Cheyenne official website
  • Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce
  • Visit Cheyenne
  • Cheyenne newspapers in the Wyoming Newspaper Project
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.