Exploring the Cowboy State: Wyoming’s Natural Beauty and Cultural Richness

Enzi For Wyoming

Wyoming – The Cowboy State

The colossal jagged peaks and rugged landscape of Wyoming are breathtakingly beautiful. The state’s first national park and many public lands provide wildlife enthusiasts with outstanding hunting, fishing and camping opportunities.

Coal and natural gas are important economic resources, and mining is a major industry in the state. The state’s Native American tribes have woven their cultures into the tapestry of the state, and visitors are welcome to celebrate them at powwows, rodeos and storytelling festivals.

History

One of the most famous symbols of Wyoming is the cowboy and his horse. This image became synonymous with the state when it was stenciled on military equipment during World War I.

The first White American known to enter present-day Wyoming was explorer John Colter in 1807. He was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition but separated from the main party and traveled through the area now known as Yellowstone.

The state’s Wild West history includes a thriving cattle industry and the establishment of dude ranches. In 1924, Wyoming became the first state to extend suffrage to women, giving rise to its nickname as the Equality State.

Culture

The state of Wyoming has a rich culture with western values. It is home to the world’s first national park and millions of acres of public lands.

Many famous writers have used their experiences in Wyoming to influence their work. Novelist Owen Wister was inspired by his time in Wyoming to write about the brave and independent American cowboy.

The film Brokeback Mountain depicted a budding romantic relationship between two male sheepherders and had a large impact on pop culture. It also helped to decrease hostility towards homosexuals in the state. In more recent history Wyoming has been home to many successful ranchers and a haven for hardcore outdoor enthusiasts.

Outdoors

A visit to Wyoming offers an exhilarating glimpse of Old Western heritage, Indigenous culture and the unbounded grandeur of two prominent national parks. The Equality State is also home to a variety of outdoor adventures like fishing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, hunting, ORV riding and skiing.

The state’s diverse topography is broken by several rocky mountain ranges. The slopes of these ranges are dotted with long-distance migrations of antelope and pronghorn antelope, while moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats roam the high country. Rocky Mountain grizzly bears are also present in the state’s wilderness areas.

Events

As one would expect in the Cowboy State, Wyoming is home to many big events celebrating western culture. From rodeos to cultural festivals in Jackson Hole, you’re sure to find something rope slinging and roaring good time.

Cheyenne Frontier Days, called the “Daddy of All Rodeos,” draws thousands of visitors each July to celebrate all things rodeo and western. The festival lasts for 10 days and features multiple rodeo events, concerts, a parade, an Indian village and much more.

Explore the human fascination with canines, whether love or loathe, through works of art in NMWA’s For the Love of Canines exhibition.

Festivals

Wyoming festivals allow visitors to experience the state’s unique culture and history. Rock climbers gather at the annual Lander International Climbers Festival to celebrate the sport. Attendees can take part in a number of activities from speaker series to treks.

Art lovers flock to this 30+ year event considered one of the Rocky Mountain West’s premier cultural events. This festival showcases a number of works from local and intertnationally-acclaimed artists.

In early July, Jackson hosts a Wild West extravaganza. This event brings the town together for a street party with live bands and theater performances. Riverton also holds a historical rendezvous day with historic presentations and an authentic traders row.

Shopping

Shopping might not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking about Wyoming, but the Cowboy State has a wide array of great shops and fashionable boutiques that cater to every taste. Whether you’re looking for rustic decor, authentic turquoise hand-made jewelry or decadent homemade treats, there’s something for everyone in the Cowboy State.

The Old Faithful General Store offers unique gifts, apparel and equipment to outfit visitors for a trip into Yellowstone National Park or as they prepare to head home. It’s also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Laramie is a great college town with a variety of great shops. From larger chain stores to small-town boutiques, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for a friend or yourself.

Keep exploring

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