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15 Things to Know Before Moving to Wyoming

Thinking of moving to Wyoming? There are plenty of reasons a person might be drawn to visit or move to (and potentially buy a home in) the Equality State. For many, the state’s natural beauty is the main attraction. Some of the country’s most beloved national parks are located in Wyoming, and the state’s residents are big on the outdoors. Here are 15 things to know before moving to Wyoming. 

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1. Yellowstone will blow you away.

If you’ve never been to Yellowstone National Park, moving to Wyoming will provide the perfect opportunity for you to check out the park. It’s one of the country’s most beloved national parks for a reason. While there, you can visit iconic sites like the Old Faithful geyser.

2. Stargazing is easy in Wyoming.

With its low population density and famous “big sky,” Wyoming is a great location for stargazing. Unless you live in one of the state’s few dense areas, you won’t have to worry about light pollution hindering your view of the stars.

3. Jackson Hole is worth the hype. 

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Wyoming

Teton County, Wyoming, where Jackson Hole is located, is one of the wealthiest counties in the country. Jackson Hole is the gateway to Grand Teton National Park and skiing and hiking opportunities abound. Wyoming is very tax-friendly to retirees, so it’s a popular destination for the older set. Even if you don’t want to settle in the beautiful valley community, it’s worth a visit.

Learn more about Wyoming retirement taxes here

4. Winters are cold and snowy. 

Wyoming winters can be harsh. The average low temperature in December in Wyoming is just 17 degrees. But it’s not just the cold you have to worry about. Heavy snowfall is the norm during winter in Wyoming.

5. Cowboy culture is alive and well in Wyoming.

Wyoming has a definite cowboy vibe that might remind you of what you’d find in Texas. Cowboy boots and trucks are big in Wyoming, and ranching and rodeos are part of life.  The western way of life is held dear in Wyoming, with some towns hosting weekly rodeos in the summer.

6. You can check out Devil’s Tower while it’s still around.

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Wyoming

Devil’s Tower is a remarkable geological formation that was famously featured in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” It’s an iconic site, but one that’s eroding. Get there while you still can.

7. Most Wyoming residents are carnivores.

As you might have gathered from what we’ve told you about the prevalence of ranching in Wyoming, meat-eating is big in the Equality State. Chicken-fried steak, elk, bison burgers and rack of lamb are all popular menu items in Wyoming.

8. Your nearest neighbor might be pretty far away.

Wyoming has the second-lowest population density of any state in the Union. Depending on where you buy or rent a home, your nearest neighbor might not be all that close. That, combined with the state’s harsh winters, means it’s a good idea to keep a basic winter survival kit in your home and vehicle.

Learn about Wyoming property taxes here

9. You can see bison in Wyoming.

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Wyoming

The Wyoming state mammal is the American buffalo, also known as the bison. A bull bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and their shoulders reach heights of roughly six feet. In other words, if you see a bison after moving to Wyoming, don’t provoke it.

10. The air in Wyoming is clean.

Cheyenne, Wyoming frequently tops lists of the U.S. cities with the best air quality. The state’s low population density means there isn’t much pollution from vehicles and the heating, cooling and lighting of buildings. Plus, there are many square miles of preserved land in Wyoming that’s off-limits for polluting development.

Learn about Wyoming estate taxes here

11. There’s a small-town feel.

The low population density in Wyoming doesn’t mean that residents are socially isolated. There’s a small-town feel, with neighbors relying on neighbors and finding their own ways to stay entertained and active. People know their neighbors’ names and wave to other drivers they pass on the road in Wyoming.

Check out current mortgage rates in Wyoming.

12. Cheyenne has some big-city amenities, though.

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Wyoming

Downtown Cheyenne has an Old West feel, but the city provides many of the modern amenities you’d expect from a capital city. There are nightlife options in the form of bars, lounges and breweries. There are restaurants serving Mexican, Korean and Thai food in addition to the classic diners and steakhouses.

13. Traffic is light in Wyoming.

If you currently live somewhere with heavy traffic and bad drivers, you’re probably ready for a change. Why not consider moving to Wyoming? The low population density means traffic is light and you might have long stretches of open road to yourself when you’re driving from place to place.

14. Extractive industries are a big part of the Wyoming economy.

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Wyoming

Conservation and extraction are both key features of the Wyoming economy. The preserved parkland attracts tourists whose spending contributes to the state’s economy. At the same time, mining and extractives are also economic engines for Wyoming. Some people are drawn to the state to preserve the land while others move to Wyoming to work on extracting resources from the land.

15. Living in Wyoming could change your outlook.

Moving to Wyoming might prompt a change in your outlook. All the open space, clean air and stargazing in Wyoming have to be a good influence, right? Particularly if you’re moving to Wyoming from a fast-paced, crowded city like New York, the move could be life-changing.

Bottom Line

Moving to Wyoming is not for the faint of heart or those averse to cold, snowy winters. But if you can make it there, you’ll find rich rewards in the warm community spirit and beautiful landscape.

If you are moving to Wyoming, you probably want to see how your budget will be affected. If you want help with how it will impact your finances or are looking for someone to assistance to you meet your financial goals in general, a financial advisor might be useful. A matching tool like SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor can help you find a person to work with to meet your needs. First you answer a series of questions about your situation and your goals. Then the program narrows down thousands of advisors to three fiduciaries who meet your needs. You can read their profiles to learn more about them, interview them on the phone or in person and choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while having most of the hard work done for you.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/SeanXu, ©iStock.com/TenleyThompson, ©iStock.com/powerofforever, ©iStock.com/SBTheGreenMan, ©iStock.com/Jerry Moorman, ©iStock.com/PhilAugustavo

Amelia Josephson Amelia Josephson is a writer passionate about covering financial literacy topics. Her areas of expertise include retirement and home buying. Amelia's work has appeared across the web, including on AOL, CBS News and The Simple Dollar. She holds degrees from Columbia and Oxford. Originally from Alaska, Amelia now calls Brooklyn home.
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