Wyoming Fun Facts & Trivia

Grand Tetons Barn

Grand Tetons Barn

In the far and mighty West,
Where the crimson sun seeks rest,
There’s a growing splendid State that lies above,
On the breast of this great land;
Where the massive Rockies stand,
There’s Wyoming young and strong, the State I love!
Wyoming! Land of the sunlight clear!
Wyoming, Wyoming! Land that we hold so dear!
Wyoming, Wyoming! Precious art thou and thine!
Wyoming, Wyoming! Beloved State of mine!

—  From the state song, “Wyoming,” lyrics by C.E.Winter


Wyoming Fun Facts:

Wyoming was the first state to have a county public library.

The popular Columbia Pictures film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was filmed on location at Devil’s Tower.

Middle Jurassic dinosaur footprints that are 165 million years old were found near Shell in 1997.

Dinosaur skull and bones discovered at Alcova Lake were found by a local elementary class on a field trip.

Anyone who fails to close a fence in Wyoming is subject to a fine of up to seven hundred and fifty dollars.

The first book printed in Wyoming in 1866 was the Dictionary of the Sioux Language.

In 1872, Yellowstone was designated as the first National Park in the nation. Yellowstone National Park is the first in the nation and the first in the world.

The world’s largest coal mine by reserve is the North Antelope Rochelle Mine, about 60 miles south of Gillette, Wyoming.

The first Dude Ranch in Wyoming was the Eaton Ranch near Wolf. The Eaton’s also came up with the term “dude.”

The horse on the Wyoming license plate is named “Old Steamboat.” It is named after a bronco that could not be ridden in the early 1900s.

Wyoming has the lowest population of all 50 United States.

In Cheyenne, residents are not allowed to take showers on Wednesdays.

Wyoming led the country in coal production in 1994, with three million tons per week

The majority of Yellowstone National Park lies within the boundaries of Wyoming, with smaller portions in Idaho and Montana.

Killpecker Dunes, Wyoming

Killpecker Dunes, Wyoming

The world’s second-largest traveling sand dunes, the Killpecker Dunes, are located north of Rock Springs.

In Wyoming, wearing a hat that obstructs people’s view in a public theater or place of amusement is illegal.

The first business west of the Missouri River was a trading post established at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte Rivers by veteran fur traders William Sublette and Robert Campbell.

You may not photograph a rabbit from January to April without an official permit in Wyoming.

The Wind River changes its name in the middle of the stream, becoming the Big Horn River at a site at the north end of the Wind River Canyon, where each year, the Native Americans hold a ceremony depicting the “Wedding of the Waters.”

After sitting in a dentist’s chair in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Clay Allison forcibly pulled one of the dentist’s teeth when the doctor drilled on the wrong molar. He would have continued pulling the dentist’s teeth, but the screams of the dentist brought in people from the street.

In Jackson, Wyoming, it is against the law to spit on the sidewalks or in the streets. Should you carry out this offense in front of a lady, you could be arrested and jailed for no more than three days and required to pay restitution to the woman.

Buffalo Bill

Buffalo Bill

Cody, Wyoming, is named after William “Buffalo Bill” Cody.

It is against the law for junk dealers to transact business with anyone drunk.

The state name came from the Delaware Indian word, meaning “mountains and valleys alternating.”

When the Wyoming Territory was organized in 1869, Wyoming women became the first in the nation to obtain the right to vote.

Bigfoot has been allegedly sighted several times in Wyoming in the Wind River Mountains, Yellowstone, Teton Forest, and Snow King Mountain near Jackson.

Harry Longabaugh became known as “the Sundance Kid” because he served a jail term for horse stealing in Sundance, Wyoming.

Ames Monument, Wyoming

Ames Monument, Wyoming

The Ames Pyramid is A sixty-foot tall, stone-block monolith, called the Ames Pyramid, that stands on the otherwise empty plains just east of Laramie.

Using a firearm to fish in Wyoming is strictly forbidden by law.

Wyoming boasts the first national forest, Shoshone National Forest, declared in 1891 by an Act signed by President Benjamin Harrison. Wyoming now has nine national forests.

The J.C. Penney stores were started in Kemmerer.

Tom Horn, lawman turned outlaw, was hanged in Cheyenne for shooting 14-year-old Willie Nickell in 1903.

The Red Desert in south-central Wyoming drains to the east and west. The continental divide splits and goes around the desert on all sides, leaving the basin without normal drainage.

Any new commercial buildings constructed at more than $100,000 must spend a minimum of 1% of those funds on artwork for the building.

In 1925 Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman governor in the United States.

Wyoming has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation. Strangely, it also has one of the nation’s highest rates of domestic violence.

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park by Kathy Alexander.

Yellowstone National Park has more geysers than any other geyser field worldwide.

An ordinance in Newcastle, Wyoming, specifically bans couples from having sex while standing inside a store’s walk-in meat freezer.

Wyoming prohibits “fat” people, defined as 100 pounds overweight, using playground or park equipment.

At the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins are the remains of an outlaw named George Manuse, who was more familiarly called “Big Nose George.”  However, one doesn’t see a skeleton here, but rather a pair of shoes that a local doctor made from the dead man’s skin and the top of his skull that was used as both a doorstop and an ashtray. The doctor, John Osborne, would later wear the shoes when he became the Governor of Wyoming.

South Pass City, Wyoming

South Pass City, Wyoming by Kathy Alexander.

South Pass City is allegedly haunted by the resident spirit of Polly Bartlett, who is said to have been a greedy, murderous young woman.

If you are found to be drunk in a mine in Wyoming, you could be sentenced to up to a year in jail.

The world’s largest elkhorn arch is in Afton, Wyoming.

In Cheyenne, spitting on a school’s steps is illegal.

Seven miles east of Medicine Bow is the Dinosaur Bone House, comprised of 26,000 fossils.

Devil’s Tower was designated as the first National Monument in 1906.

An old law on the Wyoming books makes it illegal for women to stand within five feet of a bar while drinking.

The only known monument in the United States built in honor of a prostitute is located south of Lusk, Wyoming. Called the Old Mother Feather Legs Shepard Monument, it was erected in 1964.

Skiing under the influence of alcohol is against the law.

The Jackalope, thought by many as a mystical creature, is said to exist in Wyoming.  One of the rarest animals in the world, it is a cross between a now-extinct pygmy deer and a species of killer rabbit.

One of the newest mammals known to man was discovered in a Wyoming petrified tree stump. Living some 65 million years ago, the shrew-like mammal is the smallest recorded, weighing 1.3 grams.

Kemmerer is known as the Fossil Fish Capital of the World. Kemmerer is home to over 100 Pronghorn Antelope, about 3,000 people, and over 100,000 fish fossils.

Wild Bill Hickok married Agnes Lake Thatcher in the First United Methodist Church in Cheyenne in 1874.


© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated April 2023.

Also See:

Quirky Wyoming

Jackalopes in Wyoming – Myth or Reality?

Little People of Wyoming & the Pedro Mountain Mummy

Monument to a Prostitute in Lusk

Outlaw Big Nose George Becomes a Pair of Shoes