The Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center, at 5611 High Plains Road, is just four miles from the Colorado border, off of I-25 north, and about 5 miles east from Wyoming’s capital city of Cheyenne.
The Wyoming Welcome Center provides brochures for locations throughout Wyoming. The volunteers on duty are extremely informed about the sites and events throughout the state, so be sure to talk to them!
If you go into Cheyenne, you can visit the Cheyenne Visitor’s Center in the Historic Cheyenne Depot, which focuses on things to see and do in Cheyenne – though they do have a few brochures of the more famous sites to see throughout the state.
Hours for Welcome Center, and for Rest Area
The Welcome Center hours vary depending on season. During winter, it is only open on weekdays, until 5 pm. During summer, it is also open until 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center also doubles as a rest area. The doors to the Welcome Center are open 24/7 so people can use the bathrooms, although the doors to the Welcome Center itself are locked of course.
How to Get to the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center
As you pass into Wyoming from Colorado, there’s a lay-by where you can park to take a photo of yourself and/or your family by the Welcome to Wyoming sign.
Zero out your odometer at this point. Get back on I-25N. You will pass Exit 2 (at the 2.1 mile mark) for Terry Ranch Road. This will be of interest to you only if you are going to Terry Bison Ranch, or want to have a closer look at the limestone rock formations that were on your right just a couple of miles before you got into Wyoming.
Next is Exit 4, or High Plains Road. This is the exit number, whether you are going north on I-25 or south, heading out of Wyoming, to get to the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center.
You will take the ramp up an incline, and the Welcome Center is on your left, across a bridge. You will have to turn left on a “traffic circle.” In the center of this circle is “The Gift” – one half of a sculpture grouping called “The Greeting and the Gift.”
The explanation of the sculpture group is a plaque found on the grounds of the Welcome Cente. (Both the sculpture grouping and the plaques have only been at this spot since 2012. They were played at the original Wyoming Welcome Center in 1976 in honor of the Bicentennial, and moved when the new Welcome Center was built at its current location.)
The scene depicts a typical meeting of the Indian and the Mountain Man on the open plains of WYOMING during the time of western discovery and exploration in the early 1800s.
At such meetings offerings of friendship would take place. The Indian is holding out a ceremonial buffalo horn filled with Rocky Mountain “sweetwater” while the Mountain Man brings several beaver skins stretched on rounds of aspen branches.
Note that the Mountain Man holds his Muzzle Loading “long rifle” well away from his body with his hand over the muzzle to assure that it is harmless.
The Indian stands 12’ 6” and weighs 3000 pounds. The Mountain Man, whose hand reaches to 14’ weighs 2500 pounds.
After you circle around the “traffic circle” and cross the bridge, you’ll follow the blue sign to the Welcome center.
There’s no sidewalk back up to that Wyoming Welcome Center sign, but if you walk carefully and well off the side of the road, you can go to it to take a selfie, or an interesting photo of the Welcome Center building through the cutout of the words Welcome to Wyoming.
Around the exterior of the Welcome Center is a walking path with several explanatory placards giving information about the native habitats of Wyoming, and a sculpture called “Wind Code.”
There are also picnic tables. (There’s no food to be had inside the Welcome Center, however, although there is vending machine for pop and water. Type in the identifying code of the item you want, and it will then tell you how much that item is so you can insert the appropriate amount into the machine. Pop in cans is .65 centers at the time of this writing.
Interior of the Welcome Center
As you enter the Welcome Center, you’ll walk through a portico with local advertising papers such as Wyoming Traders, and the pop machine.
Go through the doors into the lobby, and there are several signs including one orientating you to the Welcome Center and talking about how it was constructed.
Men’s and women’s bathrooms are to your left.
Walk through the entrance to the Wyoming Welcome Center proper.
To your left will be a coffee urn, racks of brochures, and the desk of the volunteer on duty. Be sure to talk to him or her – these volunteers are extremely knowledgeable about the state and events happening around the state at any given time.
Be sure to take a seat in front of the big projection screen they have, and watch several brief (2 -3 minutes or so) informative videos. There are 8 buttons to press (one at a time!) and the videos shown are below. (The buttons themselves aren’t identified – just choose them from left to right.)
- Fur Trappers and Traders
- The Emigrants
- Gold Miners
- Overland Trail
- Transcontinental Railroad
- The Cattle Trails
- Transcontinental Highway 1913
- Transcontinental Airway
The Visitor/Welcome Center averages about 200 visitors a day during the winter season, and about 2,000 people a day during the height of the tourism season.