Known as the Gem City of the Plains, Laramie is a ranching and cultural community that is home to Wyoming’s only four-year land-grant research university, the University of Wyoming. On the Laramie River at the junction of Interstate 80 and US 287, the city rests at 7,200 feet above sea level on the high plains between the Snowy Range to the west and the Laramie Range to the east, making its summers wonderfully mild, but winter storms can affect travel. At a population of 28,000, Laramie combines a small-town atmosphere with the cultural life of a larger community, and nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the area for the opportunities for outdoor activities.
Laramie is named for Jacques LaRamie, a French trapper who disappeared into the Laramie Mountains in the 1810s. In the mid-1860s, Laramie was a tent town near the Overland Stage Line, and those building the transcontinental railroad wintered over in Laramie in 1868-69. Early Laramie was known for its lawlessness, but in 1868 a "Vigilance Committee reduced the unruly element." Women were granted the right to vote in Wyoming in 1869. In the spring of 1870, five Laramie residents became the first women in the world to serve on a jury, and in the fall a Laramie resident was the first woman to cast a legal vote in the U.S. The town of Laramie was incorporated in 1873, and the University of Wyoming was founded in 1886 and opened in 1887.
The Albany County Tourism Board is a great resource for information about visiting Laramie. Click here for their "Live the West in Laramie, Wyoming" website.
Flights to Laramie land at the Laramie Regional Airport, which is west of Laramie about six miles from the university campus. Great Lakes Airlines provides three flights a day from Denver International Airport to Laramie.
Ground Transportation and Car Rental
Capital City Cab Service (307-632-8294) provides cab service in Laramie. If you are staying at the Hilton Garden Inn, they offer a courtesy bus service. Two car rental agencies serve the Laramie area: Enterprise (307-721-9876) and Hertz (307-745-0500).
Make sure to check weather information and WYDOT’s road report for winter driving!
Directions from the Denver International Airport – Leave the airport going west on Pena Boulevard for 3.5 miles and then take exit 6B toward Boulder/Fort Collins to merge onto E-470 Tollway N. (This is a toll-by-license tollway. Check with your rental car company on how to pay charges.) Drive 17.5 miles and then take exit 47 north toward Fort Collins onto I-25 N. Take I-25 north for 80.6 miles, past Fort Collins, CO, and to Cheyenne, WY. At Cheyenne, take exit 8B toward Laramie to merge onto I-80 W. Drive 42.8 miles and then take exit 316 onto E Grand Avenue. Travel 3.6 miles and turn right/north on 13th Street. The university is one block north on Ivinson Street (Avenue).
Directions from the East – From Cheyenne, go west toward Laramie on I-80 W. Drive 42.8 miles and then take exit 316 onto E Grand Avenue. Travel 3.6 miles and turn right/north on 13th Street. The university is one block north on Ivinson Street (Avenue).
Directions from the West – From Rawlins, go east toward Laramie on I-80 E. Drive 95.6 miles and then take exit 311 onto WY-130/WY-230/Snow Range Road. Turn left/east onto Snowy Range Road and travel 1.4 miles. Just after the bridge over the railroad tracks, turn right/south onto N 3rd Street. Travel 0.4 miles and turn left/east onto Ivinson Street (Avenue). Travel 0.5 mile, from 3rd Street to 13th Street.
Directions the South – From Fort Collins, CO, go north toward Laramie on US 287 N. Drive 60.2 miles into Laramie. US 287 will become 3rd Street. Drive to Ivinson Street (Avenue) just past Grand Avenue. Turn right/east onto Ivinson and travel 0.5 mile, from 3rd Street to 13th Street.
Directions from the North – From Medicine Bow, go south toward Laramie on US 287 S. Drive 56.8 miles into Laramie. US 287 will become 3rd Street. Drive to Ivinson Street (Avenue) just past University Avenue. Turn left/east onto Ivinson and travel 0.5 mile, from 3rd Street to 13th Street.
Laramie has everything from nice hotels to bed and breakfasts to guest ranches with cabins. Click here for more information about lodging.
Laramie offers a wide variety of dining choices—from chain fast food restaurants to cafes, coffee shops, steakhouses, bistro-style, and vegetarian to Mexican, Sushi, Chinese, Thai, Italian, and Indian. Click here for more information about dining.
Visiting the UW Campus
Welcome (back) to UW! Whether you are attending an event, going to your reunion, or traveling with a prospective student for a campus visit, we would like to make the visit as easy and enjoyable as possible. If you would like to visit with specific people or places, make sure to call ahead for scheduling or visit the UW website for more information on university holidays and event schedules.
If you are bringing a prospective student to visit campus, click on the visit campus page on the University of Wyoming website to sign up. Each daylong pre-college visit is custom-crafted so that the prospective student can visit on the most convenient weekday with the programs and people you want to see. These visits are Monday through Friday only. If you and your prospective student would like to visit on a weekend, there are also scheduled group visit days.
Check out the pages on this site on colleges, units, & libraries, events, museums & fine arts, and parking for more information. Also visit the visitors page on the University of Wyoming website.
Virtual Tour of UW Campus
Thanks to UW Admissions for producing this great video.
Events, Attractions, and Cultural Life
There is always something to do in Laramie and at the University of Wyoming—from athletic events to art exhibitions to dance recitals to symphony concerts to planetarium shows. Colleges across campus hold professional conferences, and there are official university functions such as Homecoming and Commencement. The Laramie area has lots of opportunities for outdoor activities—hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, camping, and rock climbing at the world-famous Vedawou, an outcropping of Sherman Granite. There’s a lot of history too, with Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site and the Laramie Plains Museum. Events held seasonally include Laramie Jubilee Days and Cheyenne Frontier Days in early and mid-July, and there is a farmer’s market downtown Laramie every Friday afternoon during the summer.
Here are some helpful websites:
There are webcams across campus and across the Laramie area. Click here to see what's happening in Laramie.