This unique state is the 10th largest by area in the country while being the least populated. The 2018 estimated population of Wyoming was only 577,737 people.
The area was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes (i.e. Arapaho, Cheyenne, Crow, Sioux, and Shoshone among others) dating back to approximately 13,000 years ago.
John Colter may have been the first explorer to discover Wyoming in 1807. He discovered an area in the northwest corner of the state with waterfalls and geysers that in 1872 became Yellowstone National Park
Trappers and mountain men started coming to the state in search of highly prized beaver pelts.
Settlers moving to the Western United States frequently traveled the length of southern Wyoming via the Oregon Trail. This led to the creation of several other famous western trails, such as the California, Mormon, and Bozeman trails.
During this period, the U.S. had a prominent presence in Wyoming as it battled Native American tribes. Military forts were established to house soldiers who protected settlers and wagon trains.
The U.S. government created the Wyoming Territory on July 25, 1868. That same decade, the Union Pacific Railroad was laid across the length of the state to help settlers venture west. Wyoming was the 44th state to be admitted into the United States in 1890
The energy sector and mining is largely responsible for Wyoming’s economy. Wyoming is the nation’s larges producer of coal. Oil, natural gas, and trona are also extracted from Wyoming’s lands.
With Wyoming’s rich western history and incredible scenery, tourism is also a vital source of revenue. More than 3 million people visit Yellowstone National Park each year.