Cheyenne, Wyoming, is a wild west wonderland of activities and adventure.
In many ways, it’s a city locked in time with the cowboy way of life-dominating influences, but with enough of a modern-day twist, you won’t have to know how to lasso a cow to fit in.
This is the quintessential small town and even in the past decade, the population hasn’t grown much.
Still, more than a million people visit this town each year for its one-of-a-kind draws.
It’s home to the Cheyenne Frontier Days, which has been going strong since 1897.
This is touted as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo and Western Celebration.”
Cheyenne is built along Interstate 80, the second-longest interstate in the nation.
It’s a great cultural pitstop for overnight or finds a few days of exploring.
Being the largest city in Wyoming, it also has the highest number of crimes statewide.
Pull up your bootstraps and let’s look at everything there is to expect in the Wild West of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Warnings & Dangers in Cheyenne
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk in Cheyenne. Wyoming is one of the top 11 safest states in the country. Even with Cheyenne holding the bulk of the crime in the state, it's still safe compared to other cities in the country. While a few safety points do jump out, it's not a dangerous place by any means.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There's low risk on public or private transportation in Cheyenne. There are taxis, rideshares, and a public transportation system, but many of the touristy parts of town are walkable. If you want to explore the wide-open spaces of Wyoming, it's best to have a car of your own.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Wyomingites love to carry their guns, and that's why it's the state with the most registered guns per capita. That's going to make any pickpocket think twice, giving this a low risk. There were just 6 robberies in Cheyenne in 2020.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium to high risk of natural disasters in Cheyenne, focused on two main issues—wind and snowstorms. The winds can get so severe it's not safe for any vehicles to be on I-80 and the Department of Transportation will shut the road down in the name of safety. Snowstorms and blizzards can dump snow by the feet, not inches, during the harsh winter months, causing closures as well. When I-80 closes, that closure can go far back into Nebraska on the east side and across the state on the west side.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This is another low-risk category. Aggravated assaults and larceny totaled 20 each in 2020, still not a high number in a city of just 65,000. The knowledge that so many people carry guns might deter some of these types of crimes.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
We give this a low risk throughout Cheyenne and Wyoming. There might be a slight uptick in concern during the popular Frontier Days, but overall, it's not a hard target because there's not much in Cheyenne and the state. There are about 6 residents per square mile in this state that loves its solitude.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
We're going to go with a medium risk here, based solely on the fact that fraud was one of the highest crime areas outside of sexual assault in Cheyenne in 2020. However, the number was still just 28 felony fraud cases. It does seem if someone is going to try something, it's going to be fraud before it's a violent crime.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
This is cowboy country where they'll tip their hat and hold the door for a woman traveler. The low risk for women makes it easier to say "Thanks" without worrying about your purse. That said, a woman might feel overly attended to just in the name of men being polite.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities (BOPU) celebrates another year of above-average water quality, giving this a low risk. BOPU even takes extra steps to keep algae that bloom in water supplies from making it to the neighborhood taps.
Safest Places to Visit in Cheyenne
If you can, you want to visit during Frontier Days in July.
It’s the hallmark event of the community.
You don’t even have to be a big rodeo fan to get swept up in this western tradition.
There’s a carnival, shopping, demonstrations, and all kinds of rodeo events you never knew were so fascinating (mutton busting, anyone?)
To keep your money safe, plan with one of the many savings passes.
For example, the Legendary Pass allows admission to some of the top attractions in town and is good for 7 days.
If you want to see wildlife, it’s safest to plan that through a tour company instead of wandering out on your own.
Wildlife is beautiful to see but can be dangerous if people don’t approach it appropriately.
Another safe bet is to check out one of the many railroad attractions in town.
Places to Avoid in Cheyenne
We dug. We asked.
We can’t find a single person in Cheyenne who can tell you there’s a “bad” part of town.
While crime trends peak a bit in the southwest part of the city, keep in mind how low crimes are, to begin within this city.
That doesn’t mean you let your guard down, as crime can happen anytime and anywhere.
It does give a bit of a sigh of relief to know you can wander without too much worry.
Cheyenne is also safe for all genders, ethnicities, and races.
The census shows the city is 90% Caucasian, but the tourism spirit and friendly old west vibe welcome everyone.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Cheyenne
- Winter weather can shut down this town and everything for miles. With an average of nearly five feet of snow falling each winter, sometimes the only thing you can do is sit and wait it out. Keep this in mind if traveling anytime during winter, and keep a weather app handy so you can better navigate your trip timing.
- The winds of Cheyenne and the state of Wyoming are like nothing you’ve seen before. It is worst from November – March. It’s not uncommon to have winds of 30-40 miles an hour regularly, and that’s just not a big deal to people here. Be careful of “Whew, it’s windy!” if the gust is 30 miles per hour, because that’s nothing to the locals. Gusts have gone as high as 118 mph. Just accept the wind, don’t make a big deal of it.
- When in Cheyenne, dress like Cheyenne if you’d like. There are plenty of stores available to get a cowboy hat, boots, or shirt. You’ll feel encouraged to “dress like a local.” There’s no reason to ever get dressed up in Cheyenne and people will know you’re a tourist if you get all dolled up for a night on the town. Dressing up here is your best boots and shirt.
- The people of Cheynne are hard-working and friendly. They tip their hat or say hello when you walk by. If you are driving down a gravel road, it’s common courtesy to give a wave to anyone you pass by car or horse. If you don’t say hello, it can be perceived as rude.
- Given how Cheyenne is on a long major interstate, this raises the risk of sex trafficking and Cheyenne Police want everyone to be aware of the signs. Especially at truck stops near I-80 and I-25, if you see youth in distress or may be holding your gaze a little longer with a look of panic, speak up. These truck stops are hot spots for the sex trafficking trade.
- If you’re on an outdoor adventure and you see some ranches with animals, don’t feed or pet the animals without express permission from the owner. That’s their property and you should no more feed a horse than walk into the owner’s home and start cooking dinner.
- Don’t get into a gun debate. There are about 200 guns per 1,000 people in Wyoming. It’s not a debate you’ll win, and you surely won’t make any friends by disagreeing on a gun stance. Just accept this is a part of life in this community and focus on less controversial topics.
- The safety numbers of Cheyenne can make a tourist feel invincible, but be aware during big events like Frontier Days. There will be crimes of opportunity if you let your guard down, and with larger crowds, there can come more crooks looking for a quick buck.
- Cheyenne has been ranked as one of the least friendly cities for bicyclists in the nation. There’s not a huge motivation to bike to work for people who live here, but there is a multi-use trail that goes 40 miles through the city. Just use common caution if you choose to bike through Cheyenne. It’s not as cyclist-friendly as other places you might have visited.
- If you are renting a car in Cheyenne, you’ll want a four-wheel-drive or at least all-wheel drive in your vehicle in the winter. It’s worth the upgrade because of how dangerous the roads can get with so much snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures that can keep the snow around for weeks.
So... How Safe Is Cheyenne Really?
It is a safe city when you look at all the other places you can visit.
The highest crime rates are in child and adult sexual assault, fraud, and stolen vehicles, but the crime rate is still 30% lower than the national average.
The biggest dangers come from the weather world, with incredibly high winds making driving difficult and large amounts of snowfall stifling the city.
There’s a danger in the summer of wandering into the unknown outdoor wilderness without checking in and getting lost.
There are a lot of places to get lost outside Cheyenne and mobile service isn’t always available.
Some people refer to Cheyenne as “North Denver”, due to its proximity to the major metro area, but it does have a vibe all its own as a western outpost of entertainment.
How Does Cheyenne Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
Cheyenne and Wyoming have no via requirements outside of what a traveler will go through in customs at the airport of their choice.
The U.S. Dollar is the currency here. Bringing a mix of cash and credit/debit cards will help you make sure you've got the right way to pay with all the unique purchase opportunities that exist in this western town.
Winters are downright cold and snowy. Nearly 60 inches of snowfall in an average year, so plan accordingly. Summers are mid with highs in the upper 80s and lows getting down to the 50s, so bring a jacket with you. The winds can pick up here, so anything that protects your skin from wicked winds is helpful too.
The Cheyenne Regional Airport is less than two miles from the city center. It's a very small airport with just three gates for passenger traffic. The much larger Denver International Airport is just 90 minutes south on a major interstate and offers a much larger variety of travel choices.
This is a must in Cheyenne. A winter storm can shut down I-80 and all nearby airports for days at a time. Summer wildfires can also impact travel. Make sure your trip is protected so you can better enjoy Cheyenne when the weather is perfect for your needs.
Cheyenne Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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Wyoming - Safety by City