If you’re going for a road trip in the Great American West, a must-visit destination is definitely Sheridan, in Wyoming. In fact, if you are looking for a typical Far West atmosphere, Sheridan is just a place to dedicate a half-day visit. In the Goose Creek Valley in northern Wyoming on the border with Montana, you can feel catapulted into the American frontier, among bars, cafes, and old buildings of the nineteenth century. Not to mention that Sheridan has been the backdrop to America’s most famous Rodeo since 1931.
Keep reading this article to find out what to see in Sheridan, Wyoming, in half a day. If you are ready to enter the West, walk along Sheridan’s Main Street with the map in hand, as almost every building has a story to tell. In fact, 70 of these are included in the National Register of Historic Places, not to mention the murals and installations that at every corner speak of Sheridan and his pioneers’ past. Here, I point out five absolutely not to be missed things in Sheridan in half a day, all overlooking main street or in its vicinity.
Sheridan in Wyoming: So, How to Get There?
Sheridan’s town is located in the northern part of Wyoming. Just take I-90 north if you come from Casper or the Wyoming capital of Cheyenne, which is just over 500 kilometers away. Or if you’re driving down from Montana to Wyoming, always take I-90, this time south. Please note that the distance between Sheridan and Billings in Montana is 207 kilometers.
And What to See Around Sheridan?
Sheridan deserves to be a stop on the road between Wyoming and Montana. If you decide to stop for at least one night, I recommend exploring the Bighorn National Forest and Buffalo and Gilette’s towns.
Sheridan in Wyoming: A Bit of History
Imagine an immense green valley along the Tongue River inhabited by the Crow Indians (the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes were once the dominant nations on these lands). Then imagine General Crook fighting the natives and forcing them in 1876 to be confined within the reserves. It is from these violent events that the town of Sheridan draws its origins. In fact, in 1882, it was a certain John D. Loucks, a veteran of the civil war, who founded the new city, baptizing it with General Sheridan’s name, in whose service he had fought. Two years later, Loucks will become the first mayor of the town of Sheridan.
Sheridan’s Star Begins to Shine
But from that moment on, Sheridan’s star was destined to shine for many decades to come. In fact, in less than a decade, the first train of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad appeared on the horizon, changing the lives of the town’s inhabitants, allowing them substantial business. As if that weren’t enough, the discovery of three nearby coal mines involved Sheridan in a veritable economic boom until the 1920s. Sheridan became populated with bars, pool halls, and brothels, all concentrated along Main Street and attracted people searching for fortune from Europe and Asia, thus becoming a cosmopolitan center. With Prohibition, alcohol continued to flow, and many did a golden business with smuggling, prostitution, and gambling. Sheridan then went through difficult years from an economic point of view until it discovered its tourist vocation, becoming a destination for lovers of rodeos and the West’s history.
Indeed, Sheridan is one of the out-of-control destinations that many fall in love with on their first visit. Whether you’re looking for a real wild west experience, workout, or just a good drink, here you will find lots of large open spaces and dramatic mountain views, lots of western history, and many of the amenities you are used to traveling. Want to discover the complete list of places to visit in Sheridan? Check out the second part of this article!