Wyoming Land for Sale
Although Wyoming became the 44th state in the Union on July 10, 1890, it has a number of important firsts under its belt. It is the home of the first national forest, the first national monument and the first national park. Wyoming was the first state where women could legally cast their vote in an election. It was the first state that elected a woman as its governor. Wyoming is the number one producer of coal; supplying 40 percent of the nation’s coal with almost 3 million tons mined each week.
On the flip side, Wyoming ranks 50th in population and manufacturing. What this means for investors is that the beautiful landscape has been relatively untouched — the flowing prairies and striking mountain ranges look much the same today as they did during the days of the western frontier. While the official state nickname is the “Equality State,” most residents affectionately refer to Wyoming as the “Cowboy State.” Wyoming played an integral part in the development of the Pony Express and the trails of the Old West, including the Oregon Trail. The borders of the state were changed thirty times before they formed the near perfect rectangular shape that is has today.
Covering 157,206 miles in total, Wyoming has a spectacular landscape ranging from fields to forest. Most of Wyoming soars high above the sea level, with more than one-third of the state dominated by the Rocky Mountains. Its lowest point is the Belle Fourche River, which is 3,099 feet above sea level. The state’s highest point—Gannett Peak—crests at 13,802 feet above the surface of the ocean.
Despite the fact that nearly one-half of all of the land in Wyoming is owned by the federal government, plenty is available for purchase. While land in and around the cities of Wyoming command a higher price per acre than the expansive wilderness beyond, the land in this state can be summed up in a single word: Affordable. From the Big Horn Basin in the Northwest to the Medicine Bow in the Southeast, Wyoming has plenty to offer investors. The beauty of this majestic state is priced to sell for those in search of a good piece of land for sale in Wyoming.
Big Horn Basin
The Big Horn Basin in Northwest Wyoming is a world-class destination for outdoor sportsmen and adventure seekers. Impressive mountain ranges, rolling green hills and grasslands are all present in this region, around which lakes and rivers roll from north to south. Skiers, hikers, fishers, kayak enthusiasts and more find plenty to do in this pristine, alluring location. From the Grand Teton National Park to the Bighorn Canyon National Recreational area and the Wind River Canyon, there is so much to see and do in this region.
Of course, no discussion of Northwest Wyoming is complete without mention of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was the first national park ever dedicated. It was preserved by The Act of Dedication, signed March 1, 1872, by President Ulysses S. Grant. This measure prevented the land from being sold at public auction. Nature enthusiasts and holiday makers around the world have been grateful for this dedication since it was signed: More than 3.5 million people visit Yellowstone each year to view the gorgeous landscape, the multitudes of wildlife species and the stunning springs and geysers, including Old Faithful.
A wintertime hot spot is Jackson Hole. This 60-mile long valley stretches from Jackson Lake in the north to Hoback Junction in the south — a literal hole in the surrounding Rocky Mountains. It’s a popular place for winter skiers and snowboarders around the globe, who travel to enjoy the challenging slopes.
Northwest Wyoming also holds great value to the paleontology community. Some of the largest dinosaur fossil quarries are found at Termopolis’s Wyoming Dinosaur Center. Visitors can dig along or simply enjoy the 18 full-size dinosaur skeletons that have already been unearthed at the center.
Land in the Big Horn Basin is bountiful. Established farms and untrod wilderness are available for private purchase. Jackson Hole is a prime real estate area, with prices higher than most of the rest of the state. Otherwise, investors can find parcels for nearly any purpose in the Northwest region of Wyoming.
Thunder Basin Grasslands
The Thunder Basin Grasslands, in the Northeast region, was shared by a large number of Native American tribes, including the Crow, Sioux and Cheyenne for thousands of years before the white settlers arrived. This region became the battleground for several great conflicts with settlers as they moved westward in search of gold.
The open prairies of the Thunder Basin Grasslands are surrounded by the Black Hills mountains to the north, with its rolling foothills covered in verdant trees. Natural points of interest in Northeast Wyoming are the Powder River and the Devil’s Tower National Monument, the very first site dedicated by the federal government on September 24, 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Devil’s Tower is a geologic oddity, comprised of a cluster of rock columns in the shape of a stump. The formation stands 1,280 feet high. It is 1,000 feet wide at the base, tapering to only 275 feet wide at the top. Devil’s Tower has a significant role in Native American folklore and legends.
The Native Americans and early settlers survived by hunting the elk, deer and American bison that roamed the landscape by the millions. The Vore Buffalo Jump is a natural sinkhole that five separate tribes used to capture an estimated 10,000 buffalo over the course of 300 years. Today, greatly reduced herds of bison still roam the area, along with the near-extinct sage grouse, whose habitat is threatened by energy development. Oil, natural gas and wind farming enterprises have cut back the bird’s population by nearly 93 percent. Legislative action is being taken to ensure the survival of the species as the resources are extracted.
Gillette and Sheridan are the Northeast region’s biggest cities, with around 40,000 residents between them. Because the land in this region is much more accommodating to ranching and hunting, large expanses of land can be found at reasonable rates.
Though it seems to be an empty wasteland at first glance, the Flaming Gorge, which makes up the Southwest region, is filled with natural treasures. There are rich mineral deposits that tempted early settlers to make their homes in the state. Layers of sediment have created pristine rock formations, in which dinosaur bones and the remains of other ancient animals are routinely found. Rolling sand dunes amble around the arid desert regions near Killpecker and an ancient volcano core, Boar’s Tusk, rises from the ground as a reminder of the region’s volatile history. Vast plains are home to more than 1,600 wild horses that roam freely through five wild horse herd management areas.
Sage brush and prairie grass are among the only green plants that grow naturally in the Southwest of Wyoming, due to its desolate desert landscape. Breaking up the terrain, Fort Bridger stands as a monument to the trails early American pioneers used to reach the West Coast, including the Oregon Trail, the California Trail and the Mormon Trail. This was the last stop in Wyoming before heading into Utah, and was also used as a station for the Pony Express. The area is preserved by the Wyoming Historic Landmark Commission. Several original buildings have been preserved and stand in restored glory as a tribute to the site’s history.
The Flaming Gorge gets its name from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, a 91-mile long natural body of water that is said to be one of the best places to fish in the United States. Trout and other game fish are popular catches and visitors enjoy the 375 miles of shoreline surrounding the glittering blue waters in the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area. Boating, camping and swimming are all popular activities at Flaming Gorge, despite the park’s unlikely location.
There are very few cities in this section of the state. The largest in this region is Rock Springs, a tiny town with less than 20,000 inhabitants. Because of the landscape and the low population, most of this region is available at very low cost.
Named the Medicine Bow, Southeast Wyoming is covered in golden wheat fields that abruptly end in majestic mountain ranges. The Shirley Mountains, the Seminoe, Laramie and Sierra Madre mountains and the Medicine Bow Range all roll through Southeast Wyoming. Their peaks roll on the horizon while rivers cut through grass- and wheat-covered plains. Woodlands range from the semi-arid lowlands to the frosty highlands.
Mountain mahogany grows in this region and is the source of the name “Medicine Bow.” As the folklore goes, mountain mahogany made excellent bows for Native American hunters. Each year, friendly tribes and early settlers would gather to create bows. They would also perform healing rituals in powwows. The place where healing medicines and bows were made each year became Medicine Bow.
Despite being the home of the state’s two largest cities, Cheyenne and Casper, Medicine Bow is rife with frontier charm. Combined, these two cities house more than one-fifth of the entire population of the state. The Medicine Bow area is home to the annual Frontier Days rodeo and the Frontier Days Old West Museum, both in the state capital of Cheyenne. Land in this area is bountiful and typically inexpensive away from the cities. Prices vary from less than $1,000 to more than $30,000 per acre in Southeast Wyoming.
The vast plains and looming mountains that cover Wyoming provide much more than spectacular scenery. They are filled with the minerals that make up Wyoming’s most important industry. Mining is Wyoming’s bread and butter: An estimated 1.4 trillion tons of coal reside in the state’s mountains. The world’s complex for surface coal mining is located near Gillette. Wyoming is also the home of the world’s largest deposit of trona, a sodium-rich mineral that rarely occurs naturally. The Green River Formation produces a large portion of this mineral, which is compressed into soda ash, which is then sent to markets around the world. Soda ash is used in the production of glass, paper, chemicals, textiles, detergents, baking soda and water softeners. Trona was accidentally discovered during oil and natural gas excavations in 1938, but has grown to be among the most important exports of the state. Wyoming is the nation’s largest producer of another mineral called bentonite, which is used in a number of industries. Gemstones are also mined, including jade, jasper, rubies, diamonds, peridot, bloodstone and moss agate.
The petroleum industry is also strong in Wyoming. More than 20,000 people have jobs in oil and natural gas extraction, a trade that has been active in the state for more than 125 years. Crude oil has been found in all but four of Wyoming’s 23 counties, and natural gas is present in all but five.
Mining and drilling may be the most lucrative industries in the state, but the majority of Wyoming’s citizens work in the farming or ranching industry. Wyoming is tied for third in United States production of wool and ranks fourth in the production of sheep and lambs. There are 1.5 million cattle in Wyoming — outnumbering humans nearly three to one. The majority of Wyoming cattle are grass fed on the state’s rolling plains, producing a higher-quality meat product than grain-fed herds from other locations. Bison, hogs and other specialized livestock are raised in Wyoming, as well. In addition to animals, Wyoming farms and ranches produce a variety of foods. Sunflowers, hay and sugar beets are the most popular exports.
Unsurprisingly, Wyoming boasts a thriving tourism industry. The many national parks and monuments beckon vacationers from around the globe. Many visitors flock the state to get a glimpse of the true cowboy lifestyle in the numerous rodeos and roundups that take place in Wyoming. There are more than 15,000 miles of streams and more than 295,000 acres of lakes, where more than 31 species of game fish live. Big game hunters favor Wyoming, as well. Moose, elk, antelope, black and grizzly bears and mountain lions are among the many species that ambitious trophy hunters can expect to place in their sights.