On a bitter cold night, the soft city lights of Laramie, Wyoming twinkle in an expanse of darkness. Stars shine bright and white against a deep blue sky, seeming close enough to touch in the high altitude of this mountain town. On a warm July evening, that same sky glows with a remarkable sunset and a blaze of fireworks. No matter the time of year, the spirit of the West is captured on this living canvas. Bordered by snow-capped peaks and brimming with history, this "Gem City of the Plains" has many treasures to be unearthed.
Laramie is situated on the windswept plains of the Laramie River Valley, where grassy rolling hills rise to jagged steep peaks in the west and east. Forty-eight kilometers west of town, the alpine wonders of the Medicine Bow Mountains draw visitors year round to enjoy grey granite peaks, a cascade of clear mountain lakes and beautiful wildflowers. Sixteen kilometers to the east, the massive granite rocks of Vedauwoo attract visitors to hike, climb and explore the gorgeous and varied formations.
In the winter and early spring, snowmobilers venture across a network of forest service roads, taking in the powder-covered sights along the Snowy Range Mountains. In the summer, climbers travel from all over the world to traverse the challenging off-width cracks of some of Wyoming's oldest granite at Vedauwoo. Hundreds of kilometers of trails in Medicine Bow National Forest lead hikers to stunning mountain lakes, alpine meadows and towering granite spires.
Visitors to Laramie are amazed at the variety of activities and festivals available during the summer season. Jubilee Days commemorates Wyoming's statehood with rodeos, street dances and live music. The annual Brewfest draws visitors from across Wyoming and neighboring states to sample craft beers brewed regionally. Weekly farmers markets bring members of the community together, sharing in the support of locally grown food and small businesses.
Laramie has a history that is rich with the stories that settled the West. In the late 1800s, decades before achieving statehood, Wyoming became the first territory to allow women to vote and to serve on a jury. The Ivinson Mansion, a sprawling Territorial Prison, the Overland Trail and the Bucket of Blood Shootout are all celebrated on a self-guided tour called the Legends of Laramie. The University of Wyoming, founded in 1868, is the hub of Laramie’s cultural events scene. It boasts half a dozen museums including geology and art museums with impressive collections.
Visitors with an interest in the arts will enjoy the Laramie Mural Project tour. Learn about this remarkable collaboration that has transformed the look of the downtown area, giving the historical buildings an interesting modern edge. In a few short years, the project has produced several murals and continues to showcase the thriving arts community in this small college town.
Whatever the reason for a stay in Laramie, visitors will find all the amenities that round out a quaint western town including a variety of dining options, local breweries, cafés, antique and gift shops. All of this, with the clean air and expansive landscape of the western mountains.