Historically, southern Wyoming has provided two east-west routes across the Continental Divide that have been used by every means of land transportation, from covered wagons to modern automobiles and railroads. One of these routes, the Oregon Trail, follows the valleys of the North Platte and the Sweetwater rivers crossing the divide at South Pass, 2,301 m (7,550 ft) high in central Wyoming. The path taken by the Oregon, Mormon, and California trails, it is now less important than a route farther south that crosses the divide west of Rawlins at an elevation of 2,189 m (7,178 ft). The southern route, known originally as the Overland Trail, parallels the path of the Union Pacific Railroad. Three of Wyoming’s five largest cities are located on this first transcontinental railroad, including Cheyenne, the state’s transportation center.
The principal automobile route in Wyoming is Interstate 80. Interstate 25 is the chief north-south route. Wyoming’s major cities are all served by airports, although none of them is considered busy by national standards.
Wyoming’s income from tourists grows steadily each year. Its national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, annually attract millions of visitors, who also come to ski in winter, to hunt in fall, and to sample cowboy-style living on dude ranches. Many others come to enjoy fishing, camping, and hiking in the national forests and on other easily accessible federal lands. Competition for tourists among the states within the Rocky Mountain region is keen.
Nearly all of Wyoming’s power supply comes from thermal plants using locally mined, low-sulfur coal. These include the huge Jim Bridger Power Plant near Rock Springs, the Kemmerer plant in southwestern Wyoming, and two plants along the North Platte River. Hydroelectric power is also produced in Wyoming, chiefly as a by-product of federal dams for irrigation. "Wyoming" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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