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Old 07-12-2015, 03:23 AM
 
Location: From Michigan. Now in Memphis, TN
128 posts, read 218,209 times
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Hello. My first trip out West we drove through the Black Hills of South Dakota and entered Wyoming on US16. This drive on US16 from the border to about where the Bighorn Mountains began to loom above the horizon was one of the most spectacular drives I have ever taken. Even after seeing the beautiful Rocky Mountains I find myself most in awe of the shear expanse of this landscape, with the rising grassy mesas dotting the horizon. It was the epitome of everything I thought Wyoming would be. My understanding is that this makes up most of Weston County. Anyway, all that good stuff aside, can you please tell me if this landscape is unique to this part of Wyoming? It seemed to end at the Bighorn Mountains where things got more, well, mountainy, and that continued into Montana. Is this landscape found elsewhere in Wyoming or elsewhere in the Mountain West? I would very much like to see more of it. It is for this landscape alone that I now consider Wyoming one of the most gorgeous states I've ever been in. Thanks!

Here's a photo of the particular landscape I'm referring to:

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Old 07-12-2015, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Secure, Undisclosed
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As you approach the Big Horns from the east, you move gradually from the grassy expanse of the plains to foothills to mountains - and it is truly a beautiful trip. You can do it in Sheridan County (Rt 14) or farther south, as you did on Rt 16 ending up in Johnson County at Buffalo and it is the same open grazing land. Wyoming is a state where livestock do not have to be fenced in, so it seems like one great big buffet for the cattle.

You can run south on I-25 and see a lot more of the same grasslands and high prairie, but once you start approaching Casper you don't see as much mountain to your west. So for the contrast, Johnson and Sheridan counties (say, I-90 from Buffalo up to the Montana line) are the best places for that view in Wyoming.

As to similar areas in the Rockies, I prefer the eastern approach to the Big Horns over the eastern approach to the chain of mountains down near Denver, but the western departure is better out of Denver for sheer beauty. Greenwood Pass, I think they call it.

Enjoy your travels, and thanks for noticing how nice we look!

R-3
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:32 AM
 
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My favorite view is that part of the state. I love the open country. I love being out there and realizing how small I am in the world. Wyoming has good prairie in other places. But, those in the eastern part of the state are my favorite.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:29 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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It looks just like the eastern half of New Mexico.

I think anywhere east of the frontrange of the Rockies looks like this.


In the north central part of eastern New Mexico is the Llano Eastacado which is a high plain broken up by mesas, buttes and canyons:
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:02 PM
 
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Looks pretty standard for Wyoming at 5000-7000 elevation. In SW Wyoming you get into the red desert which has it's own beauty but also huge vistas and great expanses. Sage & juniper are found throughout the west.
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:51 PM
 
Location: From Michigan. Now in Memphis, TN
128 posts, read 218,209 times
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I hope to take some of those trips, R-3. I'll be noting them for the future.

That view of New Mexico is stunning! I just love the expanse of the landscape and the gentle slopes of those mesas with the very flat tops. I'm a novice when it comes to the West. I've been to almost every state east of the Missouri but only to the top half of the country west, and even then I've never seen the Pacific. I'm sure there's tons of beauty to behold. I just was awestruck by this part of Wyoming. Thanks for your help learning a little more about it.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:16 AM
 
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That landscape is typical of most of northeast/eastern Wyoming I'd say (and lots of south/eastern Montana and even some of western Nebraska). From my experience the farther west you go in Wyoming its more mountains and sagebrush desert. The high plains are pretty unique I think.

The Powder River Basin (northeast Wyoming/southeast Montana) is one of the most unique places I've ever been to. I think it's prettiest in spring/early summer when the grass is all green and wavy.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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These pictures make me want to start out trip tomorrow instead of late next month. We will be driving from New Hampshire to Yellowstone and back.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:53 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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Did I mention that we would be making this drive in a 2004 C-5 Corvette Coupe? We just took a 450 mile day with stops for a museum or two and did it on one tank of gas (16 gallons). We were a bit tired but not exhausted. It is a comfortable car but noisy inside.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Did I mention that we would be making this drive in a 2004 C-5 Corvette Coupe? We just took a 450 mile day with stops for a museum or two and did it on one tank of gas (16 gallons). We were a bit tired but not exhausted. It is a comfortable car but noisy inside.
more comfortable then a Harley Fat Boy
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