Have the stories of the old Wild West ever intrigued you? Well, you should learn these fun facts about Wyoming!
- Fun Facts About Wyoming
- 1. Wyoming Is the Least Populated State in the US
- 2. Wyoming Is One of the Largest States in the US
- 3. Wyoming Has a Diverse Wildlife
- 4. Six States Share Borders With Wyoming
- 5. Wyoming Produces the Most Coal in the US
- 6. Wyoming Has Only Two Escalators
- 7. The Rocky Mountain Ranges Run Across Wyoming
- 8. Wyoming Has the World’s First National Park
- 9. A Geyser in Wyoming Erupts 17 Times a Day
- 10. Wyoming Has the First National Monument in the US
- 11. The Great Plains Spread Across the Eastern Part of Wyoming
- 12. Wyoming Has the Largest Living Dune System in the US
- 13. Wyoming Has the National Museum of Wildlife Art
- 14. Jackson Hole, Wyoming Is Full of Fun Activities
- 15. Wyoming Is the 44th State in the US
- 16. Cheyenne Is the Capital of Wyoming
- 17. Cheyenne Is the Biggest City in Wyoming
- 18. Wyoming Had the First Woman Governor in the US
- 19. “The Equality State” Is the Nickname of Wyoming
- 20. The Indian Paintbrush Is the State Flower of Wyoming
- 21. Indian Paintbrush Is Edible
- 22. Meadowlark Is the State Bird of Wyoming
- 23. Cottonwood Is the State Tree of Wyoming
- 24. Cutthroat Trout Is the State Fish of Wyoming
- 25. Almost Half of Wyoming’s Land Is Federal
- 26. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming has Miles of Trails
- 27. People Lived in Wyoming 12,000 Years Ago
- 28. The Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes Still Live in Wyoming
- 29. Wyoming Has The First National Forest in the US
- 30. François Louis Verendrye Was Arguably the First European in Wyoming
- 31. There Are a Lot of Possible Meanings for the Word “Wyoming”
- 32. Wyoming Has an Interesting Flag
- 33. Wyoming Has Islands!
- 34. Buffalo Is the State Mammal of Wyoming
- 35. Jackson Pollock Is From Wyoming
- 36. Gunslinger Buffalo Bill Had an Influence on Wyoming
- 37. Cowboy State Is a Common Nickname for Wyoming
- 38. Wyoming Was the First State Where Women Could Vote
- 39. The Wind River in Wyoming Is Called That for a Reason
- 40. The Capitol Dome of Wyoming Has Real Gold
- 41. Grand Teton in Wyoming Was Formed By Earthquakes
- 42. Wyoming Doesn’t Levy a State Income Tax
- 43. Yellowstone Lake Is the Largest High-Altitude Lake in North America
- 44. Wyoming Has a Lot of Ghost Towns
- 45. Wyoming Was Home to a Lot of Outlaws
- 46. Wyoming Has One of the Oldest Fairs in the US
- 47. Settlers Came to Wyoming Looking for Gold
- 48. You Can’t Wear a Large Hat in Wyoming
- 49. Equal Rights Is the State Motto of Wyoming
- 50. Wyoming Was Previously Called Wyoming Territory
- 51. Wyoming Has the Largest Coal Mine in the World
- 52. Patricia MacLachlan Is From Wyoming
- 53. The Jackalope Is a Wyoming Creation
- 54. Green Hairstreak Fills Wyoming During Spring
- 55. There’s a Code of Ethics in Wyoming
- Further Reading – Fun Facts About Wyoming
Fun Facts About Wyoming
Wyoming is a large US state located to the west of the country. It’s a cowboy’s paradise, with vast open spaces, rugged terrain, and a rich history. The state has also achieved huge milestones, like electing the first woman governor.
Hence, the fun facts about Wyoming are endless! So, grab your cowboy hat, and let’s get through them.
1. Wyoming Is the Least Populated State in the US
Here is one of the fun facts about Wyoming.
With a population of less than 580,000 people, it’s the least populated state in the United States. So if you want a wide space to escape from the hustle and bustle of big cities, Wyoming is the place to go!
2. Wyoming Is One of the Largest States in the US
Despite being the least populated state in the US, Wyoming is a very large state.
With a total area of 97,818 sq mi, Wyoming is the 10th largest state in the US. In fact, Wyoming is 11 times larger than New Jersey. So, you can enjoy the vastness and openness of the state without being surrounded by large crowds.
3. Wyoming Has a Diverse Wildlife
If you love animals, these fun facts about Wyoming are for you. The state enjoys a diverse wildlife of mammals, birds, reptiles, and more.
Some of the many mammals you can find wandering in Wyoming are bighorn sheep, grizzlies, black bears, and buffalos.
Mountain bluebirds, pinyon jays, and prairie falcons are some of the beautiful birds you can see flying over the state.
4. Six States Share Borders With Wyoming
Yes, Wyoming shares borders with 6 US states! Wyoming is bordered by South Dakota and Nebraska in the east, Colorado and Utah in the south, Idaho, Utah, and Montana in the west, and Montana in the north.
5. Wyoming Produces the Most Coal in the US
Let’s get into some production-related fun facts about Wyoming is that it is the largest producer of coal in the United States. In fact, it produces 41.4% of the total national production. The second largest coal-producing state is West Virginia with 13.6% of the total national production.
It’s been the top coal-producing state since 1986. This is thanks to 10 coal mines in the Powder River Basin.
6. Wyoming Has Only Two Escalators
Do you want to hear one of the astonishing fun facts about Wyoming? There are only 2 escalators in the entire state! Both of the escalators are in the banks in the city of Casper
But why? There is no possible explanation for this. However, some might say that in the state of Wyoming, it’s easier to build outward than upward. This is because the state is large with less population.
7. The Rocky Mountain Ranges Run Across Wyoming
These mountains run across the state of Wyoming from North to South. The range provides the area with magnificent landscapes and diverse wildlife.
8. Wyoming Has the World’s First National Park
Here is one of the most fascinating fun facts about Wyoming!
Wyoming is home to the world’s first-ever national park. Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872. The park is so large it spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho too.
The park has geysers, hot springs, forests, canyons, alpine rivers, and more. Moreover, it has hundreds of species living in it.
9. A Geyser in Wyoming Erupts 17 Times a Day
One of the fun facts about Wyoming and its Yellowstone National Park is that it has a geyser that erupts 17 times a day. The geyser is called Old Faithful and it was the first geyser in the national park to be named. It has been erupting every 45 minutes to 2 hours since the year 2000.
10. Wyoming Has the First National Monument in the US
Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming is the first national monument in the US. The monument is located in the Black Hills and President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed it the first national monument in the country in 1906.
The monument is a massive natural tower with steep sides.
11. The Great Plains Spread Across the Eastern Part of Wyoming
Let’s talk about some geographical fun facts about Wyoming!
The Great Plains cover the eastern part of Wyoming. It is a vast flatland located to the east of the Rocky Mountains. The massive area is covered with short grasses and shrubs.
12. Wyoming Has the Largest Living Dune System in the US
The fun facts about Wyoming don’t seem to end. The state is home to the most extensive living dune system in the United States. It is called the Killpecker Sand Dunes and it’s located in the Red Desert, Wyoming.
13. Wyoming Has the National Museum of Wildlife Art
These fun facts about Wyoming are pretty unique.
If you want to experience nature in art, then you can visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Wyoming. The museum has a sculpture trail that is three-quarter-mile-long.
The museum has over 5,000 artworks to let you enjoy wildlife through art. They also have a collection of galleries that are worth seeing.
14. Jackson Hole, Wyoming Is Full of Fun Activities
If you thought Wyoming was an empty boring state, you are wrong! Here are some actual fun facts about Wyoming.
You can enjoy some fun activities in the town of Jackson Hole in Wyoming. The place is full of wildlife safaris, dude ranches, ski resorts, and more.
15. Wyoming Is the 44th State in the US
In the year 1890, Wyoming Territory became an official US state. It was the 44th state to join the Union. The businessmen of Wyoming Territory liked the idea of statehood as it provided them with more stability and control over the land.
16. Cheyenne Is the Capital of Wyoming
Cheyenne is the capital and most populated city of Wyoming. The city has a small population of around 65,000 people. One of the fun facts about Wyoming’s capital is that it’s named after a Native American tribe with the same name. The word “Cheyenne” means “foreign speakers.”
17. Cheyenne Is the Biggest City in Wyoming
Let’s discuss some fun facts about Wyoming and its biggest city.
Cheyenne is not only the capital and most populated city of Wyoming but also the largest city in the state. It is a major city in the state and it is also a county seat of Laramie County.
Moreover, it is home to the Wyoming State Capitol Building, Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, and Wyoming State Museum.
18. Wyoming Had the First Woman Governor in the US
Yes, Wyoming has been pro-women since the start! One of the most inspiring fun facts about Wyoming is that it had the first woman governor in the United States. Nellie Tayloe Ross ruled the state for 20 years. She did great things for the state.
19. “The Equality State” Is the Nickname of Wyoming
The fun facts about Wyoming supporting women don’t seem to end. Wyoming is nicknamed “the Equality State.” This is because it was the first state to have women serve on juries and give them the right to vote.
20. The Indian Paintbrush Is the State Flower of Wyoming
Do you love flowers? Then, read these fun facts about Wyoming and its state flower.
Indian Paintbrush is a beautiful wildflower that grows throughout the state of Wyoming and it became the state flower in 1917. It is called a “paintbrush” because it looks as if it was dipped inside red paint.
21. Indian Paintbrush Is Edible
Here’s one of the fun facts about Wyoming that you probably didn’t know about. The Indian Paintbrush (state flower) is edible. It’s been regularly used as a herb by the Native American tribes. It was used as a medicine to treat rheumatism. Moreover, some people also used it to make their hair glossy.
22. Meadowlark Is the State Bird of Wyoming
These fun facts about Wyoming are for bird lovers.
The western meadowlark is the state bird of Wyoming. The bird is so beautiful that it became the state bird of Wyoming, Oregon, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, and Kansas.
This singing bird has a bright yellow tummy and cheeks. It also has a black and white striped head with a black V on its chest. The bird has such a magical singing voice that you can listen to it for ages.
23. Cottonwood Is the State Tree of Wyoming
Cottonwood is the state tree of Wyoming. It became the state tree as it was the tallest tree in the state at the time. You can find Cottonwood trees all around the state, especially the Rocky Mountain Ranges and the Great Plains.
The tree is named Cottonwood because of the cotton-like hairs surrounding its seeds.
24. Cutthroat Trout Is the State Fish of Wyoming
The Cutthroat trout is the only trout that is native to Wyoming, which is why it deserves to be the official state fish. It became the fish of the state in February 1987.
The fish has a crimson slash below its lower jaw. It also has black dots covering its entire body.
25. Almost Half of Wyoming’s Land Is Federal
Probably one of the reasons Wyoming’s population is very small is that half of Wyoming’s land is Federal.
The state has a lot of national parks and monuments that cover a huge portion of its land. Moreover, government buildings and mines are also federal lands.
26. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming has Miles of Trails
The Grand Teton National Park is located in the northwest part of Wyoming. The national park has over 200 miles of trails.
It includes the Jackson Hole, the Teton mountain range, the Grand Teton peak, and more. It’s a popular tourist destination for hiking and adventure lovers. The activities you can do there include fishing, camping, mountaineering, and much more.
27. People Lived in Wyoming 12,000 Years Ago
Here is one of the surprising fun facts about Wyoming! Evidence of people living in Wyoming actually dates back to 12,000 years ago. One of the pieces of evidence is a 245-foot stone shrine. Historians believe that the shrine was used for festivals and celebrations back then.
Native Americans lived in Wyoming thousands of years later. Some of them still live in Wyoming to this day.
28. The Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes Still Live in Wyoming
The Shoshone and Arapaho tribes are Native American tribes that used to live in Wyoming for thousands of years. Today they live in Wyoming. They both share an area in Wyoming called The Wind River Indian Reservation.
Here is a fun fact; the word “Arapaho” actually means “the people with many tattoos.”
29. Wyoming Has The First National Forest in the US
Yellowstone is not only the first national park in the US but the first national forest as well. More specifically, the Yellowstone Park Timber Land Reserve was created along the boundaries of the national park.
The forest was established back in 1891 and it was later divided into multiple national forests like Shoshone, Bridger-Teton, Caribou-Targhee, and more. These forests contain millions of acres. It’s one of the fun facts about Wyoming that we should appreciate.
30. François Louis Verendrye Was Arguably the First European in Wyoming
Here is one of the fun facts about Wyoming!
It’s thought that the first European to step foot in Wyoming was François Louis Verendrye. He discovered the Saskatchewan River with his brother and then viewed the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming.
They crossed the Great Plains together and got to the mountains. Later, he returned to serve in the Seven Years War.
31. There Are a Lot of Possible Meanings for the Word “Wyoming”
The word “Wyoming” doesn’t have one, but multiple possible meanings for it! In the Munsee language, it means “at the big river flat.” Also, “Wyoming” might be a Delaware Indian word that means “large plains.”
One more possible meaning is “a large prairie place” from the Algonquin language.
32. Wyoming Has an Interesting Flag
Let’s analyze every detail about Wyoming’s flag!
Wyoming’s flag has a red border, then a small white layer, then a dark blue field. In the centre of the flag, there’s a bison.
The red border symbolizes the blood shed by Native Americans who were the original inhabitants of Wyoming. The white layer symbolizes uprightness and purity. Meanwhile, the dark blue colour is for the sky and distant mountains. It also symbolizes justice, virility, and fidelity.
In the centre, there is a white silhouette of a bison, which is the state animal of Wyoming. Inside the bison, there’s the state seal of Wyoming. The seal mentions equal rights, livestock, mines, grain, and oil.
33. Wyoming Has Islands!
This is one of the craziest fun facts about Wyoming that many of you don’t know about! Although Wyoming is a landlocked state and is not located near the ocean, it has islands. In fact, the state has over 30 named islands!
Most of these islands are located in Jackson Lake and Yellowstone Lake. The rivers in the state also contain several islands. Elk Island, located in Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park, is the largest lake in the state.
34. Buffalo Is the State Mammal of Wyoming
The wild buffalo, or the bison is the state mammal of Wyoming. They are native to the state and they were adopted as the state mammal in 1985. The animal was close to extinction due to hunting, but now the state has thousands of them.
In fact, it is the largest terrestrial animal in North America. It has a massive head, pointed horns, a hump over the shoulders, and a black bear in the adult ones. The mature male can reach up to 2400 lb in weight.
35. Jackson Pollock Is From Wyoming
Jackson Pollock, the wonderful American Painter, was born in Wyoming in 1912. He is known for his unique style of drip painting. Drip painting is basically dripping and splattering paint onto large canvases laid flat on the floor, but not in a random way like a lot of people think. However, you can see the rhythm in his paintings.
He is one of the most influential American artists as he has helped pave the way for the Abstract Expressionism movement.
36. Gunslinger Buffalo Bill Had an Influence on Wyoming
The influence of the Buffalo Bill is one of the historical fun facts about Wyoming that is worth mentioning.
The legendary Buffalo Bill was an American soldier, gunslinger, showman, and bison hunter. He had a huge influence on Wyoming. He and 6 other men founded the city of Cody in Wyoming, which holds his last name. He also helped settle the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming.
The Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming, mimics Buffalo Bill’s TE Ranch house. It is one of five museums at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. There, you will see the history of Buffalo Bill along with some other characters of the Wild West.
37. Cowboy State Is a Common Nickname for Wyoming
One of the first things you might think of when you hear the word “Wyoming” is cowboys. This is why the state is nicknamed the “Cowboy State.” But this is not the official nickname.
It’s called the Cowboy State due to its rich western history. A cowboy and bucking horse is used as a symbol of the state. Moreover, Wyoming athletic teams are nicknamed the “Cowboys.”
38. Wyoming Was the First State Where Women Could Vote
One of the amazing fun facts about Wyoming is that it was a pioneer in supporting women’s rights. It was the first US state where women could vote.
Although it’s the norm now for women to have the right to vote, it wasn’t like this before. Each state had the right to determine whether women could vote or not. It took a long time until women’s rights were recognized in the US.
Wyoming prides itself on being the first US state to allow women to vote and hold office as well.
39. The Wind River in Wyoming Is Called That for a Reason
The Wind River in Wyoming earned its name for a reason. The river has strong winds that blow in that area almost constantly.
But this is not the only cool fact about the Wind River! The Wind River Mountains have some of the largest glaciers in the Rocky Mountains. Also, it’s one of the best places to hike in Wyoming.
40. The Capitol Dome of Wyoming Has Real Gold
Here’s one of the cool fun facts about Wyoming! The capitol dome of Wyoming has real gold in it. But this wasn’t the case from the start. Before it was built with copper to reflect the sun, however, the copper started to tarnish later on. So, they covered the copper with a layer of real gold.
41. Grand Teton in Wyoming Was Formed By Earthquakes
The Teton Mountains range led to the creation of the Grand Teton National Park. These mountains were formed by earthquakes that happened millions of years ago.
It is one of the most gorgeous places in Wyoming where you can hike and enjoy the serenity and glory of these mountains.
42. Wyoming Doesn’t Levy a State Income Tax
Wyoming doesn’t have an income tax for individuals or even corporations. This makes it one of the most tax-friendly states in the US. They make money with sales and use taxes, property taxes, severance taxes, and other sources of revenue.
Wyoming’s tax system ranked first in the 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index according to the Tax Foundation. This makes it one of the best states for all residents, especially retirees.
43. Yellowstone Lake Is the Largest High-Altitude Lake in North America
Yes, Wyoming has the largest high-altitude freshwater lake in the entire continent of North America! And you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s Yellowstone Lake since Yellowstone broke all the possible records!
Yellowstone Lake is located at 7,733 feet above sea level. Moreover, it has a surface area of 132 square miles and it’s 20 miles long. The lake is very cold all year long so it’s not recommended to swim in the lake. It freezes over completely in the winter.
Want to know another record-breaking fact about Yellowstone? The lake has the largest cutthroat trout (state fish) population in North America.
44. Wyoming Has a Lot of Ghost Towns
Did you know that Wyoming has a lot of ghost towns? We’re not talking about actual ghosts (although there are many stories about ghosts in the state), but the towns that used to be busy but now they are completely abandoned.
But why is this? It’s mostly because of the gold rush. When people started hearing about the gold in Wyoming, they rushed to the state looking for fortune. Once they collected their part or didn’t find luck, they abandoned their homes and left the state.
So, if you want to experience some of Wyoming’s history, you should pay a visit to one of these ghost towns.
45. Wyoming Was Home to a Lot of Outlaws
Since the Wild West thrived in Wyoming, it’s not a surprise that the state was home to a lot of outlaws. Outlaws like Bill McCoy, Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid, and more all lived in Wyoming at some point and called it home.
Today’s Wyoming is considered a safe place to live with low crime rates.
46. Wyoming Has One of the Oldest Fairs in the US
Wyoming is not a boring state that is only about beautiful scenery and nothing else. The state is home to one of the oldest fairs in the US. The Wyoming State Fair is held in August every year in Douglas, WY. The fair first started back in 1886.
Wyoming State Fair has a lot of activities like cowboys competing, car races, live entertainment shows, carnivals, vendors, and much more!
47. Settlers Came to Wyoming Looking for Gold
Here is one of the interesting fun facts about Wyoming!
Wyoming’s gold rush period lasted from 1842 until 1875. That’s when many settlers came to the state hoping to find gold and become wealthy.
Other settlers simply came to benefit from the other people who came looking for gold. They built small businesses in Wyoming like restaurants, inns, saloons, etc. After the gold rush, many of these settlers abandoned the state, leaving ghost towns behind them
48. You Can’t Wear a Large Hat in Wyoming
This is one of the strangest laws you’ll ever hear about in your life! It’s illegal to wear a large hat in Wyoming. Let me explain!
In Wyoming, it’s illegal to wear a large hat at the cinema or theatre so it wouldn’t obstruct other people’s views. Although it’s unlikely that the law would be enforced, it’s better to be cautious in Wyoming. So, the next time you go to the movies in Wyoming, remember to leave your cowboy hat at home!
49. Equal Rights Is the State Motto of Wyoming
Wyoming’s early advocacy for women’s rights is truly inspiring. Granting women their right to vote and hold office was a huge milestone in the case of women’s rights in the US.
To remind everyone of their commitment to women’s rights, the official state motto of Wyoming is actually “Equal Rights.” You can see the motto on the state seal of Wyoming and even their flag.
50. Wyoming Was Previously Called Wyoming Territory
Before Wyoming was granted its statehood, it was simply called Wyoming Territory. The US claimed it as a territory in 1868. However, the US Army continued to battle the Native Americans who originally lived there for control over the territory.
During that period, US citizens could move to Wyoming freely but they didn’t have any protections and regulations since it was not a state yet. Later on in 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state in the US.
51. Wyoming Has the Largest Coal Mine in the World
Wyoming is not only the biggest coal producer in the US but it owns the North Antelope Rochelle Mine, which is the largest coal mine in the world. The coal deposits in this mine are believed to be around 38-66 million years old.
This mine along with Wyoming’s many other coal mines participate in making Wyoming the biggest coal producer in the country.
52. Patricia MacLachlan Is From Wyoming
Patricia MacLachlan, the incredible American children’s writer was born in Wyoming in 1938. Her most famous book is Sarah, Plain and Tall. The book was the winner of the Newbery Medal. She also wrote other great novels like More Perfect Than the Moon, Skylark, My Friend Earth, Sarah, Sencilla Y Alta, and many more.
Sadly, she died in early 2022 and left us with many wonderful books to remember her with.
53. The Jackalope Is a Wyoming Creation
Have you ever heard of the jackalope? It’s a legendary mythical animal that’s a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope. It was invented in Wyoming by Douglas Herrick and his brother in the town of Douglas.
Today, you can find jackalope-themed souvenirs all over Wyoming. Moreover, every year, the town of Douglas hosts the Jackalope Days festival which is full of fun activities!
54. Green Hairstreak Fills Wyoming During Spring
The Sheridan’s green hairstreak is a butterfly that fills Wyoming during the spring months. So, when you see them in Wyoming, it’s a signal that winter is over and spring has arrived.
The butterfly’s bright green colour makes it very easy to identify. It was adopted as Wyoming’s state butterfly.
55. There’s a Code of Ethics in Wyoming
There’s an unofficial code of ethics that the Cowboys agreed on long ago. Some examples of the code are: “Talk less, say more,” “Remember some things aren’t for sale,” and “Be tough, but fair.”
Some of the residents still go by the code and you can even find it hanging in some ranches in Wyoming.
Further Reading – Fun Facts About Wyoming
From having an unofficial code of ethics to being the least populated state in the US, I hope these fun facts about Wyoming helped you know more!
If you enjoyed reading these fun facts about Wyoming, you can check out my other articles here: