Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park and the world-famous geyser Old Faithful. It earned the nickname Equality State as the first state to grant women the right to vote in 1869. Cheyenne is the state capital.
More than three million people visit the Yellowstone National Park annually. Established in 1872, it’s the oldest national park in the U.S. It covers over two million acres, mostly in Wyoming and extending into parts of Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone has about 1,000 miles of trails, which offer plenty of opportunities to spot bison, grizzly bears, and other wildlife. Apart from Old Faithful, there are more than 500 geysers at the park. The Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming is a popular destination for mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, camping, and fishing. The park’s 310,000 acres of terrain include mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers.
Agriculture, mineral extraction, and tourism are the most important industries in Wyoming. Farms constitute 47% of land in the state, which generates about $1.5 billion in agricultural revenues annually. The most valuable commodities include cattle and calves, hay, and feed grains. Big Horn Airways, Omega Probe (real estate), and Great Lakes Airlines are based in Wyoming. Top employers include the University of Wyoming, Wyoming Medical Center, Sierra Trading Post, and Elkhorn Construction.
Congress created the Wyoming Territory in 1868 from sections of the Dakota, Utah, and Idaho Territories. The state’s name came from the Dakota word meaning "large plains." In 1869, Wyoming's territorial legislature was the first government in the world to enact a bill granting women the right to vote. It was necessary to meet the population requirement for statehood. In February 1870, Esther Hobart Morris of South Pass City became the first woman ever to be appointed as a justice of the peace.
Wyoming is where the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains meet. Its semiarid climate is windy and dry compared with the rest of the United States. The state is prone to wildfires, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. In June 1988, Yellowstone experienced 18 wildfires caused by lightning. By July, the fire had spread to about 17,000 acres. Eleven of the fires burned themselves out.
Wyoming (population: 578,759) is one of the most inexpensive places to live in America. The icing on the cake? It has no state income tax. The Equality State’s 4% sales tax rate is also one of the lowest in the country, although counties can charge an additional tax.