Have you ever been to Wyoming before? Known for its peaks, desert sands and more, it’s a state with a rich and varied history. If you’ve taken a look at our fact files before, you’ll know that we love diving deep into facts about US states. Wyoming just happens to be one of the most fascinating. Take a look below for 30 amazing and interesting facts about Wyoming.
1. Wyoming’s Red Desert is a little strange when it comes to water drainage. Specifically, while you might assume it drains to one side or the other, it splits down the middle, letting water exit the basin.
2. The Killpecker sand dunes make up the biggest dune system active in the US right now. In fact, it’s still the second biggest dune system worldwide.
3. You’ll also find the biggest society of desert elk in the world in the Red Desert, too.
4. The name ‘Wyoming’ is a curious one. It comes from a traditional Lenape word, chwewamink, which translates roughly into ‘big plain’.
5. You’ll know if a car was built or registered in Wyoming if there’s a bucking bronco on the license plate.
6. Only Colorado is higher than Wyoming in terms of average height of peaks. There’s plenty of altitude here.
7. Across all 50 states, Wyoming is the sparsest, meaning that there are fewer people here than anywhere else in the US. That even includes tiny communities such as Rhode Island.
8. There are 32 islands in the state of Wyoming with names, with several more that are yet to be named.
9. These islands can largely be found in lakeland at Yellowstone and in the Green River.
10. The first-ever coal mine was opened in Carbon back in 1867.
11. While the hugely popular movie Brokeback Mountain was set in Wyoming, there is actually no such place in the state. That’s because much of the film was actually shot in Alberta, in Canada.
12. Despite this, Brokeback Mountain did a huge tourism trade for the state for some time. Wyoming was also popularly used as a location in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
13. While you might have heard of the California Gold Rush, the Wyoming Gold Rush gets a little less press. This emerged back in the 1860s, some two decades after the CA rush.
14. JC Penney, the popular US store, has roots in Wyoming. The first location was opened in 1902 and has grown to establish thousands of locations nationwide.
15. ‘Equal Rights’ is a motto that Wyoming likes to promote, in line with suffrage movements. It became the state’s official motto back in 1955, and it’s stuck ever since.
16. In fact, fittingly, Wyoming led the way as the first state in the country to allow women to vote.
17. Wyoming is well-known for its coal. This is to such an extent that two of the biggest mines in the US are based in the state.
18. In 1994, it was thought that the state was producing around three million tons of coal each week.
19. Ever heard of the jackalope? This curious creature was the creation of taxidermists who added antlers to a rabbit. Believe it or not, you can buy a jackalope hunting license in Wyoming.
20. There are several symbols associated with the state of Wyoming. Some of the most famous include the cottonwood tree, the meadowlark bird, and even the triceratops.
21. The state is also famous for Yellowstone Park. It’s here where you will find ‘Old Faithful’, a super-predictable geyser.
22. There are more geysers located entirely within Yellowstone than anywhere else on the planet.
23. Yellowstone is also the first National Park established in the US. It’s also thought to have been the inspiration for the setting of Yogi Bear, who inhabits ‘Jellystone Park’.
24. Bizarrely, there are more people who live in Denver, Colorado, than there are in Wyoming, total.
25. Believe it or not, some of the ‘Russia’ scenes in Rocky IV were actually filmed in Wyoming. They were shot in Grand Teton Park.
26. Weirdly enough, Wyoming is also sparse on escalators. There are said to be two, maximum, across the whole state area.
27. There’s a strange, yet understandable law regarding amusement parks and public entertainment in Wyoming. It’s illegal for you to wear a hat big enough to block people’s views of concerts, movies and more.
28. Wyoming was once covered in battles between Native American tribes and invading troops. Specifically, it’s here where Crazy Horse helped lead his people to victory.
29. There’s a swing dancing record still held in Wyoming. Guinness World Records recognized that a group of 1,184 people took part in the same dance at the University of Wyoming in 2015.
30. Theodore Roosevelt declared Devils Tower a National Monument during his tenure as President of the US. This made it the first monument in the country to receive the honor.