Laramie lies toward the southeast corner of Wyoming. The state wears its geology on the surface, and our plains and mountains are hopping with wildlife, bubbling with hot springs, and erupting into geysers. It is well worth traveling on from Laramie to see the West, but do remember that distances are extensive (check mileage on your map), towns can be small (no guarantee of a gas station), those jeep trails are NOT right for your rental car, AND you should always travel with some food and water (just in case). You are unlikely to be snowed upon in July--but it’s not impossible.

If you have a mind to see the West, Yellowstone really is as great as they say. As a bonus, it’s right next door to the spectacular Grand Tetons. And on the way west, you can check out dinosaur fossils at Fossil Butte.

Heading north from Laramie gets you (eventually) to Devil’s Tower--and it too really is as impressive as they say. Huge. It’s a hop-skip-and-jump from there to Mount Rushmore, just over the border in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the fantastic Jewel Cave, and Wind Cave. Bison roam in Custer State Park.

If you’re crossing the state east/west, take the geological trail through Shell Canyon, and don’t miss Cody (yes, of Buffalo Bill fame); if you’re headed north/south, don’t miss the ghost town of South Pass City.

And of course, you could follow the Oregon Trail, or the Mormon Trail, to get the full feel of the pioneer experience, You can see wheel ruts left by travelers at Guernsey, visit Fort Laramie (which celebrates July 4 with living history, but is nowhere near Laramie), or try handling a Mormon handcart at Martin’s Cove.

Dude Ranches:

Should you want a western experience with less driving--and more riding--there are two terrific dude ranches within a few miles of Laramie. The Two Bar Seven, to the south, and the VeeBar, to the west. They are both beautifully situated (not exaggerating, here). The Two Bar Seven is a bit more rustic, the VeeBar a bit more elegant (gourmet dining). But both offer a great ranch experience, complete with horses and riding if you wish.

Two Bar Seven:
Hard to find on the web. This site gives good information: http://www.theinnkeeper.com/bnb/105085.

Vee Bar: