Current Edition

current edition

More 1897 Wyoming Features

Written by Dick Perue

Portrayed in the previous “Postcard” were many of the physical features of Wyoming as outlined in volume one of the rare book, “Collections of the Wyoming Historical Society” by Robert C. Norris. 

This week our Wyoming history lesson continues with the rest of the chapter on the state’s many features. Enjoy.

Of the total area of Wyoming, 62,645,120 acres, 10,000,000 are capable of being successfully cultivated by means of irrigation, nearly 10,000,000 acres are covered with timber, but the greater portion is adapted to grazing. The mean or average elevation is about 6,000 feet above the sea, the lowest altitude being 3,000 and the highest nearly 14,000 feet.

The following table contains the hypsometric areas, or elevations, of land in Wyoming: between 3,000 and 4,000 feet – 3,000 square miles (sqms.); 4-5,000 ft. – 19,000 sqms.; 5-6,000 ft. – 20,000 sqms.; 6-7,000 ft. – 24,000 sqms.; 7-8,000 ft. – 17,000 sqms.; 8-9,000 ft. – 7,200 sqms.; 9-10,000 ft. – 4,300 sqms.; 10-11,000 ft. – 2,300 sqms.; 11-12,000 ft. – 900 sqms.; and 12-13,000 ft. – 100 sqms., for a total of 97,800 square miles.

The altitude of the Rocky Mountain region, inclusive of the valleys, plains and plateaus, vary from 680 feet above the sea level at Lewiston, Idaho, to an extreme height of 14.460 feet in the mountains of Colorado. The average or mean elevation of the several political divisions is given as follows: Montana, 3,000 feet; Idaho, 4,700 feet; Wyoming, 6,000; Colorado, 7,000. In and New Mexico, 5,600 feet; Wyoming, 15 of the principal peaks vary in height from 9,273 to 13,790 feet.

The Great Plains, which bound the mountains on the east for almost their entire length, are only second in importance to the mountains. Their surface is usually gently rolling, and, in some localities buttes, headlands or detached masses of rock, vary its otherwise monotonous aspect. In their natural condition the plains, mesas and foothills are generally covered with a short but succulent grass. The great plateaus upon the western flank of the mountain system have a mean elevation of about 7,000 feet above the level of the sea.

In addition to physical features, other “Sketches of Wyoming” listed in the illustrated book are “Early History – Explorations – Development – Live Stock Industry – Mineral Wealth – Timber – Rainfall and Climate – Agriculture and Irrigation – Reservoirs – Wealth and Population,” all of which are good subjects for when we write again.