|Wyoming is a state in the western United States. The easternmost section of the state is a region known as the High Plains, due to its altitude above sea level, while the majority of the state is dominated by the mountain ranges and rangelands of the Rocky Mountain West. Wyoming is the least populous U.S. state. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the state population was 515,004 in 2006, a 4.3% increase since 2000. The capital and the most populous city of Wyoming is Cheyenne. |
Being such an arid state, much of Wyoming receives less than 10 inches (25 cm) of rainfall per year. Consequently, the land supports few opportunities for farming. Ranching is widespread, especially in areas near the numerous mountain chains. The Snowy Range in the south-central part of the state is an extension of the Colorado Rockies in both geology and appearance. The Wind River Range in the west-central part of the state is remote and includes Gannett Peak, the highest peak in the state. The Big Horn Mountains in the north-central portion are somewhat isolated from the bulk of the Rocky Mountains.
Wyoming was the location of the Johnson County War of 1892 which was fought between large cattle operators and free ranging interest groups. This war was fought because the moving of ranchers moving following the passage of the homestead act.
The region known today as the state of Wyoming was originally inhabited by several Native American groups. The name Wyoming is derived from the Delaware (Munsee) name xwé:wamənk, meaning "at the big river flat", originally applied to the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania.
Three interstate highways and seven U.S. highways pass through Wyoming. In addition, the state is served by the Wyoming state highway system.
Interstate 25 enters the state south of Cheyenne and runs north, crossing Interstate 80 in Cheyenne. It passes through Casper and ends at Interstate 90 near Buffalo.
Interstate 80 crosses the Utah border west of Evanston and runs east through the southern half of the state, passing through Cheyenne before entering Nebraska near Pine Bluffs.
Interstate 90 comes into Wyoming near Parkman and cuts through the northern part of the state. It serves Gillette and enters South Dakota east of Sundance.
Fort Casper Museum and Historic Site, 4001 Fort Casper Road, Casper, (307) 235-8462. Take a tour of the reconstructed military post from 1865 and explore Wyoming's cultural history.
Gunslingers, West Lincolnway Avenue, Cheyenne, 1-800-426-5009. A family-oriented re-enactment of old western gunfights. Admission is free.
National parks and monuments
Yellowstone National Park. An oasis of wildlife and natural beauty, Yellowstone National Park is among the most spectacular sights in all of the US. It's easy to spend a week camping, fishing, sightseeing and leave wanting more. Hot springs and geysers are also highly recommended activities. Some of which include:
Old Faithful, Center Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, (307) 547-2750. The popular geyser is among the park's premiere attractions.
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Great Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park. Scenic trails and magnificent waterfalls are a must-see.
Yellowstone Lake, Grand Loop Road, between Fishing Bridge and Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park, (307) 344-7381. A perfect spot for fishing, paddling and sea kayaking.
Midway Geyser Basin, halfway between Madison and Old Faithful Village on Grand Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park. Although smaller than Old Faithful, it can almost be seen from the road.
Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park that is located in the Rocky Mountains, in the state of Wyoming. The park is south of Yellowstone National Park and just north of the town of Jackson. Grand Teton National Park is noted for its stunning mountain vistas, its shimmering alpine lakes and its abundant wildlife.
Devils Tower National Monument is the core of an ancient volcano; the surrounding softer rock has over time been eroded to reveal cooled magma hardened into igneous rock, appearing as fluted shafts and columns rising over 500 feet in the air.
Buffalo Bill State Park, Cody, (307) 587-9227. Rated as the number two thing to do in Cody, the park offers camping, fishing and is a gateway to Yellowstone National Park.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
East Yellowstone, Wapiti Valley, near the entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Wyoming became the first state in the Union to elect a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who took office the following January.
Women first received the right to vote in Wyoming.
The Easton's Dude Ranch near Wolf, Wyoming coined the term "dude".
Despite being the 10th largest state, Wyoming ranks 50th in total population.
Residents of Wyoming are known as Wyomingites.
Throughout the winter months, pay special attention to the weather when traveling on highways in Wyoming. If the snow gates are down, do NOT ignore them. There are large expanses of land between towns that are wholly uninhabited, and getting stuck out on the interstate in whiteout conditions is an extraordinarily hazardous predicament to be caught in to say the least!
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Red Kayak, Grand Teton National Park
The climate of any area in Wyoming is largely determined by its latitude, altitude and local topography. When put together, these factors have a lot to do with airflow patterns, temperature variations, precipitation and humidity brought on by weather systems that migrate eastward. In winter, Wyoming is often beneath the jet stream, or north of it, which accounts for its frequent strong winds, blasts of arctic air and precipitation. The ingredients make for great snow conditions at Wyoming's northwestern ski areas. In summer, the jet stream retreats northward to somewhere over Canada, leaving the state's weather mild and pleasant at a time when the majority of Wyoming's visitors choose to arrive. Jackson, located at 6,230 feet (1,899 m) above sea level and surrounded by mountains, averages a high temperature in July of 80˚ F (26.6° C). The average is more likely to be 65˚ F (18.3° C). The closest National Weather Station (in Riverton on the other side of the Wind River Mountains at 4,955 feet (1,510 m)) reports slightly warmer weather in July.
Severe weather is not uncommon in Wyoming either. The state is among the leaders for hail damage in the United States.
Pool in West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A.