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HomeTravelWhy see Wyoming? Here are some of the Cowboy State's top attractions

Why see Wyoming? Here are some of the Cowboy State’s top attractions

Sitting rife with untouched land where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, Wyoming is prime real estate for some of America’s greatest natural phenomena.

Serving as home to 10 national parks, 12 state parks and some 28 historic sites, the state is just as rich in nature as it is in relics from the cowboys, gunslingers and frontiersmen of generations gone by.

Here is a quick glance at some top attractions that set the “Equality State” on par with some of the biggest tourist destinations in the country.

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Yellowstone National Park

Nestled in the northwest corner of Wyoming, Yellowstone National Parkis the oldest and perhaps most recognizable national park in the U.S.

Established in 1872 under the Grant administration, the sprawling Yellowstone National Park is known for its more than 10,000 hydrothermal features. Over 500 of these are geysers, including Old Faithful – which erupts at intervals of no more than two hours, and is one of just six geysers in the park whose eruptions rangers can reliably predict.

Bison grazes in front of geyser, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park was the first of its kind to be designated in the U.S. (Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Yellowstone is also known for its diverse wildlife – including the only bison population that’s been native to the continental U.S. since prehistory. 

Devils Tower

Standing tall over Crook County is Devils Tower, a rock formation protruding some 1,267 feet above the nearby Belle Fourche River. 

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Its impressive stature is far from the only distinction this crown jewel of the Black Hills holds. 

Devils Tower is also the country’s first national monument, with its status being declared under the Antiquities Act in 1906.

Devils Tower

Devils Tower, measuring 867 feet from base to summit, was the first national monument preserved under the Antiquities Act. (Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Devils Tower is also considered sacred to the Northern Plains and Kiowa tribes indigenous to the region – and got its English moniker when an interpreter for Colonel Richard Irving Dodge misunderstood its native name as “Bad God’s Tower.”

Old Trail Town

Located just outside Yellowstone and bearing the namesake of legendary showman William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the Park County town of Cody is also home to one of America’s most unique, complete and authentic exhibits dedicated to documenting life in the Old West.

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The Old Trail Town is an open-air museum comprised of 26 authentic, historic buildings originally constructed between 1879 and 1901. Many of these were dismantled at their original sites across Wyoming and neighboring Montana, before being transported to their current home along Cody’s western outskirts for reassembly and display.

The Old Trail Town is also home to some 100 horse-drawn vehicles, and an extensive collection of artifacts from frontiersmen and local Native populations alike.

Fort Laramie

Located in Goshen County near the Nebraska border, the Fort Laramie National Historic Site spans some 833 acres of land once used as an outpost for furriers, diplomats, and military officials along the Oregon Trail.

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Founded in 1834 by prominent fur trader William Sublette and partner Robert Campbell, Fort Laramie cycled through various owners – and names – over its first few years as a trading post. 

Later in its life, it was purchased by the U.S. Army and used to supervise westward migratory routes.

Fort Laramie

The now-desolate Fort Laramie spent its heyday as a key post for fur traders and diplomats alike. (: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

As westward expansion continued and newer, more efficient routes were forged, Fort Laramie gradually fell into disuse – and by the end of 1890, had been vacated completely. 

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While initially left to be reclaimed by nature, Fort Laramie’s 1938 acquisition by the National Park Service has also allowed what’s left of it to be preserved – and the Historic Site attracts a modest total of about 46,000 annual visitors in its current state.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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