What is Wyoming famous for?

Yellowstone National Park, low population, and Cowboys are a few things we instantly correlate with Wyoming, but what is Wyoming famous for besides these?

Located in the USA’s Mountain West region, Wyoming shares a border with six states: Idaho to the west, Utah to the Southwest, Colorado to the South, Nebraska and South Dakota to the East, and Montana to the North and Northwest.

Nicknamed the Equality State, Wyoming was the 44th state to ratify the constitution in 1890. It is a large state but a very sparsely populated one.

Ten Things Wyoming is famous for

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is the most famous thing in Wyoming and the first thing most people recall when talking about the state, as it is the most iconic and famous national park in the USA.

This famous natural wonder of the United States is mostly located in northeast Wyoming but extends into Montana and Idaho. Overall, the park covers more than 2 million acres and receives more than 4 million visitors yearly.

Created in 1872, Yellowstone was the first national park in the USA, and it is home to diverse scenery and wildlife, such as bison, bears, elk, and wolves.

Yellowstone is popular for its geothermal features, including geysers, mud pots, and hot springs. The most famous of these is the Old Faithful, a geyser that shoots up water up to 180 feet every 90 minutes. Other prominent geysers include Castle Geyser and Grand Geyser. And we cannot forget the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the USA and one of the largest in the world.

Other main attractions in the park include the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone Lake, the spectacular Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and several major waterfalls. There are also hundreds of miles of hiking trails where one can explore the vastness of the Park and see its marvelous wildlife.

What is Wyoming famous for?
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming | photo by f11photo via Depositphotos

Low Population

The 2020 US census established that Wyoming had a population of about 576,851 people, making it the least populated state in the union. And by a lot, as it had almost 100 000 people less than Vermont and even more than Alaska and North Dakota.

On the other hand, Wyoming is the 10th largest state, which makes it the second least densely populated state with 6/mi². Yet, still very far from Alaska because of its enormous size.

The capital and largest city of Wyoming is Cheyenne in Laramie County in the southeastern part of the state. It has only 68,000 people, and its metropolitan area has about 100,000.

This is unsurprising as most of the state is mountainous and has a very harsh climate, which takes us to the next Wyoming is known for.

Harsh environment

Wyoming is well-known for its harsh environment, with extreme weather conditions, particularly in winter. The winters in Wyoming can be brutal, with extreme temperatures, strong winds, severe thunderstorms, and blizzards.

The reasons for this are easy to understand, Wyoming is far inland, very up north, and it is at a relatively high altitude – the average altitude of the state is 6,700 feet.

And if this wasn’t enough, the state is also particularly windy because of the position of the mountains that create a kind of funnel for the winds from the artic. The same mountains block the passage of moist air, making Wyoming particularly dry.

Furthermore, the rugged terrain with several mountain ranges, the sparse population, wild animals, and remote locations help increase its reputation of being a challenging place to live and even visit. However, they are also one of the reasons why so many people visit it and love it.

What is Wyoming known for
Mountains in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming | photo by haveseen via Depositophotos

Adventure sports and outdoor activities

The winters may be brutal, but summers are very pleasant with mild temperatures. Together with the state’s top National Parks (Yellowstone and Grand Teton), state reserves, and natural monuments make it an ideal destination for adventure and outdoor activities.

Wyoming’s natural beauty, vast wilderness areas, and abundant wildlife attract millions of people annually. Some of the most popular activities include:

  • Hiking and backpacking – Wyoming has dozens of trails with several degrees of difficulty and size. There are also some fantastic multi-day treks.
  • Mountains biking – there are also many popular bike trails.
  • Camping – It also has numerous campsites and Rv parks, perfect for a relaxing stay close o nature.
  • Fishing – The rivers and lakes of Wyoming are some of the best in the USA for fly fishing.
  • Wildlife watching – Grizzly bears, moose, elk, and wolves attract many people to Wyoming.
  • Rock Climbing – Vedauwoo, Devil’s Tower, and Ten Sleep Canyon are very popular in Summer.
  • Whitewater rafting – Spring and early summer are the high season in Wyoming for whitewater rafting. There are some challenging rapids for adventurous but also easy, family-friendly tours.
  • And more.
Famous things in Wyoming
Lakes in the Yellowstone National Park | photo by bluebe via Depositphotos

Cowboys and old west

Wyoming is also deeply associated with cowboys and the old west history. This has left a mark on state culture and identity, another attraction Wyoming’s tourism industry cashes on.

Due to its location and geographical features, Wyoming had a pivotal role in the American frontier and, consequently, in developing the cowboy culture in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The vastness of the grasslands, the open spaces, and the sparse population attracted cattle ranchers from Texas and Kansas to the state, creating ideal conditions for ranching and grazing. Wyoming quickly became a cowboy state, and it played (and still plays) a vital role in the state’s industry and economy.

The state was also the site of many conflicts between Native Americans and the new settlers, including the Fetterman Massacre and the Johnson County War. Plus, Old West figures and legends like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid lived in Wyoming and became notorious for their bank and train robberies.

Today the cowboy heritage is rooted in Wyoming’s culture, and the old west image is strongly associated with the state, becoming a vital part of the tourism industry. Several working and guest ranches capture people’s imagination and give visitors an authentic taste of cowboy life.

There are cowboy festivals, rodeos, parades, and concerts to celebrate cowboy culture and attract people worldwide. The Cheyenne Frontier Days is possibly the most famous and one of the largest rodeos in the world.

Cool things abour Wyoming
T. A. Moulton Barn in the Mormon Row Historic District in Wyoming | photo by CaptureLight via Depositphotos

Gender Equality

If there’s one thing Wyoming is famous for historically is its progressive laws regarding women’s rights, particularly voting rights.

On December 10, 1869, Wyoming became the USA’s first territory (it wasn’t a state yet) to grant women the right to vote. This groundbreaking law led the women’s suffrage movement, which continued to gain momentum in the following decades. Still, only with the 19th amendment to the US Constitution in 1920 the right to vote was given to women nationwide.

The main reasons for this pioneering decision were the need to attract new settlers to the almost unpopulated territory and the assertive and vocal women’s movement at the time.

Wyoming is also the first state to have a female governor – Nellie Tayloe Ross, the 14th Governor of Wyoming. However, she wasn’t elected; she assumed state control after William Bradford Ross’s death.

Since 1955, Wyoming adopted the official nickname of the equality state to celebrate the state’s role in granting women’s suffrage and advancing equal rights for all citizens. The state motto is also perfectly fitting “equal rights.”

Devil’s Tower

The Devil’s Tower is one of Wyoming’s most famous and iconic natural landmarks. Located in northeastern Wyoming, it is a sacred site for local tribes and a popular destination.

Also known as Bear Lodge Butte, it is a unique geological formation as it rises1,267 feet (386 m) above the Belle Fourche River with 867 feet (264 m) from the summit to the base.

In 1906, Devils Tower and the surrounding area were established as the first national monument in the USA. One of the most iconic features of the tower is the hexagonal columns and deep groves resulting from millions of years of weathering and erosion.

Although each tribe has different stories and legends about the tower, it is considered a sacred site by several tribes, including the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Kiowa. Despite this tremendous spiritual and cultural significance, it is a popular hiking and climbing destination.

Interesting things about Wyoming
Devil’s Tower in Wyoming | photo by SulaeArts via Depositphotos

Hot Springs

Wyoming is known for its numerous and popular hot springs spread throughout the state, particularly in the Yellowstone hotspot, which is responsible for the volcanic activity in the region in the form of hot springs, geysers, and other geothermal features.

A hot spring is a natural pool of hot water heated by geothermal activity. Some are beautiful, others are popular for their relaxation and healing properties. The most popular hot springs in Wyoming include:

  • Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis – Has plenty of hot springs, including the enormous “Big Spring” that pumps about 3.6 million gallons of water at 135 degrees daily.
  • Grand Prismatic Spring – The largest and most famous hot spring in Yellowstone.
  • Saratoga Hot Springs – is known for its high mineral content, which is said to have healing properties.
  • Mammoth Hot Springs – a complex of hot springs that created a series of travertine terraces. Also in Yellowstone and a very photo-friendly location.
  • Granite Hot Springs – turned into a pool, are popular for families and couples looking for a place to relax, soak and swim.
Facts about Wyoming
Mammoth Hot Springs in Wyoming | photo by harrybeugelink@gmail.com via Depositphotos

Mining industry

What is Wyoming known for producing? With a significant mining industry, Wyoming is known for producing and mining several products, including coal, oil, and natural gas.

Coal is particularly important as the state is responsible for about 40% of all the United States production, making it the largest producer. It is also a major producer of natural gas, and more importantly, it has large reserves of Natural Gas, Oil, and Uranium.

Besides the energy-related products, Wyoming also has large deposits and extractions of gold, copper, trona, uranium, and other minerals. In fact, Wyoming has the only active uranium mine in the United States.

While not as large as Nevada, Arizona, or Colorado, Wyoming’s mining industry is one of the most important in the state and accounts for a significant part of the economy and jobs.

Fun facts Wyoming is famous for

What is Wyoming known for? Many cool things, as we have seen above, but it is also home to many intriguing records, fun facts, and curiosities. Some of them are pretty well-known. Let’s examine a few of our favorites:

  • Wyoming was named after the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania.
  • The name originated from a Native American word, mecheweamiing, meaning “at the big plains.” It depends on who you ask.
  • Wyoming has the second-highest average altitude of all US states, only slightly behind Colorado.
  • Wyoming produces 85% of all soda ash in the USA.
  • The Wyoming Toad is one of the most endangered amphibians in the world, with only a few hundred individuals remaining in the wild. It only exists in Wyoming.
  • The pronghorn, native to Wyoming, is considered the second fastest mammal on earth, only slightly behind the cheetah.
  • The Laramie County Library System is the country’s oldest continually operating county library system. It was established in 1886.
  • The Granite Hot Springs in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest is considered the world’s largest jacuzzi.
  • The world’s largest population of wild horses lives in Wyoming;
  • The U.S.A. bought Wyoming from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803;
  • Kemmerer, Wyoming, is known as the Fossil Fish Capital of the World – it has over 100,000 fish fossils.
  • All top ten largest coal mines in the United States are in Wyoming.
Everything to know about Wyoming
Horses Grand Teton National Park Wyoming | photo by photoquest7 via Depositphotos
What is Wyoming known for

* Cover photo by f11photo via Depositphotos

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