Wyoming's major cities include the state capital, one of the nation's major coal and oil producers, and the state's only university town. Wyoming's largest cities, according to the 2010 Census, are Cheyenne, Casper, Laramie and Gillette. The state's most populous city is Cheyenne, and its fastest-growing city is the energy-center of Gillette, which experienced population grow of 48.1 percent between 2000 and 2010.
With a population of about 60,000 in 2010, Cheyenne (cheyennecity.org) is Wyoming's biggest urban center. A frontier town, the original population consisted of 600 construction workers, entrepreneurs and camp followers. Home today to the largest outdoor rodeo in the country, the city's historic sights include the Wyoming Capitol Building, the Governor's Mansion and the Union Pacific Depot. Since its founding in 1867, Cheyenne has had a strong link with the military and is home to the F.E. Warren Air Force Base on the site of the original Fort D.A. Russell.
Casper (casperwy.gov), the state's second most-populous city, is marketed by the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau as Wyoming's "Adventure Capital." Many visitors and residents enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing on the historic North Platte River where settlers crossed heading west to Oregon and California in the late 19th century. Other activities include skiing, snowboarding, all-terrain vehicle riding, hiking and biking on Casper Mountain, hunting game animals and golfing at one of the area's five courses.
Laramie (ci.laramie.wy.us) in southeastern Wyoming was incorporated in 1873. Located west of the state capital and east of the Medicine Bow Mountains, Laramie sits at an altitude of 7,200 feet. The city is home to the University of Wyoming, the state's only university. According to Frommer's, downtown bars and nearby ranches evoke a Western atmosphere, while cafes and bookshops make Laramie feel like a university town and the intellectual center of the state. In 1870, the first woman to legally vote in an election cast her ballot in Laramie.
Describing itself as "The Energy Capital of the U.S." Gillette (ci.gillette.wy.us) traces its history to the arrival of the railroad. Incorporated in 1892, the city is named after railroad surveyor Edward Gillette. Small-scale coal mining began in 1909 in the Powder River Basin, home to the nation's largest coal fields. An oil and coal production boom in the 1970s, and more recently coal-bed methane gas, has seen the city's population increase to about 30,000 as of 2010.