Have you dreamed of riding off into the sunset? Whether you’re an experienced horseman or simply want to fulfill a John Wayne-inspired cowboy fantasy—perhaps working for a week as a ranch hand or soaking up stunning, horse-country vistas—Sheridan, Wyoming offers experiences that will cater to your inner cowboy (or cowgirl). From exploring gentle trails in the beautiful Bighorn Mountains to tracking cattle on a real cattle drive, Sheridan can offer you a home away from home on the range.
For a trip of a lifetime and a taste of the cowboy lifestyle, Double Rafter Cattle Drive offers a 6 night experience that will have you sleeping under the stars. This venture is not for the faint of heart, as it will have you experiencing the rough and rugged lifestyle of tracking cows horseback by day and sleeping out on the range under the stars by night.
For a different cowboy experience you can stay a little closer to town and see more of the Sheridan sites. As the saying goes, timing is everything, and to experience Sheridan during the homecoming of Cowboys you best be here for WYO Rodeo Week. However, True West Magazine said it best when they stated Sheridan was the “Best place to live like an old west cowboy.” That means no matter what time of year you visit Sheridan, you will find western heritage around every corner. Whether it is WYO Rodeo Week or any other time of year to fully experience life as a cowboy, plan to spend more than a day, closer to a week, to fit it all in.
Start your trip off with a visit downtown and grab a hearty breakfast at one of the many cafes. From the green chile smothered burrito at PO News & Flagstaff Cafe to the larger than life cinnamon roll at the Silver Spur Cafe you will be ready to take on the day. Now while you are down town you would be well off to stop into our shops and get properly dressed for the week. A cowboy is not complete without the proper duds. Stop into High Mountain Mercantile for the perfect fitting cowboy hat, Kings Saddlery will set you up with a shiny pair of Justins, Lechause’s, or Ariats, and from there you have the essentials. But as the saying goes, When in Rome… you may as well do as the cowboys do and get yourself a new rope, possibly some spurs, wild rag and whatever tickles your fancy.
After a full day of getting fully duded up check in to the Historic Sheridan Inn for a stay at one of the nations most historic and western style hotels. Relax out on the front porch like William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody did before retiring to your room that will present the times and individual histories of the key characters from Buffalo Bill’s life. From furnishings, art, artifacts and exhibits, you will learn about the icons of the American West.
To truly feel the spirit of the West, one must be horseback and what better place than the foot of the Bighorn Mountains at the oldest operating dude ranch in the United States, Eatons’ Ranch.
For the next three days spend your time immersed in the cowboy way of life. With over 6000 private acres to explore, you’ll want to make sure you find a wrangler that can set you up on a nice pony, for the extreme dude you can even plan an all-day ride into the Bighorn National Forest. When it’s time to stretch those saddle legs out, Eatons’ is ready to provide you with the perfect fly fishing hideout, a relaxing swim in the swimming pool or creek, and depending on the night of the week enjoy live entertainment with a dance at Howard Hall. For the more faint of heart but large in cowboy spirit, you can wake up early and watch the wranglers bring in the horses or even catch some live roping in the arena.
Sheridan county’s identity is found in the stories of cowboys, Indians, battle sites, ranching legends, and western outlaws. Take the day to explore some frontier history on both sides of the county. Start out with a drive to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument just an hour from downtown. After learning about the US Army’s 7th Cavalry and the Lakotas and Cheyenne’s last armed efforts to preserve their way of life, then head back south to the other side of Sheridan County to tour other important Indian Wars battle sites. Outside the town of Story you will find Fort Phil Kearny, The Wagon Box Fight and the Fetterman Massacre. As you meander back to Sheridan on the scenic back roads take time to visit the Brinton Museum located on a 620-acre historic ranch. Finish out the night with a chicken-fried steak at the Just LeDoux It Saloon and Steak Out.
End your week at the Big Horn Equestrian Center relaxing on the grass taking in a game of high-goal polo. You can stamp divots, bring a picnic, enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, and watch the action matching talented athletes and animals from around the country – both horse and rider making the fast-paced game entertaining from start to finish. The base of the Bighorns has been hosting chukkers since the 1890s, when a pair of Scottish brothers set up a pony breeding operation, a polo field and introduced the game of polo to their cowhands. The tradition lives on, drawing notable players from all over the world for the entire summer season.
No matter the time of year, keep your eye on the community calendar for local rodeos and livestock shows happening at the fairgrounds, and live country music performances at the WYO Theater, Trails End Concert Park, local breweries and venues. Sheridan knows how to live like a cowboy.