By Mark Pierce, Esq.
Wyoming is in the western United States, and it's bordered by Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho. The western part of Wyoming is mostly covered by the Rocky Mountains, and the eastern part of the state is in the High Plains. There are many famous landmarks and national parks in WY: Federal lands in the state include both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, and there are also Wyoming national monuments, recreation areas, national forests, wildlife refuges, and more. Visiting Wyoming promises to be a thrilling excursion.
Old Faithful is the famed geyser inside Yellowstone National Park that's among the most famous landmarks in Wyoming. This geyser got its name for its predicable eruptions. It's located in the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone, the first of the WY national parks, and it's easy to get to the viewing area to see Old Faithful erupt. The height of the eruptions varies between 100 and 180 feet high, and each eruption lasts between about a minute and a half and five minutes. Old Faithful erupts about 20 times each day.
Boar's Tusk is a dormant volcano that is 400 feet high, and it's located in the Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming. The volcano has eroded significantly over the years, and all that's left of this landmark is the volcanic neck that has resisted erosion. Tourists can get to Boar's Tusk by hiking or mountain-biking. Those with a high-clearance vehicle can also use the local access road to get there.
If you're exploring national parks in WY, you shouldn't miss Grand Teton National Park, which includes terrain around the Teton mountain range. Grand Teton National Park is full of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including rock-climbing, hiking, rafting on the Snake River, and camping. Wildlife in the area includes golden eagles, black and grizzly bears, bison, coyotes, osprey, moose, elk, and many more animal species. It's interesting to note that no species of venomous snakes live within the confines of Grand Teton National Park.
Devil's Tower was the first of the Wyoming national monuments as well as the first national monument to be designated in America, earning that honor in 1906. Devil's Tower is 1,267 feet high, and it stands above the Belle Fourche River. Many Native American tribes consider Devil's Tower to be located on sacred ground. People like to visit Devil's Tower to rock-climb and to hike.
The Grand Prismatic Spring is located in Yellowstone National Park in the Midway Geyser Basin. This spring is 121 feet deep and 370 feet across. People like to visit the Grand Prismatic Spring because of its bright bands of color, which come from the different thermophile bacteria it's holding in its water. At the center of the spring, the water is a deep blue.
The Yellowstone caldera is also known as the Yellowstone supervolcano. Scientists consider this volcano to be a "restless giant," which means that they monitor the volcano for seismic activity to have an idea of when or if it will erupt again. Scientists estimate that magma might be as close as just three miles below the Sour Creek Dome and possibly about eight miles below the surface at the Mallard Lake Dome. Over the past 40 years or so, surveys have shown changes in the entire caldera, with some areas sinking and others lifting up.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is located in the Jackson Hole Valley. Downhill skiing is one of the most popular activities in this area. Tourists can visit three different ski areas here. The National Elk Refuge is also in the area, which promises to be an exciting spot for seeing wildlife. From Jackson Hole, it's possible to see the most famous national parks in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, in the distance.
Mammoth Hot Springs is located in Yellowstone National Park. Visitors can explore these hot springs by walking along boardwalks that have been built above the steaming hot springs. It's also possible to drive through the area. The National Park Service website maintains webcams so that you can see features of Yellowstone in real time, including Mammoth Hot Springs.
Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming. This city is situated in the southeastern corner of Wyoming in Laramie County. The capitol building in Cheyenne was built between 1886 and 1890, and renovations were performed in 1917 and in 2019. Tours are possible for visitors, and they usually take about one hour. The Greater Cheyenne Greenway system in Cheyenne connects various parks and neighborhoods via paved trails, bridges, and underpasses.