Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Cheyenne, Wyoming
State Capital
City of Cheyenne
Capitol Ave. in Downtown 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
Location in Laramie County and the state of Wyoming.
Location in Laramie County and the state of Wyoming.
Cheyenne, Wyoming is located in USA
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Location in the United States
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Country United States
State Wyoming
County Laramie
Founded 1867
Named for Cheyenne people
 • 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 (2014)[4] 62,845
 • Rank US: 564th
 • Density 2,425.2/sq mi (936.4/km2)
 • Urban 73,588 (US: 377th)
 • Metro 96,389 (US: 359th)
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/ shy-AN or /ʃˈɛn/) is the capital and most populous city of the US state of Wyoming and the county seat of Laramie County.[7] 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.[8] 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 4,333,742 according to the 2010 United States Census.[3][9] 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.


Cheyenne, 1876
Bird's eye view of Cheyenne, 1882

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".[10] 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.[10] This rapid growth earned the city the nickname "Magic City of the Plains".[10]

In 1867, Fort D. A. Russell was established, three miles west of the city. The fort was later renamed Francis E. Warren Air Force Base.

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

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 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


File:Cheyenne Wyoming.jpg
View from the International Space Station

Lying near the southeast corner of the state, Cheyenne 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), and is part of USDA Hardiness zone 5b, with the suburbs falling in zone 5a.[12] Winters are cold and moderately long, but relatively dry, with a December average of 28.8 °F (−1.8 °C), highs that fail to breach 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.[13] Snowfall is greatest in March and April, seasonally averaging 60 inches (152 cm), historically ranging from 13.1 in (33 cm) in 1965–66 to 121.5 in (309 cm) in 1979–80, yet thick snow cover rarely stays.[14] Summers are warm, with a high diurnal temperature range; July averages 69.4 °F (20.8 °C), and highs reach 90 °F (32 °C) on an average 12 days annually. Spring and autumn are quick transitions, with the average window for freezing temperatures being September 29 thru May 14, allowing a growing season of 106 days.[13] Official record temperatures range from −38 °F (−39 °C) on January 9, 1875, up to 100 °F (38 °C) on June 23, 1954, the last of four occurrences; the record cold daily maximum is −21 °F (−29 °C) on January 11, 1963, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 68 °F (20 °C) on July 31, 1960.[13] The annual precipitation of 15.9 in (400 mm) tends to be concentrated from May to August and is low during fall and winter; it has historically ranged from 5.04 in (128 mm) in 1876 to 23.69 in (602 mm) in 1942.[13] The city averages below 60% daily relative humidity in each month and receives an average 2,980 hours (~67% of the possible total) of sunshine annually. 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]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,450
1880 3,456 138.3%
1890 11,690 238.3%
1900 14,087 20.5%
1910 11,320 −19.6%
1920 13,829 22.2%
1930 17,361 25.5%
1940 22,474 29.5%
1950 31,935 42.1%
1960 43,505 36.2%
1970 41,254 −5.2%
1980 47,283 14.6%
1990 50,008 5.8%
2000 53,011 6.0%
2010 59,466 12.2%
Est. 2014 62,845 [19] 5.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
1870-2000 census[21]
2014 estimate[4][22]

At the 2005–2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, the city's population was 87.2% White or European American (79.3% 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.[23] 22.5% of the total population had a Bachelor's degree or higher.

2010 census

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 59,467 people, 25,558 households, and 15,270 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,425.2 inhabitants per square mile (936.4/km2). There were 27,284 housing units at an average density of 1,112.7 per square mile (429.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.44% European American, 2.88% African American, 0.96% Native American, 1.24% 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 25,558 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 78.1% White or European American, 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.

The city has a wide range of ages-groups, 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% 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 mayor's 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.[24]


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.

Cheyenne is home to the Laramie County Community College (LCCC), as well as a branch of the Institute of Business & Medical Careers, and a branch of the 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 also remain a major economic force for the city, with both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific employing many residents.[25]

Due much in part to work done by Cheyenne's economic development agency "Cheyenne Leads," successful steps have been taken in recent years to diversify the city's economy. Lowe's and Wal-Mart both operate distribution centers on the city's outskirts. Sierra Trading Post is headquartered in the city and also operates its distribution and fulfillment centers in the city.[26] In addition, because of the towns cooler summers and abundant electricity supplies (both renewable and non-renewable), Cheyenne has been able to attract a number of data centers including the NCAR supercomputing center, along with a Microsoft data center, powered by bio gas and Green House Data's data centers powered by wind energy.

On 2 January 2014, Magpul Industries announced that it was moving its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne from Erie, Colorado.[27]

Cheyenne's high elevation, coupled with its position on the continent, make it one of the windiest cities in the United States. 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, Taco John's, and Green House Data are headquartered in Cheyenne.[28][29]

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.

Parks and recreation

Lions Park

The Cheyenne Parks and Recreation Department operates an Ice and Events center, swimming pool, spray park, skateboard park, two golf courses, Cheyenne Botanic Gardens (including 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 Greater Cheyenne Greenway system. The greenway connects parks and neighborhoods of greater Cheyenne. It includes many bridges and underpasses where travelers can avoid high traffic roads and travel above waterways and drainages. In 1996, as a result of the greenway, Cheyenne was named a "Trail Town USA" by the National Park service and the American Hiking Society.[30]

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.


List of tallest buildings in Cheyenne

Data retrieved from

Tallest buildings in Metro Area
Rank Name Height (convert=ft) Status Type
1 Transmisson Tower A 465 existing wired mast; tower
2 Transmission Tower B 251 existing wired mast; tower
3-5 High rise buildings 115+ (habitable)
3 Gateway Plaza Tower 171 unbuilt high-rise tower; art deco
4 Wyoming State Capitol 146 existing capitol; monumental hall
5 Wyoming Financial Center 134 existing brick modernism; financial building
6-34 Low Rise Buildings 115> Habitable
(except 11 & 22)
6 Burke Senior Center 110 existing brick modernism; senior apartment
7 Joseph C. Mahoney Federal Building 99 existing modernism; federal building
8 CRMC Patient Tower 85 existing modernism; hospital
9 CRMC Main Tower 85 existing modernism; hospital
10 Bank of the West 85 existing modernism; bank office
11 Transmisson Tower C 80 existing framework mast
12 City Center Building 73 existing brick modernism; city commercial building
13 Boyd Building 73 existing steel/brick structure; commercial building
14 Hathaway Building 61 existing brick modernism; government office
15 Frontier Apartments 61 existing oldie form; apartments
16 Central Plaza Hotel 61 existing oldie form; historic hotel
17 CRMC main office 61 existing modernism; doctor clinic; office
18 ANB Bank Building 61 Existing modernism; office
19 Plains Hotel 61 existing art deco; historic hotel
20 Majestic Building 61 existing art deco; historic; office building
21 Hynds Building 61 existing art deco; historic; office building
22 Transmisson Tower D 50 existing wired mast; tower; antenna
23 City-County Building 49 existing brick modernism; government office
24 Lincolnway Parking Garage (source does not say) existing oldie form; open air parking garage. note: my source did not give height but gave it 4 levels
25 Cheyenne Municipal Building 49 existing brick modernism; government office; city hall note: not to be mistaken for the municipal pool
26 Hansen Building 49 existing commercial office; modern parking garage
27 One Pioneer Center 49 existing brick modernism; government building
28 CRMC Parking Garage source doesn't say existing modernism; open-air structure note: my source doesn't give height, but it gives it 4 levels
29 The Financial Center 49 existing art deco; fedral/financial building
30 Arundel Building 37 existing modernism; commercial office
31 Deming Building 37 existing oldie-form; commercial office
32 LC Library 37 existing modernism; library
33 Union Pacific Depot source doesn't say existing romanesque style; historic depot; with clock towers note: source doesn't give height, but gives the depot 3 floors
34 Dinneen 24 existing historic commercial office

Table References [31][32]

National Register of Historical Places

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

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)



Map of Cheyenne Road Network
Plaque depicting Cheyenne's street grid along with historic districts
  • I-25 – North-South Interstate running from New Mexico to Wyoming intersects I-80 southwest of Cheyenne.
  • I-80 – East-West Interstate running from California to New Jersey. Intersects I-25 southwest of Cheyenne.
  • I-180 – Bypass Interstate that runs concurrent with US 85 from I-80 to US 30.
  • US 30 (Lincoln Highway) – East-West route through Cheyenne
  • US 85 (South Greeley 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
  • WYO 210 (Happy Jack Road) – East-West route from I-25/US 87 (Exit 10) west out of Cheyenne towards Laramie
  • WYO 211 (Horsecreek Road) – Runs northwest out of Cheyenne to Horse Creek.
  • 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.[33]


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, 3985 and 4014 reside in the steam shop.[34]

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.[35]


Notable people

Sister cities

Cheyenne's sister cities are:


1. North Cheyenne 2. South Greeley 3. Warren A.F.B 4. Ranchettes 5. Orchard Valley 6. Fox Farm-College

See also

In popular culture

  • Cheyenne, Wyoming figures prominently throughout the AMC-TV series Hell on Wheels. Initially known in the show as "Durant, Nebraska" (a nod to the real-life Durant, Polk County, Nebraska), the community is renamed in season 3, after its namesake Thomas C. "Doc" Durant is ruined. Season 2, episode 2 is titled "Durant, Nebraska", and multiple plot lines in seasons seasons 3 and 4 prominently feature the community, then renamed Cheyenne. Additionally, in season 4, episode 2 ("Escape from the Garden"), Brigadier General John Allen Campbell tells newspaper woman Louise Ellison: "Cheyenne has been touted as "The Magic City of the Plains". It's my job to govern it into a new era, as I did in the South following the war."
  • Cheyenne is briefly depicted in Purge Feed footage in the 2013 film The Purge.


  1. Official records for Cheyenne kept at the City Office from January 1871 to August 1935 and at Cheyenne Regional since September 1935.[17]


  1. Mayor's Office, Cheyenne. Accessed January 18, 2009.
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  7. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  8. "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Cheyenne city, Wyoming". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
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  11. "Cheyenne Regional Airport History". Cheyenne Regional Airport. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  12. "USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
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  17. ThreadEx
  18. "WMO Climate Normals for CHEYENNE WSFO, WY 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  19. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  20. U.S. Decennial Census
  22. 2014 estimate
  23. American FactFinder. Retrieved on April 11, 2012.
  24. Cheyenne, WY – Official Website – City Council. Retrieved on April 11, 2012.
  25. The Cheyenne-Laramie County Corporation for Economic Development. Cheyenne LEADS. Retrieved on April 11, 2012.
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  27. "US gun magazine producer to leave Colo. over gun laws". Fox News. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  28. "Contact Us". Great Lakes Airlines. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  29. "Contact Us". Taco John's. Retrieved February 25, 2010. 
  30. American Hiking Society - Retrieved 2015-06-29.
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  35. Cheyenne Frontier Days. (April 3, 2012). Retrieved on April 11, 2012.
  36. Cheyenne Herald: About us
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External links