Laramie, Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

Laramie is a college town with a thriving cultural scene, a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities, and a strong western heritage. It is also known as the "Gem City of the Plains" and is also the county seat of Albany County. The city is nestled between two mountain ranges and is the proud location of the University of Wyoming. 

Laramie is the third largest city in Wyoming, with an estimated population of 31,407 as of 2020. For those who enjoy the great outdoors, Laramie is home to a wide variety of natural attractions. The city promises a wealth of activities and views for a trip full of memories, whether one spends the day shopping in the historic downtown district, touring one of the many renowned museums, or getting a taste of local culture and leisure. 

Geography Of Laramie 

Downtown Laramie
Historic downtown area of Laramie. Editorial credit: Rolf_52 /

Laramie is situated at 41°18′47′′N 105°35′14′′W and stands at an elevation of around 7,165 feet above sea level. It has a total land area of 18.36 square miles. Laramie is situated on a high plain between the Snowy Range, which is about 30 miles to the west, and the Laramie Range, which is located 7 miles to the east. East of the Laramie Range, the Laramie River flows through Laramie before joining the North Platte River. The city is located 130 miles north of Denver, Colorado, and roughly 50 miles west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Laramie is located along US Routes 30, 80, and 287 and is still a significant Union Pacific Railroad line junction.


According to the Köppen climate classification, Laramie itself has a humid continental climate with warm-humid summers and dry-cold winters. For warm-weather activities, late June to late August is the ideal time of year to visit Laramie. The city experiences an annual average temperature of 41.0°F. The warmest month, July, has an average temperature of 64.0°F, while the coldest month, January, has an average temperature of 21.0°F. Laramie experiences 11.0 inches of precipitation on average every year. The average number of days with precipitation is 92.0, with July recording the highest precipitation (11.0 days) and January recording the least amount of precipitation (6.0 days). 

History Of Laramie

Laramie, Wyoming / USA - July 17, 2013: A deserted gray wooden house on an abandoned ranch on a lonely road in Wyoming.
The countryside around Laramie.

Several thousand people settled in what is now known as Laramie in 1868 when the Union Pacific Railroad was being built, creating a tangle of tents and shanties on the treeless plain between the Laramie and Medicine Bow hills. A small group of builders remained to build a permanent city from an earlier anarchic settlement after most of them left. Laramie expanded gradually yet steadily. It gained notoriety in 1870 as the location of the country's first "mixed" jury trial, in which six women served on a grand jury. With the Wyoming Territorial Prison's creation in 1873, the area's lawlessness significantly decreased.

The University of Wyoming (UW), the state's only public university, was founded in 1886 after governor Francis E. Warren approved a bill establishing it. The university's location was chosen to be in Laramie and officially opened in 1887. For many years, employment was generated by the hunt for precious metals in the Medicine Bow Mountains, 30 miles to the west. The University of Wyoming, the railroad, cattle and sheep ranches, forest products, and cement production have been the significant economic drivers in Laramie. 

Demographics And Economy

According to the United States Census Bureau, Laramie houses 31,407 residents as of 2020, where 48.3% are females, and 51.7% are males. The city's racial makeup is 80.2% white (non-Hispanic/Latino), 10.8% Hispanic or Latino, 3.8% Asian, and 1.4% African-American or Black. The rest are distributed among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and mixed races. English is spoken by 88.4% of the population. The rest speak Spanish (4.8%), Indo-European languages (3.2%), Asian and Pacific Islander languages (2.8%), and other foreign languages (0.7%). Only 29.5% of the population in Laramie are naturalized US citizens. And veterans make up 5.8% of Laramie's population, of which 87% are males, and 13% are females. 

As of the same 2020 Census, the employment rate in Laramie is 66.1%, with a poverty rate of 23.9%. The homeownership rate is 47.1%, where the median gross rent cost is $824 per month, with a median household income of $47,463. The percentage of people without healthcare coverage is 9.4%. According to Sperling's BestPlaces, the unemployment rate in Laramie is 4.3%. Moreover, over the past year, the job market in Laramie has decreased by -2.2%. Compared to the US average of 33.5%, future job growth is expected to be 19.5% during the next ten years.

Attractions In Laramie

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site. Editorial credit: Chad Robertson Media /

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

The Wyoming Territorial Prison, the state of Wyoming's first state prison, was constructed in 1872. It's the only federal prison in Wyoming. More significantly, it is the oldest structure in the vicinity that is still in use. You may find out how they punished and rehabilitated prisoners inside the jail, which is now a museum belonging to the University of Wyoming.  

Laramie River Greenbelt Park

The Laramie River Greenbelt Park offers hiking opportunities for those who like the outdoors. The 5.75-mile park features a range of activities that can make you sweat, including walking, jogging, dog trails, and river fishing. 

Wyoming Women's History House 

You may not be aware that Wyoming is also known as the "Equality State." Louisa Swain, a resident of Laramie, was the first woman to vote in Wyoming on September 6, 1870. She voted following the new law granting men and women equal voting rights. The first woman court bailiff of record in the world was Martha Symons Boies, who arrived after Swain. The Wyoming Women's History House recognizes Swain, Boies, and other notable Wyoming-born women. Thirteen exhibits highlighting each female icon's accomplishments are located within the residence. Women's affairs conferences are also held here.

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