The Daddy of 'Em All: Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo
What you should know about this epic, 10-day bonanza along with other fun things to do in Cheyenne, WY.
More than 250,000 people attend the festivities, and its main event, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo. Competitions include bull riding, saddle bronc riding and barrel racing. The rodeo's events are just the beginning of the Old West activities that visitors at Cheyenne Frontier Days can experience.
Looking for more rodeo fun? Unleash your inner cowboy and check out America's Biggest Rodeos and America's Wildest Rodeos.
Exploring Cheyenne Frontier Days
For a closer look at where the action happens, hop on a free Behind the Chutes tour, which takes visitors backstage, through the rodeo chutes, and out onto the arena grounds. Get a taste of the Wild West at the Old Frontier Town, and learn more about Native American culture in the Indian Village. Other highlights include parades, enormous pancake breakfasts, shows by the US Air Force Thunderbirds, and a massive carnival midway, complete with rides and decadent snacks.
Stick around after dark, when the Frontier Nights concerts kick off. You can purchase tickets to see performances by some of country music's top acts, which have included Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Big & Rich and Toby Keith.
When you're not kicking up dust at the rodeo, spend time exploring Cheyenne. The town's historic trolley tour is an excellent way to get an overview of its history and attractions, including the Wyoming State Museum, the state Capitol and the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.
Blend with the locals and get your Western-wear fix at the Wrangler, a mecca for cowboy hats and boots, bejeweled jeans, and splashy belts and buckles. For high-end Western gear, hit the gift shop at the Little America Hotel & Resort, where you'll find clothes, souvenirs and sparkling, whimsical jewelry by local artist Sandy K. Designs. In the evening, catch the interactive Old Fashioned Melodrama at the Atlas Theatre, where you'll boo and hiss at villains and cheer the heroes.
If you want to stretch your legs or work up a sweat, drive half an hour west from Cheyenne to Vedauwoo Recreation Area and Curt Gowdy State Park. Rock climbers flock to Vedauwoo's natural formations, while mountain bikers and hikers work up a sweat on Curt Gowdy's world-class trails.
Where to Stay
You'll find some of Cheyenne's best lodging at the sprawling Little America Hotel & Resort, where families can cool off in the outdoor swimming pool or explore the kids' playground, and golfers can tee off at the 9-hole golf course. For a more intimate stay, check in to the historic Nagle Warren Mansion, an elegant bed-and-breakfast that’s known for its sumptuous decor, divine meals and authentic English high teas.
What to Eat and Drink
You'll have little trouble finding your meat and barbecue fix in Cheyenne. Get adventurous with a bison steak or burger at the Senator's Steakhouse at Terry Bison Ranch Resort, or indulge in fall-off-the-bone ribs at the Rib & Chop House. Cheyenne's most inventive cuisine (and possibly its most personable chef, Dameione Cameron) can be found at the Morris House Bistro, where the seasonal, Lowcountry-inspired menu includes shrimp and grits, crab cakes and spicy fried okra.
After dinner, sip a High Noon Chili Ale at Freedom's Edge Brewing Co. or a WY Campfire cocktail at the Suite Bistro’s martini bar.