Abe Lincoln head - front view.
Abe Lincoln monitors I-80 traffic.

Giant Head of Abraham Lincoln

Field review by the editors.

Laramie, Wyoming

No one heading west on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, can possibly miss this colossal, craggy Abraham Lincoln head towering over traffic at exit 323.

Lincoln's head was built by Wyoming's Parks Commission to honor Lincoln's 150th birthday. It was sculpted by Robert Russin, a University of Wyoming art professor and a Lincoln fan (When he died in 2007, his ashes were interred in the hollow monument). But why is Lincoln in Wyoming? It's because the head originally stood alongside the highest point of the old coast-to-coast Lincoln Highway, at Sherman Summit, 8,878 feet above sea level. When I-80 was completed in 1969, the head was moved here -- losing a couple of hundred feet (and its key rationale for existing, really) but gaining a vast new audience.

Abe Lincoln head.

The bronze head weighs over two tons and is 13.5 feet tall. It's perched atop a 30-foot granite pedestal, ensuring that it can be seen from quite a distance, and looking uncomfortably similar to box-bound Captain Pike from Star Trek (the original series). The head is intentionally oversized on tiny shoulders, like a cartoon caricature, and seems to be sagging from its own weight.

For coast-to-coast travelers, the Lincoln head is an easy stop; and the adjacent Summit Rest Area and Visitor Center provides a comfortable vantage for contemplating our 16th President. Ever vigilant, he stares southward.

Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Also see: Heads of State

Giant Head of Abraham Lincoln

Address:
I-80, Laramie, WY
Directions:
11 miles east of Laramie, 20 miles west of Cheyenne on I-80, exit 323. On the southeast side.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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July 30, 2014

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