Sheridan, Wyoming - Western Ranch Brokers (2024)

You might hear folks around Sheridan, Wyoming referencing the town motto, “Everything old is new again.” The well-known quote from Jonathan Swift perfectly describes the connections between past and present in this northern Wyoming town of approximately 20,000. Rich in Western culture from guest ranches to rodeos, the well-preserved historic buildings downtown pay homage to the town’s frontier past, but now house modern shops, restaurants, and breweries. Full of Old West charm, and home to a vibrant art scene, Sheridan holds year-round events celebrating its storied, multi-cultural history. Located halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore, Sheridan is a great launching point for a variety of outdoor adventures in the nearby Bighorn Mountains.

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HISTORY

Named for Civil War General, Philip Sheridan, the town of Sheridan was incorporated in 1884—settled mostly by farmers migrating from the Midwest. Sheridan’s population and economic status quickly grew with the arrival of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad, a booming coal mining industry just north of town, and plenty of opportunities in agriculture and ranching.

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As the frontier town expanded, so did the Western culture in Sheridan. In the early 1900s, Buffalo Bill Cody of the famed Wild West show invested in and lived at the Sheridan Inn—frequently the site of auditions for his show. Guest ranches such as Eaton’s Ranch, the oldest dude ranch in the United States, began welcoming visitors, and in 1931 the WYO professional rodeo was established after residents saw the success of the PK rodeo nearby. The Sheridan WYO rodeo is now part of the PCRA rodeo tour and still draws a large crowd today.

Long the ancestral homeland of the Crow people, Sheridan’s culture is a reflection of the complex integration of Native American and Western traditions—said to be the inspiration behind the book and television series Longmire, written by local author Craig Johnson. The confluence of the two cultures was celebrated annually from 1953-1984 during the annual All American-Indian Days festival, founded to honor the area’s Native American history. The Brinton Museum features impressive examples of both Western and Native American art and history, as well as a 620-acre historic ranch complete with gardens, outbuildings, and trails.

OUTDOOR RECREATION

Sheridan is just a stone’s throw away from the nearby Bighorn Mountains, offering plenty of opportunities for hiking, hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The Bighorn National Forest stretches over 1M acres, varying in elevation from 4,000 ft to 13,000 feet. Hikers can explore the dense alpine forests and pristine lakes along hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Discover Cloud Peak Wilderness area for majestic mountain views in the most remote and “wild” preserved area of the Bighorn National Forest. Enjoy a gentle hike around one of the hundreds of serene alpine lakes, or challenge yourself to summit Cloud Peak at 13,167 feet.

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Just 20 minutes from Sheridan, Tongue River Canyon is popular for both hiking and fishing, including black bullhead, brook and rainbow trout. The hiking trail runs alongside the Tongue River as it cascades through limestone outcroppings on its way down from the Bighorn Mountains. Serving up scenic mountain vistas right from the trailhead, the area offers great hiking year-round and is home to wildlife such as black bears, deer, elk, birds and the occasional moose.

Sibley Lake also offers great hiking and fishing in the Big Horn Mountains. Anglers will enjoy the calm trout-filled waters, teeming with rainbow, brown and brook trout. Views of snow capped peaks can be seen from the tree-lined lake, kept peaceful by prohibiting motorized watercraft. The lake also features a campground and access to more than 15 miles of cross country ski trails in winter.

Other Recreation Areas to Explore:

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Downtown Sheridan might still look like the Old West, but the arts and entertainment scene is decidedly modern. Catch a live performance at the restored art-deco WYO theater or plan a visit to King’s Saddlery to shop their world-renowned ropes collection and Western apparel. Pony up to the Mint Bar for a craft co*cktail, easily recognizable by its neon bronc sign, or relax with a cold one from Black Tooth Brewing Company.

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Find your inner cowboy while in Sheridan at one of several dude ranches such as Eaton’s or Canyon Ranch, where you can enjoy an authentic ranching experience, horseback riding or participate in a cattle drive. Another great way to experience the Old West is to spend a night at the Sheridan Inn, and join the likes of Buffalo Bill and Ernest Hemingway, who finished his novel A Farwell to Arms at the hotel. The inn has been operating since 1893 and was renovated in 2015 to offer guests Western style plus modern comforts.

Sheridan has a full roster of year-round events, from summer street fairs to dog sled races. Some of the biggest events of the year are, of course, Western in nature—including the WYO Rodeo competition and the Eaton’s Horse Drive, where the local ranch drives their horses right through the historic downtown. The Sheridan-WYO Winter Rodeo is a newer event, held every February, and includes traditional rodeo sports plus unique events like a skijoring competition. Truly, this place has something for everyone.

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Sheridan, Wyoming - Western Ranch Brokers (2024)
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