Wyoming is an American state. Wyoming is bordered by
the north, South Dakota and
Nebraska to the east,
the south, and Utah and
Idaho to the west. Wyoming is located in
the Rocky Mountains region and is nicknamed the Cowboy State.
With just under 600,000 inhabitants, it is the most sparsely
populated state in the country and has the second lowest
population density after Alaska. The state is known for its
great scenery, particularly in Yellowstone National Park.
Wyoming is a plateau averaging 6,500 feet (1,950 m) on which rise various chains of the Rocky Mountains, culminating in Mount Fremont (4,203 m) in the Wind River chain. It is here that the state's three main rivers originate, none of which are navigable: the Yellowstone, Snake River and Green River. The northern arm of the Platte River flows through the southeastern corner of the state, where it meets the Laramie.
2 Cheyenne - Capital.
Bosler Ghost Town is an abandoned settlement in Albany County in South- Eastern Wyoming, United States.
Devil’s Tower consists of sedimentary rock that was formed probably as a volcanic plug that made its way to the surface of the volcano and solidified.
Fort Laramie National Historic Site covers an area of 833 acres and protects ruins of the historic fortress that was originally found in 1830's.
Name of Grand Teton National Park comes from French fur trappers that named three peaks of the park 'les trois tetons' or 'the three breasts'.
Yellowstone National Park is the first protected natural reserve in the World. It is famous due to its unique biosphere and geologic formations.
1 Jackson Hole Airport (IATA: JAC)
2 Casper/Natrona County International Airport (IATA: CPR)
3 Cheyenne Regional Airport (IATA: CYS)
I25 Denver CO - Fort Collins CO - Cheyenne WY - Casper WY
I80 Salt Lake City UT - Cheyenne WY - Big Springs NE
I90 Billings MT - Buffalo WY - Sioux Falls SD
Wyoming lodging options include upscale resorts, branded hotels and motels, historic inns, cozy bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds and RV parks. Nationally known chain accommodations are concentrated in Cheyenne, Casper and at points along I-25 and I-80. Roadside motels are by far the most common type of lodging in the state. In areas of the state with oil and gas fields or near mines, motels may serve as temporary work accommodation, and rooms may be hard to come by.
Wyoming extends over a width of 450 km between 41° N and 45° N and a length of 580 km between 104°3' W and 111°3' W. With its 253,336 km² it is the tenth largest state in the USA in terms of area. At 2044 m, it is also the second highest average state in the country after Colorado. It is located in the western center of the US territory and is therefore part of the legendary so-called (Wild) West (hence the nickname Cowboy State) due to its location (as well as its culture).
Wyoming is bordered by Montana to the north, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Colorado to the south, and Utah and Idaho to the west. Along with Colorado, Wyoming is one of only two US states that are bounded exclusively by two degrees of latitude and two degrees of longitude. The demarcation corresponds (on a corresponding draft map network, such as the Mercator projection) with minor deviations to a rectangle.
Essentially, Wyoming is a vast, broken plateau from which rise various ridges of the Rocky Mountains. Seen from a cross-sectional perspective, this plateau is at an incline, transitioning from a higher west to a lower east. This inclination also describes the transition from the far eastern plains of the prairies via central basin landscapes to the rocky mountains to the west. Wyoming is a state that combines the great cultural landscapes of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains - a position it shares with only three of the 50 other states: Montana to the north and Colorado and New Mexico to the south.
Another geographical significance is Wyoming's location on the Great Continental Divide, the great continental divide of the North American continent that bisects the state in a northwest-southeast direction. It runs along the Absaroka Range and Wind River Ranges and continues into the Great Divide Basin and later the Park Range (largely in Colorado). All rivers originating east of this line drain east and eventually all join the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi River and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Mexico). Those rivers that begin west of the Continental Divide end in the Pacific (either in the open ocean if they follow the Columbia River westward, or in the Gulf of California if they drain south into the Green River and later the Colorado River).
Wyoming can be divided into three major geographic areas, each roughly one-third of the state's territory: the Great Plains, the Intermountain Basins, and the Rocky Mountains.
Eastern Wyoming is occupied by the Great Plains, expansive prairies
that stretch from southern Canada through the center of the United
States and down to the Mexican border, forming a major cultural
landscape known throughout the world. They also gave the state its name,
which is taken from the Cheyenne language and means great plains.
Wyoming's prairies are characterized on the one hand by completely flat stretches of land, but on the other hand by the predominance of gently rolling hills. The majority of this area is characterized by short grass overgrown, largely treeless steppe landscapes, which are only found along the rivers, e.g. T. are interspersed with poplars and bushes. Farming (preferably wheat) is hardly possible in these windy, dry expanses, instead extensive grazing is practiced.
On the prairie in northeastern Wyoming, the Belle Fourche River is the deepest point in the entire state at 3,000 feet (945 m). However, this does not preclude larger upheavals in the same region: the Wyoming prairies account for about a third of the Black Hills, the sacred mountains of the Sioux and Cheyenne peoples, who call them Pahá Sapá (Lakota) or Mo'ōhta-vo'honáaeva (Cheyenne/Algonkin). The archipelago, partly densely covered with ponderosa pines, reaches heights of just over 2000 m in Wyoming and is home to a well-known natural landmark: Devils Tower National Monument, a monumental volcanic monolith that towers 386 m above the Belle Fourche River and is 1558 m high reached. This mountain is sacred to the Sioux and Cheyenne and also to other First Nations and bears the name Mato Tipila (hut of the bear) in Lakota.
Mainly in the north-west of the state and partly also in the
south-east there are huge mountain ranges, all of which are part of the
Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountains in Wyoming split into distinct
ridges, usually running north-south or northwest-southeast. The Bighorn
and Laramie Mountains limit the prairies and mark the transition to
extensive basin landscapes that are framed by the mountain ranges.
The most impressive outcrops of Wyoming's Rocky Mountains are the Absaroka, Teton, Wind River and Wyoming Ranges and Big Horn Mountains to the northwest, contrasted by the lower and less spectacular Laramie and Medicine Bow Mountains to the southeast. The Wind River Range is particularly high and wildly rugged, with nine four-thousanders towering into the sky. Wyoming's highest elevation is also located here: Gannett Peak, which reaches 4202 m, 4207 m or 4210 m depending on the measurement.
A highly valued photo motif and symbol of powerful, untouched nature is the Teton Range with its 4196 m high Grand Teton, the second highest mountain in the state, on the edge of the national park of the same name south of Yellowstone National Park.
Due to their relatively high rainfall, the mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains are densely forested. Because of the altitude and the harshness of the climate, coniferous trees predominate, with which the timber industry makes a lucrative business. Valuable raw materials such as oil shale, hard coal, iron ore and uranium lie beneath the rock. Mountain tourism (hiking, climbing, canoeing and rafting in the summer, skiing in the winter season) is also important.
The third major geographic area is represented by extensive basins, located predominantly in the center and south-west and bordered by the mountain ranges, e.g. B. the Bighorn, Great Divide, Green River and Wind River Basins. These basins are relatively high (1000–2000 m) but flat and mostly covered with short grass or low scrub. There are hardly any trees. Since they are located directly in the lee of the large mountain ranges, these basin landscapes have very little precipitation and therefore occasionally have a semi-desert character. Nevertheless, together with the Great Plains, they are the heartland of population and agriculture. Without irrigation, however, arable farming (especially wheat and sugar beets) is hardly possible here.
A special feature is the Great Divide Basin, which is a semi-desert with no inflow or outflow directly on the continental divide. Here is the so-called Red Desert, a semi-desert and desert area covering around 24,000 km², which is known for its sand dunes, which are among the most powerful in the USA. To the southwest are bizarre gorges, such as the colorful Flaming Gorge, which are reminiscent of the Canyonlands in Utah and Arizona further to the southwest.
As a fairly dry patch of the United States, Wyoming naturally has no
major wetlands or lakes. Only 0.7% of the state area is covered by
water. This puts Wyoming in tenth-last place among American states,
along with other states in the Midwest and Southwest (Arizona, Colorado,
Kansas, Nebraska, etc.).
Almost a quarter of Wyoming's total water surface is taken up by Yellowstone Lake in the national park of the same name, which extends over 352 km² within the park boundaries. It lies at an altitude of 2,376 m, has 177 km of shoreline and, with an average water depth of 42 m, measures 118 m at its deepest point. Its position as the largest freshwater lake over 2,000 m in all of North America is outstanding. However, Yellowstone Lake has a liquid surface only about half the year (and rarely warms above 15°C) as it freezes over in normal winters from early December to late May or early June. The ice sheet is up to a meter thick in many places, but there are areas where shallow, near-shore waters overlie warm springs that prevent ice from forming in those places.
The second largest lake is not far to the south and is also over 2000 m above sea level. It is the 103 km² Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, which at 134 m is even deeper than Yellowstone Lake. Originally smaller, the water surface was enlarged by a dam. Jackson Lake is also frozen half the year and rarely exceeds 15 °C, even in hot summers.
Aside from these two large lakes, there are a few smaller ones, almost all of which are river impoundments, such as the Bighorn, Boysen, Buffalo Bill, Flaming Gorge, Fontenelle, Glendo, Keyhole, Pathfinder, and Seminoe Reservoirs, all of which are of primary importance importance for agriculture and the water supply of the cities. Wyoming's rivers originate on the slopes of the mountain ranges that make up the Continental Divide. The longest river in Wyoming's territory is the North Platte River in the southeast at over 500 km. It is also of particular importance in that it is home to three of the most water-rich reservoirs. The Green River, the third longest river at almost 400 km, is dammed to form two large reservoirs, the Fontenelle Reservoir and the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, which stretches into neighboring Utah. Located on the Wind/Bighorn River, the second longest in Wyoming (approximately 500 km), are the Bighorn and Boysen reservoirs on which the income from farming in the Bighorn Basin depends. Other rivers of importance include the Snake, Belle Fourche and Powder Rivers, which criss-cross the prairie to the northeast, Sweetwater and Laramie Rivers to the southeast, both of which feed the North Platte, and Black Fork, Hams Fork and Sandy to the southwest Rivers (Big Sandy River, Little Sandy River) flowing into the Green River, and the smaller tributaries of the Wind or Bighorn River in the Bighorn Basin: Greybull, Gooseberry Creek, Nowood, and Shoshone.
Wyoming's high plains are home to rabbits, prairie dogs, coyotes,
pronghorn, rattlesnakes, goshawks, grouse and pheasants. Bison and
pronghorn were nearly wiped out on the plains at the end of the 19th
century due to excessive hunting, but their populations were able to
stabilize thanks to far-reaching protective measures. After the
pronghorn were placed under protection, they multiplied again from about
5,000 animals in 1903 to more than half a million today. This means that
there are at least as many pronghorns living in Wyoming as there are
people. Wyoming also has the highest pronghorn population in the US and
also has the largest contiguous herd of these animals in the US in the
Red Desert at 40,000-50,000 individuals. The bison, of which it is
estimated that between 30 and 70 million roamed the North American
continent in huge herds at the time of Columbus, had been decimated to
less than 1000 specimens at the end of the 19th century. On the one
hand, the massive animals lost large parts of their habitat and were
prevented from migrating by increasing settlements, on the other hand,
they were hunted to an excessive extent, especially after it became
apparent that many Indian peoples would perish with the bison. One of
the last small herds of bison was given a secure retreat in Yellowstone
National Park. Their population was able to stabilize there and was 4700
animals in 2007. This is the largest free-roaming herd in the entire
United States. In addition, Wyoming, like many other states, has
thriving bison ranches where thousands of animals are bred in Wyoming
alone. The demand for bison meat and leather is significant.
Unlike the Plains, Wyoming's Rocky Mountains are partially forested. Cougars, bobcats and mule deer live in the lower reaches of the Rockies, while bighorn sheep and mountain goats live in the higher reaches. Mammals such as gray squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, tree porcupines and skunks can also be found in the mountains, while elk, elk, wolves, black and grizzly bears can also be found in the Yellowstone region. Until the early 1800s, beavers were widespread in the mountains of Wyoming. They were nearly wiped out for their furs. Today they are protected and their numbers are slowly recovering.
Among the deer species, wapitis (this name comes from the language of the Blackfoot Indians and means white rump, in English they are referred to as elk (not to be confused with elk (moose)) and mule deer (mule deer)) are the best known representatives. Wyoming has approximately 106,000 elk (as of 2001) and the world's largest herd of desert elk (desert elk herd) in the Red Desert. Mule deer numbers may number in the hundreds of thousands, with 40,000-50,000 individuals found in the Red Desert alone.
The grizzly bears, which remain endangered, are primarily found in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which has the largest population in the United States, at 500-600 animals (around 1400 total in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming, compared to 50,000-100,000 before the discovery of North America or its settlement by Europeans).
The number of bighorn sheep is around 6000 (as of 2004) and that of mountain goats at 100 to 200 specimens. Mountain goats, which live primarily in and around Yellowstone National Park, pose a problem in that they were not originally native to Wyoming. According to the Yellowstone Parks Administration, however, they have settled in well and threaten the authenticity of the region's fauna.
Wyoming has a semi-arid, continental climate that can come up with
all sorts of extremes. It is shaped by several geographical factors that
are reflected in different ways in the climatic conditions.
The state's location in the heart of the North American continent, away from any major bodies of water that might have a balancing effect on the climate, ensures a strictly continental climate characterized by hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall. The relatively high location of large parts of the country (there are hardly any areas that are below 1000 m above sea level), coupled with a southern location (roughly between the 41st and 45th degree of latitude, which in Europe corresponds to the height of central Italy, southern France and northern Spain) and dry air, causes strong temperature fluctuations between day and night. The Rocky Mountains also have a decisive effect: on the one hand, they represent a real barrier that shields humid and rainy air masses from the Pacific and thus ensures semi-arid conditions in their rain shadow. On the other hand, their folding in a north-south direction enables a more or less unhindered exchange of air masses in parallel. That means sudden polar cold air snaps can occur year-round. Thirdly, the mountains also enable exactly the opposite effect: warm fall winds - known as Chinook (comparable to the Alpine föhn) - can ensure unusually mild temperatures, especially in winter. After all, the location near the jet stream as well as wide, hilly prairies and plateaus mean that conditions are quite windy.
Two local climate types can be identified in detail: On the one hand, the extensive prairies, plateaus and basins in central, eastern and southwestern Wyoming have a continental steppe climate - such as the Powder River Basin, Bighorn Basin, Great Divide Basin and Green River Basin, which are associated with the largest places (Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Green River, Rawlins, Rock Springs and Sheridan) also unite a large part of the population. On the other hand, a mountain climate prevails in the mountain ranges and high valleys above 1900 m - this affects e.g. B. the Absaroka Range, the Bighorn Mountains, Laramie Mountains, Wind River Range and Wyoming Range, which run north-south through the state and have several peaks over 4000 m; The entire world-famous Yellowstone National Park, which is consistently above 2000 m, and the area of Jackson Hole to the south, which is famous for its winter sports facilities, also fall into this climate range.
The steppe climate of the prairies is characterized by exceptionally
cold but very dry winters. December, January and February are the driest
months of the year; the temperatures drop at night on average to −13 to
−8 °C, while the daily highs are mostly around the freezing point or in
the delicate plus range (typically −1 to +4 °C) despite the biting
morning frost. Cold waves, which can come in unhindered from the north,
occasionally cause significant drops in temperature and severe frost: It
can then cool down to below −30 °C at night, and temperatures often do
not rise above −15 °C during the day either. Blizzards can also initiate
sudden, heavy snowfalls that can bring public life to a standstill. On
the other hand, when the warm downwind Chinook hits the basins and
plains, it can easily reach +15°C (even at night); up to +20 °C are
possible on peak days.
In spring and early summer, the humidity rises with the temperatures. It can rain up to ten days a month (this yields between 30 and 65 mm of precipitation, which is seldom reached in much of central Europe, even in the driest months!). In summer, the rain often falls in the form of violent thunderstorms, which discharge over the heated prairies and often bring devastating hail, storms or lightning. In midsummer it becomes drier again and temperatures rise to an average maximum of 27 to 33 °C during the day. At night, however, it cools down noticeably in most areas (9–14 °C) due to the altitude, drought and high pressure zones; except in July and August there can be morning frosts everywhere. On the other hand, heat waves of over 35 °C are not uncommon, in many places more than 40 °C have already been measured; this is often accompanied by dry periods in which there can be no precipitation for weeks. In autumn there is a slight increase in humidity again, before very dry conditions prevail again with the frost in winter.
Some valleys in the Rockies' rain shadow receive so little rainfall that they can be described as semi-desert, e.g. B. the Bighorn Basin, which receives only 130–200 mm of precipitation per year.
It is generally cooler and wetter in the mountains. In the mountain
ranges and high valleys, especially in the mountainous and high-altitude
northwest of the state (with Yellowstone and Jackson Hole), permafrost
prevails from early December to late February (e.g. Jackson: night −18
°C, day −4 °C; possible down to below −40 °C). In contrast to the
plains, there is maximum precipitation in the winter half of the year,
which falls abundantly and mostly in the form of snow. Snow-reliable ski
areas in Jackson Hole and the surrounding area benefit from this, with
up to 8 m of snow per year. This is due to frequent cloud accumulation
caused by the westerly wind drift, which shovels moist air masses from
the Pacific towards the Rocky Mountains, where they unload their wet
Until late May, winter and spring fight in the mountain regions, rain showers, sun and snowstorms chasing each other. Only in midsummer does drier and warmer weather prevail.
In principle, however, it can snow at altitudes over 2000 m at any time of the year, even in July. The summers are generally very different: sometimes the mountain valleys are constantly hit by violent thunderstorms, including hail, storms, lightning and heavy rain, then again it is very dry and sunny; some years the summers are very cool (in the town of Jackson there are summers in which the temperature never exceeds 25 °C), in others they are almost hot (e.g. in Jackson the temperature reaches 36 °C). There are morning frosts practically every summer.
The strong continental character of Wyoming's climate, coupled with
local conditions, leads to frequent extreme weather events. In the
winter months, these are mainly blizzards that come in from the north
and can paralyze public life with freezing rain and heavy snowfalls.
Except in midsummer, there is always a risk of blizzards. The blizzards
are contrasted by the extremes of summer: Weeks of shimmering heat and
without any precipitation regularly have a severe impact on agriculture,
as do the violent (hail) storms that fall in large numbers. The
southeast of the state is also in the catchment area of tornadoes, which
occur significantly less frequently and destructively than in the
prairies further south, but still sweep over the country from time to
time. A weather phenomenon that occurs regardless of the season is
significant temperature drops. While the day and night fluctuations can
be considerable (up to 30 °C), changes in air masses or other wind
phenomena (blizzards, Chinook) repeatedly cause temperatures to rise or
fall enormously within a few hours. Temperature fluctuations of up to 40
°C within 24 hours have already been observed.
The lowest temperature ever measured in Wyoming is −54.4 °C (= −66 °F). This record comes from two locations, Riverside (2177 m) in the south of the state and Moran (2057 m) in the northwest near Yellowstone Park, the coldest continuously inhabited place in Wyoming, and was measured on February 9, 1933. Since then, similarly low values have only been reached in the Yellowstone area (−54 °C). The highest temperature recorded was at Basin Village in the north-central, semi-arid Bighorn Basin commonly known as hot and dry: it was 46.7 °C (= 116 °F) on August 8, 1983.
By the late 19th century, Wyoming was inhabited largely by Native
Americans from the following tribes: Absarokee, Arapaho, Bannock,
Cheyenne, Lakota, Pawnee, Northern and Eastern Shoshone, and Ute. As the
whites pushed farther and farther west from the east, Wyoming's Indian
tribes came under increasing pressure.
Since the end of the 17th century, Wyoming, with the exception of the southwest, has belonged to the French colony of Louisiana. In 1762 the territory went to Spain, and in 1800 to France. Three years later, the United States acquired the Louisiana Colony territory for $15 million with the Louisiana Purchase. The southwestern part first belonged to Utah.
At the end of the 18th century, French trappers may have been the first whites to enter the Wyoming area in the north, but it is only the journeys of John Colter to the Yellowstone area in 1807 that are certain. Hardly anyone believed his reports of geysers and other hot springs. 20 years later, Jim Bridger explored the South Pass over the Rockies. Beginning in 1841, this route became part of the Oregon Trail, which many pioneers used to advance west. Along the trail many forts shot up in a short time, in Wyoming for example Fort Laramie (1834) and Fort Bridger (1843). In 1850, Bridger also discovered Bridger Pass, which the Union Pacific Railroad used from 1868 for its railway line. After Wyoming was opened up by the railroad, the first cities such as Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs and Evanston were designated by the railroad. In the 20th century, a highway was built over Bridger Pass, Interstate 80.
After the Union Pacific Railroad reached what is now Cheyenne in 1867, Wyoming's white population continued to increase. On July 25, 1868, they formed the Wyoming Territory. Unlike the neighboring states of Montana, South Dakota and Colorado, Wyoming has never had a sudden population increase due to major discoveries of precious metals such as gold and silver. Only copper has been found in various parts of Wyoming.
The Wyoming Territory (which later became the state) became the first U.S. territory to introduce women's suffrage in 1869. Wyoming had the first female justice of the peace and, in 1925, Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first female governor (Prime Minister) of a US state.
In 1872, the US government created the world's first national park, Yellowstone National Park, 96 percent of which is in Wyoming.
In the 19th century, many Wyoming Native American tribes waged a desperate defensive war against invading whites. Although the allied Lakota, Arapaho and Cheyenne were victorious in a few skirmishes and battles over troops of the US Army - the most famous victory they won at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876) - they had to face white superiority towards the end of the 19th century capitulate. A key factor was that the whites systematically shot the bison and thus deprived the Indians of their livelihood. One who excelled at bison hunting was William Frederick Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill. By the late 19th century, all Wyoming Indians lived on Indian reservations, mostly outside of Wyoming. In Wyoming only the Wind River Reservation was established, inhabited by the eastern Shoshone and northern Arapaho.
On July 10, 1890, the state became the 44th to join the United States. However, Wyoming insisted that the unrestricted women's right to vote, which had existed there since 1869, would remain in place. The US Congress wanted to abolish this when Wyoming was admitted as the 44th state in the USA. In 1892, white land disputes broke out in the Johnson County War.
In addition to agriculture, mining developed into the most important branch of the economy. In 1924, irregularities in the allocation of oil reserves near Casper led to the Teapot Dome Scandal, the largest US political bribery scandal of the early 1920s.
Wyoming's first constitution of 1890 is still in effect. The
executive branch is headed by the governor, who is directly elected for
four-year terms. The Wyoming Legislature consists of a 30-member Senate
and a 60-member House of Representatives. The state sends one
representative to the House of Representatives according to its
population and, like all states, two senators to the Senate. In
presidential elections, he provides three electors.
Wyoming is considered one of the most conservative and nationally one of the most reliably voting Republican states in the United States. Wyoming has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1964. In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush had the third-biggest electoral success with 69% of the votes. Trump achieved his best result 16 years later at the state level in Wyoming with 69.9%. Bush's Vice President Dick Cheney grew up in Casper, Wyoming and represented the state in Congress from 1979 to 1989.
However, since 1975 the governorship has been occupied predominantly by Democrats. Longtime Governor Dave Freudenthal was elected in 2002 and 2006 and had one of the highest approval ratings in the country. When he was not allowed to run again after two terms in office, he was replaced in January 2011 by Republican Matt Mead, who was re-elected in 2014. Mead was succeeded in 2019 by Mark Gordon, also a Republican.
Wyoming is represented in Congress by Senators Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso and Representative Liz Cheney; all are Republicans.