Estes Park to Cheyenne makes for a perfect day trip and many travelers overlook this. Did you know that Cheyenne, Wyoming is a short drive for a unique experience while exploring the mountains of Colorado? Hop on Highway 34-E when heading out of Estes Park and head to Loveland where you hop on I-25 North. Within 2 hours, you will find yourself in a land of cowboys, trains, nature, and bison that will pull you into the Wild West. I have often heard people comment while in Estes Park that they would love to spend a day in Cheyenne but have no clue if there is anything to do there, so here you go. I would suggest carving in some time into your day for a picnic lunch in one of the beautiful parks that are located throughout Cheyenne. Tip: Holliday Park is home to Big Boy Steam Engine, located at 17th at Morrie Avenue.
CHEYENNE BOTANIC GARDENS
I’m all about nature and connecting in unique ways. The Cheyenne Botanic Gardens did not disappoint. From the Grand Conservatory to the gardens and the Paul Smith Children’s Village, these gardens have it all. For families with young children, this is a stop you will want to include in your day trip to Cheyenne. How cute is this little picnic area?
As with any garden, I’d suggest visiting any time of the year. I have yet to visit a botanical garden that looks the same from previous visits.
CHEYENNE FRONTIER DAYS OLD WEST MUSEUM
Cowboys are what we often think of in America when we hear the term Wild West. This museum in the heart of Cheyenne will introduce you to world-famous cowboys and show you why they are such an important part of America’s culture. I was introduced to the legendary cowboy Lane Frost at this museum. I now refer to him when I talk about the western part of the United States.
Once you visit, you will have a new appreciation of what it means to be a cowboy in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In case you are participating in the Cheyenne Big Boots tour, here’s an opportunity to check one off of your list. The boots are a fun addition to Cheyenne, so be sure to check all of them out. They are Instagram worthy.
TERRY BISON RANCH
If bison are interesting to you or you have always wondered what they are really like, the Terry Bison Ranch is for you. It is located right off of I-25 between Loveland and Cheyenne, which makes it easy to get to. While visiting the ranch, watch for this sign. It is a reminder as to where you actually are.
I would stop here on your way back towards Estes Park, so plan accordingly. They do offer a late afternoon bison train during the summer months. I would recommend doing this to get a feel for what this ranch is all about. The tour guides are knowledgeable and know the area well. Should you find this ranch to be your thing, return on another day to experience the ranch on horseback or on an ATV. The train is a great introduction to the ranch itself, as it offers a close-up experience.
If you find yourself departing Terry Bison Ranch with two-three hours to spare from sunset, I would head up Trail Ridge Road when you return to Estes Park. The golden hour on this colorful drive makes for beautiful photo opportunities as well as beautiful views, rain or shine. There you have it, one fine day in Cheyenne, Wyoming while on your vacation in Estes Park, the home to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Happy Traveling~ Sara