Besides being a state of firsts when it comes to national parks and monuments, Wyoming is a state of women's firsts. It was the first state to grant women the right to vote and serve on a jury. The country's first female governor was elected in Wyoming in 1924. Because of these firsts, Wyoming is nicknamed the "Equality State."
Wyoming is named for the Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania. The word "Wyoming" comes from an Indian word meaning "large prairie place." The abbreviation for Wyoming is WY
Wyoming is a Rocky Mountain state bordered by Montana to the north, Nebraska and South Dakota to the east, Colorado and Utah to the south, and Idaho and Utah to the west. The state has the ninth largest area. However, it is the least populated state now that Alaska has more residents. Cheyenne, Wyoming's capital and largest city, is the state's only city with more than 50,000 residents.
One reason for Wyoming's small population is probably its landscape, which includes high, rugged terrain; valleys; plains; and large, flat treeless basins. The Continental Divide, known as the Crest of the Rockies, runs across the state. The state has many several-thousand-acre ranches. Because of this, the state's cities and towns are far apart. About 50 percent of Wyoming's land is used for grazing because its lofty, rugged terrain and sparse rainfall don't allow for much else. Over one million cattle and about 800,000 sheep feed on Wyoming's grasslands. Because the United States government owns almost half of Wyoming's land, federal agencies control much of the state's grazing, logging, and mining.
Even though Wyoming is known as a livestock-grazing state, mineral resources play a more important role in its economy. The state supplies more than half of the crude oil pumped in the Rockies. With 19 million acres of coal seams, Wyoming has the largest known coal reserves in the country. The state also has good-sized deposits of iron ore, silver, and copper.
Tourists visit Wyoming for its scenic beauty and historic places. Gape as the spectacular Old Faithful geyser erupts in a 150-foot-high column of steam in Yellowstone National Park, which is mainly located in the state. Yellowstone was the world's first national park. When Yellowstone was created in 1872, it became the first area in the country to be set aside from commercial exploitation. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Rocky Mountains.
While you're in Wyoming, go to Devils Tower National Monument, a spectacular 865-foot tower of volcanic rock that protrudes above the soil. It became the country's first national monument in 1906. It's located near the Bell Fourche River in the northeastern corner of the state. Visit Shoshone National Forest, the country's first national forest. If you want to see 60-million-year-old fish fossils, go to Fossil Butte, a national monument in Wyoming's southwest. It's one of the world's largest fossilized fish beds. Visit spectacular mountains in Grand Teton National Park. Celebrate Frontier Days in Cheyenne and visit museums that have impressive Indian and pioneer exhibits.