About The Book

 

 

Camping Wyoming

Camping Wyoming offers the most comprehensive and useful guide to tent and RV camping in America's favorite outdoor state. In this 354-page book you'll find not only the campgrounds along major travel routes, but hundreds of out-of-the-way and rustic campgrounds, as well as 135 free camping areas. Amenities, accessibility and nearby attractions are described, and detailed directions are supplemented with 87 hand-drawn maps. Whether you're hunting, fishing or sight-seeing, whether you're traveling solo or with a family, this guide will lead you to the best camping for you in the nation's best camping state.

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Over two million people visit Wyoming each year to enjoy the scenery and open space. According to a recent survey for the Wyoming Division of Tourism, over 20 percent of those people camp. In the summertime 50 percent of Wyomings available accommodations are campgrounds. Camping Wyoming has them all and will help you find your perfect spot along the way, by the way or out-of-the-way.

A little bit about Wyoming

There are less than five people per square mile in Wyoming. It has often been said that Wyoming is just a small town with a really long main street.

But on the way crosstown there are five national forests, over 18 million acres of public BLM lands, four national forests, 15 wilderness areas, a national monument, two national recreational areas, two national parks, nine mountain ranges, the Great Divide Basin with 55 miles of sand dunes, an Indian reservation, seven scenic highways and three BLM back country scenic byways, 23 state parks and historic sites, 35 state wildlife habitat management areas and 74 public access areas, as well as lakes, streams, creeks and other bodies of water beyond tallying during a normal life-span.





The landscape varies from high desert and rolling sagebrush grasslands to mountain ranges topped by snow-capped granite monoliths. The Continental Divide transects Wyoming, with mountain runoff contributing to the flow of three major American river systems: the Columbia, the Colorado and the Missouri. Within the state, rivers have carved compelling canyons into the landscape and deposited rich soils in long fertile valleys. 

Wyoming enjoys an unusually diverse and large wildlife population. This is partly due to its 10,000 foot variation in altitude, and partly due to sparse and late-arriving human settlement. 

Elevations vary from the lowest point at 3, 125', in the northeast corner of the state near South Dakota, to 13,804' atop Gannett Peak in the Wind River Range. Weather can vary dramatically and snow storms, although usually brief, have been known to occur during the summer months. Normally, you can expect cool nights during the summer with daytime temperatures rarely over 90 Fahrenheit. 

The geology of Wyoming has been referred to as an open book. With miles of unaltered landscapes there is no shortage of opportunities to explore the state in the context of geologic time. The geological landscape played a significant role in early settlement, especially on South Pass, which served in the 1840s, as the natural and least formidable westward passage through the Rocky Mountains. The history of the emerging west is etched in the trail ruts crossing these high plains. 

Wyoming was a thoroughfare to a better life elsewhere. Wyoming, viewed by the pioneers as a great barren desert with nothing but high mountains, big rocks and sagebrush, was a far cry from the earthly paradise promised further to the west. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was in Oregon or California. Most immigrants elected to stay on the trail to the end of the road, with settling in Wyoming of questionable fulfillment. 

Up until about 1860, only Indians and a few mountain men and trappers showed an interest in settling in Wyoming. A few hundred white traders, blacksmiths and the like found a niche serving the needs of those on the westward passage and made Wyoming their home. A few settlers followed mountain men and trappers, a few dropped off the wagon trains, and a few, like the wildlife, found the other lands increasingly crowded and returned to Wyoming. 

The railroad reached Cheyenne in 1867, and Wyoming, although still known as a high, dry and empty land, was noticed to a greater degree. In 1868, tracks were put down all across southern Wyoming to the Utah line. Communities, founded along the tracks, overflowed and emptied as the transient construction crews moved westward with the new rails: The boom and bust cycles indigenous to the Wyoming economy were born. 

With the railroad came a new interest in Wyoming. Construction and completion helped bring people of ethnic diversity who would start businesses, raise livestock and discover the vast energy wealth underlying the state. As emigration and exploration increased mineral discoveries were made: In the South Pass Mining District about $3,000,000 in gold was mined between 1869 and 1871, adding another chapter to the boom and bust history of the state. Oil, gas, coal, trona and uranium have added unfinished chapters to this economic legacy. For years, Wyoming has been dependent on a mixture of agriculture and extractive industries. State coffers have been tied to the price of beef or oil and gas. 

As the state searched for economic diversity in the late 20th century an awareness of its potential for a tourist economy grew along with an appreciation for protection and preservation of the natural beauty of the land. 

Wyoming has unparalleled recreational opportunities in unique rugged landscapes in the heart of frontier America. If you know where to go, the camping in Wyoming is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

 

All Photos and Text
© Michael McClure
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
   

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