Cheyenne is the capital city and commercial center for the state of Wyoming. As the gateway from the Great Plains from the advent of the transcontinental railroad, it still serves as a major ground transportation and agricultural center. The functional and attractive downtown core has a well preserved historic Western feel. There are a few museums, but many of the typical cultural amenities of a capital city are absent.
That said, there is a strong community feel. Cheyenne is known for being a friendly place, and the area has more than its share of community events and entertainment; the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo being among the larger and more well known of these. Major employers include the state government, the Union Pacific Railroad, and several agriculture and energy-related industries. The employment base is more stable than most other cities in the region. A greater assortment of services and amenities are in Denver, 100 miles south.
The city is located on a broad plateau between the North and South Platte rivers. The surrounding country is mostly rolling prairie used primarily for grazing. The ground level rises rapidly to a north-south Rocky Mountain ridge approximately 9,000 feet in elevation about 30 miles west of the city. The climate is semiarid, with large diurnal and annual temperature ranges due to conflicting air masses, elevation, and low humidity.
The Laramie Mountains block some cold air from the north, and winds from the northwest are “downslope” and produce a marked chinook, or warming effect, which is especially noticeable during the winter months. Winds from the north through east to south are upslope and may cause fog or low stratus clouds throughout the year. The terrain variation and wind direction play an important role in controlling the local temperature and weather. First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.