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Geography of Wyoming

Wyoming is the tenth-largest state in the United States. 60% of the state is covered with mountain ranges.

General Features

The US state of Wyoming is located in the western region of the country.It shares its borders with Montana to the north, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Colorado to the south, Utah to the southwest, and Idaho to the west.


It is one big plateau, which is divided by many mountain ranges. The Continental Divide dissects through the state from the northwest to the south-central border. Rivers in the east of the Divide empty into the Missouri River Basin while the rivers in the west of the Divide drain into the Columbia or Colorado River Basins. Platte, Wind, Big Horn, and the Yellowstone rivers are the major eastern rivers while Snake River and Green River are the two major western rivers.


The state of Wyoming can be divided into three geographical land areas:

  • Great Plains: Great Plains are located in the eastern part of the state. It stretches from Canada through the United States to Mexico. The topography of this area is characterized by short-grass prairie and cottonwoods and shrubs. This area is home to the marvelous Devils Tower National Monument.

  • Rocky Mountains: Rocky Mountains cover most of the state. It has two important ranges, Big Horn Mountains and Laramie Range. A wide plateau lies between these two ranges. The highest point in the state is found in this area.

  • Intermontane Basins: The flat areas between Wyoming mountain ranges are part of Intermontane Basins. The region is characterized by short grasses and lower bush. Bighorn, Powder River Basins, the Wind River Basin, and Washakie Basins are some of the major basins in this region.

Geographical Facts About Wyoming


Area 97,818 square miles
Land Area 97,105 square miles
Water Area 714 square miles
Highest point Gannett Peak at 13,804 feet above sea-level
Lowest point Belle Fourche River at 3,099 feet above sea-level
Highest temperature 115 degrees Fahrenheit
Lowest temperature -66 degrees Fahrenheit
Geographic Center Located in Fremont County, 58 miles ENE of Lander


Climate of Wyoming

The climate of the state is determined by its latitude, altitude and local topography. It is windier and drier in comparison to other regions in the country. The climate is generally semi-arid and continental. Rainfall depends largely on elevation, with lower areas in the Big Horn Basin receiving an average of 5-8 inches of rainfall. Thunderstorm activity in the state is highest during spring and early summer. The southeastern region of the state is vulnerable to tornado activity.


Lakes

Yellowstone lake is the largest freshwater lake in North America.

Some of the important lakes in the region are:
  • Lake Alice
  • Bighorn Lake
  • Bradley Lake
  • Mud Lake.

Rivers

The Snake River, which rises in western Wyoming, is the tributary of Columbia River, the largest river in North America.

Other major rivers in the state are:
  • Bighorn River
  • Green River
  • Belle Fourche River
  • Powder River
  • North Platte River

Mountains

Some of the notable mountains in the state of Wyoming are:
  • Roaring Mountain
  • Aspen Mountain
  • Battleship Mountain
  • Black Tooth Mountain
  • Mount Hancock



Last Updated on: August 21st, 2017