Laramie, Wyoming's Traveler Trivia

Be a traveler rather than a tourist. Get the behind-the-scenes stories on everything from comic heroes to outlaws in the Laramie area.
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1. Vedauvoo Recreation Area

Vedauwoo Recreation Area.

Vedauwoo Recreation Area. 

Why go: Camp, bike, hike and climb on the spectacular granite rock formations here. Head 19 miles east of Laramie on I-80.

Little-known fact: Pronounced “veee-da-voo,” this area is referred to by the Arapaho Indians as “Land of the Earthborn Spirit.”

2. Happy Jack

Happy Jack Recreation Area in Wyoming

Autumn splendor in Happy Jack Recreation Area

Why go: Home to three campgrounds, there are short trails to explore by foot, bike or cross-country skis.

Little-known fact: The area was named for "Happy Jack" Hollingsworth, a Laramie rancher in the 1880s who sang while he worked.

3. Snowy Range Scenic Byway

Why go: This stunning road takes you past glacial lakes, granite peaks, gorgeous meadows and over the second-highest mountain pass in Wyoming. The highway is closed mid-November to Memorial Day weekend. The scenic drive starts west of Laramie at the village of Centennial. Download the guide to 14 stops at

Little-know fact: It was constructed as a wagon road in the 1870s.

4. Summit Rest Area and Visitor Center

Lincoln Monument at Summit Rest

Lincoln Monument at Summit Rest

Why go: The highest point on the old Lincoln Highway, which was the country’s first coast-to-coast highway, was marked by this monument of President Lincoln's face. See it on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie.

Little-known fact: It took Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower 62 days to travel the entire 3,250-mile highway in 1919, which included layovers to rebuild bridges. At the time, volunteers in each county along the route were in charge of road maintenance.

5. Laramie Plains Museum at the Historic Ivinson Mansion

Why go: See how the 1 percent lived in Laramie in the 1890s at this mansion that had running water, central heating and electric lights long before most in the area.

Little-known fact: Edward Ivinson was born in St. Croix before eventually making his way with his wife and daughter to Laramie, Wyo., where he worked as a banker.

6. Wyoming Territorial Prison Historic Site

Wyoming Territorial Prison. ACTB Photo courtesy of Laramie

Wyoming Territorial Prison. 

Why go: Put yourself behind bars at this historic prison site built in 1872.

Little-known fact: It’s the only prison in the world to have housed the notorious Butch Cassidy.

7. American Heritage Center

American Heritage Center and Art Museum on the UW campus.

American Heritage Center and Art Museum on the UW campus.

Why go: Inside this University of Wyoming building intended to embody the “sense of a landscape in formation,” according to its architect Antoine Predock, you’ll find remarkable archives from the papers of Stan Lee, creator of comic-book heroes Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk to the papers of vaudeville, radio and TV actor Jack Benny.

Tip: Check the Reading Room hours in advance at

8. Wyoming House for Historic Women

Statue of Louisa Swain, the first woman to vote in the United States.

Statue of Louisa Swain, the first woman to vote in the United States. 

Why go: This museum honors Louisa Swain and 12 other Wyoming women who had far-reaching impacts on society.

Little-known fact: Swain became the first woman to cast a vote in the country in 1870 after Wyoming passed laws giving women equal rights as men.

9. University of Wyoming Geological Museum

Outside of the Wyoming Geological Museum, a boy recognizes "Arlo"

Outside of the Wyoming Geological Museum, a boy recognizes "Arlo"

Why go: See a 75-foot Apatosaurus skeleton, along with other dinosaurs in this museum. While alive, an Apatosaurus ate 1 ton of vegetation daily and weighed 25 tons. The museum's hours of operation are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; closed Sundays. Admission to the museum is free.

Little-know fact: Disney-Pixar’s 2015 The Good Dinosaur featured a Wyoming Apatosaurus named Arlo.

10. UW Anthropology Museum

The woolly mammoth exhibit at the University of Wyoming Anthropology Museum.

The woolly mammoth exhibit at the University of Wyoming Anthropology Museum.

Why go: Trace the evolution of humans from their beginnings in Africa to the New World in exhibits on three floors.

Tip: Summer hours are 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Check the website to verify at

11. Coal Creek Tap

Why go: Get a taste of Laramie’s former Wild West days when you sip the award-winning Bucket of Blood double red IPA. For a lighter drink, try Laradise, an extra pale ale celebrating Laramie in the summer.

Little-known fact: The red IPA is named after Laramie’s first bar, Bucket of Blood, run by three thieves who were half brothers.

12. Deerwood Ranch Wild Horse EcoSanctuary

Wild Mustangs

Wild Mustangs

Why go: See the home to 300 wild Wyoming mustangs roaming on 4,700 acres just 35 miles west of Laramie.

Tip: Visits by appointment only at 307-399-9956.

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For more information:
210 E. Custer Street, Laramie, WY 82070
(800) 445-5303


Rebecca Walsh, Owner of Basecamp outdoor store in Laramie, Wyo.

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