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Heritage Tourism in Wyoming
More than just Yellowstone National Park, much more
Many of our ancestors crossed Wyoming on the California, the Oregon or the Mormon trails. They got messages by the Pony Express crossing Wyoming. Did they work on the Union Pacific Railroad, making its way through Bridger Pass? Did they stop at Ft. Laramie? Did they spend time in Chyenne, the Grand Tetons, Jackson or Cody? Mine did.
Many were drawn to work in Wyoming by coal, natural gas, oil, trona, diamonds and uranium. Some moved on, others decided to stay and make it their home. You will have a lot to take in as a heritage tourist in Wyoming.
The photo is the Indian Paintbrush, the state flower of Wyoming; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
A Link to Primary Laws of Wyoming - Also lists all the Territorial Governments under which Wyoming was governed
- State Constitutions: Wyoming by The Legal Genealogist
Judy G. Russell provides us with an excellent historical and legal background on Wyoming with many maps, illustrations and valuable links for gaining a better understanding of the laws that governed people in Wyoming from first white settlement.
Historic Trails across Wyoming
- California National Historic Trail
Useful information about the California National Historic Trail that passed through Wyoming and South Pass
- Oregon National Historic Trail
Useful information regarding the Oregon National Historic Trail including the South Pass and Wyoming crossing.
- Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
Useful information about the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail that passed through Wyoming and the South Pass to get to Utah.
- Pony Express National Historic Trail
Information on the Pony Express National Historic Trail that went through Wyoming for about eighteen months in the the 1860s before the railroads and telegraph lines arrived.
Fort Laramie and the historic trails in Wyoming
Wyoming was a 'mid-way' stop on the way to California, Oregon and Utah
Fort Laramie in eastern Wyoming was a major stop on each of the overland trails leading to 'the west.' Usually provisions were available there and there was opportunity to rest and rehabilitate equipment, animals and people. Some groups weren't so lucky, but most were. Were any of your ancestors on these trails, crossing the continent?
This was still Indian territory when the trail and Fort use were at their peaks. Did any of your ancestors serve in the western military before, during or after the CIvil War?
Image is a painting of Fort Laramie before 1840 by Alfred Jacob Miller, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Teton Range near Jackson
Yellowstone Castle Geyser
Cities and towns of Wyoming
Casper, Cheyenne, Cody, Jackson and Laramie are just four of the 20 most populous cities and towns in Wyoming that you may want to visit as a heritage tourist. Where are your interests? A lot depends on which era of Wyoming history interests you, what Wyoming cultural interests pique your curiosity, or which of the many natural wonders draw you to visit and experience Wyoming.
- The listing of the 20 most populous Wyoming cities and towns
This is a good starting point; with this information, you can go in many directions.
- Official Website of the City of Casper
Filled with information and links to additional resources on Casper, Wyoming
- Cheyenne, Wyoming on WIkipedia
A good starting point for exploring your options in and around Cheyenne, with many additional links to useful information.
- Cody, Wyoming on WIkipedia
Cody is the smallest of these five cities and towns, but it is the one town where I had relatives and ancestors in the late 19th century, so I've included it for easy reference here.
- Jackson, Wyoming on WIkipedia
Jackson is also a smaller town, but is renown as a tourist and vacation spot for many, including the rich and famous. You can make your own assessment with the information provided.
- City of Laramie Official Website
Laramie, Wyoming offers much to the heritage tourist and this site is a good place to start.
Cities and Towns of Wyoming
Wyoming is the least populous state in the nation and therefore is not known for large cities. In 2005, with over 50% of the population living in the 13 most populous cities, only 5 cities has individual populations over 20,000.
I mentioned five of the cities, above, but these may or may not be the ones that draw you as a heritage tourist to Wyoming. And, of course, it may very well not be the larger cities and towns at all. You need to find what is of interest to you!
The photo is of the skyline of Casper, Wyoming, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Wyoming City information available on Amazon
Wind River Canyon
And yes, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are magnificent! - Wyoming is a state of natural wonders, of course.
From the mountains to the rivers to the plains, there is no end to the natural beauty that surrounds you in the State of Wyoming.
Did you know that in the south central part of the state, in the Great Divide Basin, that waters that flow in or precipitation that falls remains there to sink into the soil or evaporate into the air? It does not flow to an ocean.
Major rivers do start or flow through the state, of course. There are the Yellowstone, the Big Horn, the Green and the Snake. Pioneers came up the North Platte from Nebraska by the tens of thousands. To the west of the Continental Divide, the Green River empties into the Colorado River.
- Yellowstone National Park
This is a good starting point for beginning to learn about the first national park in the world, created in 1872.
- Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton human history dates back over 11,000 years. Learn more about the region starting here and following the links that interest you.
- See the long list of other public lands in Wyoming
There is much more to see than we can possibly consider here, but you now have access to all of it. Pick and choose what you wish to explore in more detail.
Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons
Places of granduer, without doubt
Can you imagine living and working on this ranch near the Grand Teton mountains? It looks like heaven to me.
This combination, so close together, actually, is hard to beat for being to of our most popular National Parks, with such different features to make them both very attractive as vacation destinations. Will you visit both the next time you are in Wyoming? I hope you can.
Photo of a barn on a ranch with a view of the Grand Teton peaks in the background; courtesy Wikimedia Commons.