"WYOMING: MODERN WILD WEST" Top 5 Page for this destination Wyoming by kokoryko

Wyoming Travel Guide: 3,063 reviews and 9,067 photos

Since a long time it was in my thoughts

A kid’s dream has become true. . . . Since I am able to look and read I dreamed to go to the cowboy country; it could have been other places in the West, but this one was the right one, not only cowboys and Indians, but also trappers, hunters, pathfinders, and NATURE, in places like at the beginning of the world. . . When I had the opportunity to go there, I took it, even if it would (and I seriously thought about) become my rest place, the place from where I would go back to the galaxies. . . . Well, I was invited to a seminar to be held in Jackson in June and it had been cancelled; beginning August, this seminar had been re-scheduled for end September and this time, it could take place; so I spent a few days in Jackson and around and then, . . . . wild. . . . wild west for ten days or so. . . .

Lets begin with a bit of history

I usually begin with history back a few billion years, but this time I will (not too much (-: hopefully) “only” make a few geological digressions here and there in tips and travelogues.
Hunters and gatherers left tools, traps, made quarries for their stone tools in what will become Wyoming 11000 years ago; during the ice ages, woolen mammoths and giant cavern bears roamed in the area. Few seems known about the early Indians; the Shoshones were the most widespread people when the first European arrived in the 18th century , but there were also Arapahos and Cheyenne in the lower western plains, Sioux, in the North and East, Crows, Gros Ventre, and other; they were usually nomadic and fought often each other for buffaloes, women and other primary needs (ooops! Sorry, very dear women, I do not invent this!).
The first European to “visit” what is now Wyoming were probably French traders/explorers, the brothers François and Louis Joseph Verendrye, coming from the East with Dakota Indians, in 1742-1743.
In 1803 Th. Jefferson purchased the Greater Louisiana to the young French revolutionary republic lead by First Consul Bonaparte (the to come emperor Napoleon; grrr, those who still think that beside being a great general, dictator, blood shedder, he was also a great fore seeing politician. . . . . . well!), in need of money to make war in Europe (studying History reveals interesting links between some apparently very distant facts!), and future Wyoming became technically American.
Few years later, the reports and accounts of John Colter, a member of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific explored Wyoming in 1807-1808 on his return to St Louis, convinced tens and hundreds of trappers and fur traders to explore and make business in Wyoming.
Then, began the history of the Mountain Men; these people who lived hunting, trapping, bargaining with Indians in the mountains of Wyoming. The most famous of these mountain men, Jim Bridger created the trading post now called Fort Bridger in SW Wyoming, and the beaver fever (they mainly hunted beavers) was at its highest between 1820 and 1850. Other famous mountain men were Kit Carson, Bill Sublette, Jedediah Smith. . . . You certainly remember books, comic strips, movies, featuring these legends. . . .and the lots of stories (real or not) of which they are the heroes.
In 1850, the US Army established a permanent presence at Fort Laramie (Ah, “The man of Laramie” a western from Anthony Man, with James Stewart, and also “Dance with the wolves”, with Kevin Kostner featuring the US soldier living alone in the high plains, taming the solitary wolf), and soon after Wyoming became the theatre of long convoys of wagons on the Oregon trail.

Time of pioneers, cowboys and modern times.

Those who did not make it to Oregon or California began to settle here in the 1860’s, and then began the famous Indian wars; we know what resulted (despite Little Big Horn Battle, further East, and other battles) from the wars: Indian reservations, parked people, loss of freedom. . . creation of third world. . . . smallpox, alcoholism and other pleagues. . . . . Wyoming became then a ranching country, the high plains have been covered with miles and miles long barbed wire fences. . . . Farmers and ranchers reshaped the country as we see it today in the high plains, and the trapper and Indian trails in the mountains and forests were not anymore used, and even lost.
But Wyoming who joined the Union as a State in 1890, has also bright and glorious days in recent history: vote was officially granted to women in 1869, when it was still a Territory, and Esther Hobart Morris from South Pass was appointed first woman judge on the American ground. Hence the motto for Wyoming: “The equality state”. Clever guys, these trappers and other Mountain men. . . . . Women of Wyoming took part to votes and politics before their New York, Boston or Philadelphia sisters. . . . .
What I have visited is the western mountainous and rural Wyoming; during my stay here I also made a short excursion to Eastern Idaho and Northern Utah.
Besides the rural economy and small industry, in the west, the main economic activity is INDUSTRIAL TOURISM. I have seen lots of its damages (on people, little cities, landscapes. . . . ) and I avoided this as much as possible and visited some wonderful (I do not like to use superlatives but in these cases they are adequate) places, more than beautiful mountains, creeks, canyons, forests, wonders of nature far from the industry. I also had the luck to meet some wonderful people.
My tips are not well “organized”: in this page you will find (if you want to have a look, of course!) mainly general “tips” about small cities, places, mountains, rivers, historical landmarks and some other things I guess are interesting to share; these are more or less road trip tips and short to day hike suggestions or accounts; their order follows more or less my trips there.
Other Wyoming pages are about Jackson, the South Pass city Museum village and the Wind River Range,, where I looked for a possible rest place, and from where I finally came back: a five days solo hike from the Green river Basin to the Wind River Basin across the WINDS (many people call the Wind River Range like that), hiking at 2500-3000m, crossing the Great Divide on my feet; I met there the WIND, and also the BLIZZARD, the ROCKS, the TREES, the RIVERS, the ICE, the SNOW, the SUN, but I failed to meet the GRIZZLY. . . . . . . . . I am still writing here. . . . . and it was a wonderful trek!
When I arrived in Wyoming, I visited the southern part of Yellowstone National Park, the first National Park created in the U.S. (and in the world, it seems. . . ); I took the occasion the write some “critical” and somehow angry lines about the U.S. National Parks (and other national monuments, heritage places, etc. . . ) system in that page. Most National Parks are wonderful places, but the way they are managed looks a bit strange, from a nature lover view point.

A few lines and pictures about Idaho and Utah will be in Idaho and Utah travel “guides”, as I crossed the borders on my roadtrips there.

My photographs are not works of art, my writings are not literature.
Be kind, I posted them here, and I would appreciate you inform me if you intend to display them elsewhere! Merci!

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:I am still a kid and love stories of Cow boys and Indians
  • Last visit to Wyoming: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (34)

Comments (6)

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2011 at 6:38 AM

    Thank you for this page, now I can associate Wyoming with better things than an unpopular ex-VP. The tips are very informative and helpful, but I liked the intro most - speaks how shrewd Jefferson was!

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Wyoming is a fascinating State. There are several magnificent mountain ranges and it is the only State with drive-through liquor stores. What do you expect from the State of Cheney?

  • Jan 13, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    actually, interesting fact; there are more antelope in wyo than any other western state.

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2007 at 6:52 PM

    Peppered pils???

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:21 AM

    There's something here for everyone - great photos; semi-arid mountain country; oil wells; wildlife; good steak; and I learned that my 4WD has a 'central Asian windscreen' ! :)) Yeehaaa is, I think, the comment.

  • white_smallstar's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2007 at 2:15 PM

    The big photo you have chosen is very nice!. What a pity you didn’t meet the GRIZZLY (hihihi) **


“Il me plait de courir sans but et sans raison . . . .”

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