There is just something about a cowboy town. You know the ones, where you can’t help but get a little pep in your step, a little “y’all” in your talk, and the ones that make you want to ride off into the sunset. Join me as I deep dive into the top ten cowboy towns in the country. You will be ready to pull your boots on, put on some Wranglers, and get busy!
Before giving the list, let’s go over how we selected these towns. Looking for something that will leave you with a western feel can lead you to a few different types of places, so we focused on three kinds.
- First, beginning with the most obvious are those are places that were famous in the Old West and are preserved to look the same.
- Second, are places that have been modernized, but have a comfortable feeling of present-day cowboys and cowgirls.
- Third, we chose towns that have updated to modern standards but kept some of the crazy nature of the Wild West.
1. Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is the 13th-largest city in the United States and plays a huge part in Texas tourism. Fort Worth welcomes more than 9.4 million visitors annually. Made up of several different entertainment districts, they each offer distinct dining, shopping, entertainment and cultural amenities. Fort Worth, “where the West begins,” was established as an Army outpost in the middle of the 19th century, later becoming a major livestock center. If you are planning a trip, make sure to head to the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District to see the massive steers amble down the street in a twice-daily cattle drive, take in re-enactments of gun battles, explore the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and much more.
2. Cody, Wyoming
Cody is so much more than just a gateway for Yellowstone National Park, this town prides itself on being the “Rodeo Capital of the World”, in honor of William Frederick Cody – the charismatic American showman known by local folk as Buffalo Bill. Come summer, Cody is home to the Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo, which runs every day from June-August. It’s also home to the Old Trail Town – an awesome collection of artifacts such as the grave of mountain man John Johnson, the original cabins used by Wild West outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a saloon frequented by the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, and the home of Curley – the Crow Indian scout who famously survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
3. Wickenburg, Arizona
Wickenburg is the oldest town north of Tucson and the 5th oldest town in the state (established in 1863). In its heyday, Wickenburg was the third largest town in Arizona. In 1866 it missed becoming the territorial capital by two votes. Today, Wickenburg is known for its clean air, wide-open space, team roping, dude ranches, tourism, and quiet, small-town living.
In the late 1800’s Wickenburg was a boom-town reveling in silver, copper and gold. Its residents, perhaps in excess enthusiasm, exaggerated the potential of wealth in the area to the point that it became common in the West to call any teller of tall tales a Hassayamper, in honor of the river that flows through the area. The humor of the connection between the unique dry river and the tall tales told inspired Andrew Downing to write his famous Legend of the Hassayampa. In keeping with this story, and in an effort to maintain the legend, the town has erected “No Fishing From Bridge” signs on the bridge that spans the dry river.
4. Miles City, Montana
Located in the heart of the Big Sky Country, Miles City, Montana is a living homage to cowboy heritage. Soaked in Western history, Miles City remains a true Western town. Vast stretches of plains and badlands branch out in all directions. The Yellowstone and Tongue rivers flow unblemished in long sections. Once the horse-trading and livestock center of the country, Miles City still has weekly livestock auctions and, once a year, puts on the Bucking Horse Sale for rodeo stock buyers and breeders.
5. Tombstone, Arizona
Tombstone, Arizona is a historic ghost town that was founded in 1879. The frontier town enjoyed a population boom in the mid-1800s, due to the local mining industry. Tombstone is best known for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, one of the most famous gun battles in Wild West history. Famous lawmen Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were involved in the shootout. As far as Wild Western Towns in the USA go, this one is probably the most recognized. Perhaps due to the infamous movie Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, and Bill Paxton, it was a great representation of how events went down back in the day.
6. Pendleton, Oregon
Pendleton, Oregon is known for the Pendleton Roundup, an annual rodeo that was founded in 1910. The Roundup is within the top 10 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) events in terms of prize money. Pendleton itself, where “the West is still wild”, began as a western trading post. It later became home to immigrant rail workers as well as the Pendleton Woolen Mills, which is still cranking out its iconic wool blankets after 150 years. Tour the mills or join one of the Pendleton Underground Tours for a look at the city’s turn-of-the-century red-light district. See another side of the Old West at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, which gives visitors a native perspective on western expansion.
7. Elko, Nevada
Tons of cities that are American follow their origins to railways or ranching. Lots, to any or all three, had ties like Elko. Very few, although, reveal Elko’s historical links with the Basque tradition. The north-eastern Nevada town is not any Johnny come lately regarding observing its American tradition–it’s sponsored the Countrywide Cowboy Poems Gathering for more than 30 years, the Countrywide Basque Event for more than 50 years as well as the Gold State Stampede Rodeo (Nv’s earliest) for more than a century.
8. Scottsbluff/Gering, Nebraska
Who knows just how many emigrants handed by the legendary rock formations recognized as Masonry Rock and Bluff as they slogged across the Oregon Trail? Now’s Scottsbluff ( the town is one-word, the stone development is 2) houses some interesting historical attractions. Primary included in this is, needless to say, Scotts Bluff Countrywide Monument, which informs the stories of the colonists on the Mormon, Or and Ca paths. (Nearby you can nevertheless notice the runs their truck wheels created in the prairie.) The facility also offers many pictures by photographer Bill Mom Fitzgibbons and a famous performer. You need to see with Post and the nearby Robidoux Move Nationwide Historic Milestone.
9. Pinedale, Wyoming
Mountain guys like Jones and John Bridger and a fundamental part played in the quest for the vast, uncharted land between the Pacific Coastline and the Mo Lake. Pinedale Museum of the Mountain-Man is something of a shrine to such guys that are very impartial, ingenious, and severe. The memorial also functions some Indian displays, including a rare zoysia-disguise tipi, complete with zoysia robes, palm-decorated conduits, drum, and additional items, giving visitors an awe-inspiring glimpse into a life that is Indian when the Old-West was still not old.
Guns enthusiasts will love the museum’s group of more than 100 commemorative Winchester rifles, shotguns, revolvers, and pistols make sure you take a look at the .40-grade half-inventory gun with the engraving “J. Bridger 1853.” Seem, also, for the 17th-millennium lamb horn bend a valued possession in the lifestyle. Among the earliest authenticated, this sample was discovered in the Gros Ventre hill array that was nearby.
10. Santa Clarita, California
It’s maybe not always simple to distinguish the misconceptions of the Old-West from the world, particularly in a spot like Santa Clarita. Television programs and motion pictures chance here created several of the stories that, consequently, nonetheless support the world desire for the Outdated Western that was real.
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