Wyoming’s mileposts are based on the inventory number described above, so the mileposts along a given route may not be unique only to that signed route number. A route such as U.S. 287 utilizes several control routes on its journey across Wyoming.
If WyoDOT realigns a highway or joins two highways under one state control number, an BACK=AHEAD (BK=AH) equation is typically used to keep the mileposts in sync. For example, 1.01BK=34.76AH means that the 1.01 milepost equals the 34.76 milepost. This means that the distance between Milepost 1.00 and Milepost 35.00 is only 0.25 mile. Milepost equations remain in use under the new route inventorying system.
Wyoming Highways in the National Highway System
- Interstate 25 – Colorado State Line to Buffalo
- Interstate 80 – Utah State Line to Nebraska State Line
- Interstate 90 – Montana State Line to South Dakota State Line
- Interstate 180 – Cheyenne/Central Avenue Spur
- U.S. 14 – Yellowstone to Sheridan
- Alternate U.S. 14 – Cody to Lovell
- U.S. 16 – Gillette to Rapid City
- U.S. 18 – Orin to Lusk; Lusk to Mule Creek Junction; Mule Creek Junction to Hot Springs, South Dakota, and South Dakota 79 junction). The route from Orin to Rapid City via U.S. 18 and South Dakota 79 is a STRANET Route.
- U.S. 20 – Greybull to Shoshoni; Shoshoni to Casper; Lusk to Chadron, Nebraska
- U.S. 26 – Diversion Dam to Riverton; Riverton to Shoshoni; Dwyer to Ogallala, Nebraska
- U.S. 30 – Cokeville to Granger
- U.S. 85 – Cheyenne to Deadwood, South Dakota
- U.S. 89 – Ogden, Utah, to Moran Junction
- WYO 89 – Cokeville to Geneva, Idaho
- WYO 114 – Lovell to Deaver
- U.S. 212 – through Colony, between Crow Agency, Montana, and Belle Fourche, South Dakota
- WYO 220 – Muddy Gap to Casper
- U.S. 287 – Fort Collins, Colorado, to Laramie; Rawlins to Muddy Gap; Muddy Gap to Lander; Lander to Diversion Dam; Diversion Dam to Moran Junction
- U.S. 310 – Greybull to Laurel, Montana, via Frannie
- WYO 789 – Lander to Riverton
In addition, the following routes were submitted for inclusion in Wyoming’s National Highway System in 1995, but they were not adopted:
- U.S. 16 – Worland to Buffalo
- WYO 59 – Douglas to Gillette
- U.S. 191 – Rock Springs to Hoback Junction
Wyoming License Plates
License plates in the state of Wyoming feature the “bucking horse and rider.” This horse has appeared on Wyoming license plates since 1936. The number to the left of the bronco is a code to determine the vehicle’s county of origin, while the number to the right of the bronco is the vehicle’s identifying number. That number is usually a combination of four numbers or three numbers plus a two-digit letter code. Later versions of the plate have three numbers and a letter or combination of letters. Vanity plates are the county number and a one, two, three, or four-letter word — of course, some four-letter words are not allowed! Plates are currently silkscreened, but until 2003 they were embossed.
This list shows the county numbers and the county represented by that number. The number represents the ranking of the county according to their total county property valuation. If the counties were re-evaluated today, this order would no longer be true. Note that the clustering of Wyoming state routes is ordered alphabetically, not in the license plate order. Thus, Albany County has State Routes 10-29, but it is County #5 on license plates.
- Capital: Cheyenne
- Nickname: Equality State
- Most of the state is above 4,000 feet above sea level
- The lowest elevation in the state is in the northeastern corner, near the Belle Fourche River
- Wyoming is one of the few states to still have only one area code: 307
- Area: 97,813.56 square miles or 253,326 square kilometers, 9th largest
- Statehood: 44th state; admitted July 10, 1890
- Total Interstate Mileage: 913.60 miles
- Highest Point: Gannett Peak (in Wind River Range south of Dubois and north of Pinedale), 13,804 feet above sea level along the Continental Divide in the Central Rocky Mountains
Bucking Horse and Rider
Known as the “bucking horse and rider,” the prevailing image of Wyoming was designed by Allen T. True and was trademarked by the state of Wyoming in 1936. It is considered to be the longest continuously used symbol on any license plate in the United States. The symbol is also prevalent on official state signage (including all Wyoming state route markers and welcome signs), tourist information brochures and magazines, official government documents, and special events that commemorate Wyoming’s heritage, such as the 1990 state centennial. For more information and a detailed history, visit State of Wyoming Secretary of State: History of the Bucking Horse and Rider.
Most Wyoming residents are proud of the symbol, which has become an icon identifying Wyoming products, objects and people. The symbol was adopted to the state license plate in 1936 using Mr. True’s artwork. The bucking horse and rider dates back to 1918, when it was the insignia worn by soldiers from Wyoming in World War I, and was designed by George N. Ostrom. It was later adopted by the U.S. Army to identify gun trails, trucks and other equipment, according to information provided by the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office. However, some historians believe the horse in the symbol was modeled after a legendary rodeo horse named Steamboat, which was dubbed “the horse that couldn’t be ridden.”
This symbol has not been universally embraced, including some from outside the state. In an article dated May 25, 2000, from The Washington Times, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) assailed Wyoming’s license plate, asking the governor of Wyoming to remove the bucking bronco from the state’s license plate, claiming it “promotes and glorifies” animal cruelty. PETA asked then-Governor Jim Geringer to “modernize” the silhouette image of a cowboy atop the bucking animal to “reflect 21st century understanding of the nature of animals.”
A spokeswoman for PETA stated at the time that it was “hopeful that when you learn about the lives of animals used in rodeos, you will not wish to promote and glorify these inhumane events on state license plates. Treating ‘livestock’ like mechanical bulls makes Wyoming a laughing stock.” Then-Senator Craig Thomas stated that PETA should focus on more important issues than “maligning license plates.” He said PETA was “bucking up the wrong tree. Don’t hold your breath for Wyoming to boot the cowboy off the plates to reflect PETA’s politically correct campaign.” PETA alleged that the plates were a promotion of rodeos, even though there is no mention of rodeos on the plates, which contain the image, license number and state name. The bucking horse and rider remains on the license plates and highway signs to this day.
National Forest Scenic Routes
Several stretches of Wyoming highways within national forest boundaries are designated by the U.S. Forest Service as scenic byways. These routes include three routes in the Big Horn Mountains (U.S. 14, 14A, and 16) as well as several others throughout the state:
- Big Horn Scenic Byway (U.S. 14 from the town of Shell through Shell Canyon to Burgess Junction)
- Medicine Wheel Passage (U.S. 14 Alternate between Burgess Junction and Lovell)
- Cloud Peak Skyway (U.S. 16 between Ten Sleep and Buffalo).
- Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway, which includes U.S. 26-287 over Togwotee Pass between Dubois and Moran Junction and U.S. 189-191 from the Rim through Bondurant to Hoback Junction
- North Fork Scenic Byway (U.S. 14-16-20 from west of Cody to Yellowstone National Park)
- Snowy Range Scenic Byway (WYO 130 between Centennial and Saratoga)
- Beartooth Highway Scenic Byway (U.S. 212 over Beartooth Pass, east of Yellowstone National Park’s Northeast Entrance)
- Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (WYO 296 northwest of Cody)
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Scenic Backways
Three routes in Wyoming consisting of county roads (marked by a red dotted line) have been designated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as back country byways. These routes include:
- South Big Horn and Red Wall Byway in western Natrona County
- Red Gulch/Alkali Byway in eastern Big Horn County
- Seminoe-Alcova Byway between Sinclair and Alcova
A word of caution: BLM Back Country Byways include sections of gravel roads in remote areas which are not suitable for wintertime travel or travel during inclement weather other times of the year.
Wyoming Scenic Loop Tours
The State of Wyoming has designated six scenic loop tours, three in the southern half of the state and three in the northern half of the state. These loops have been deemphasized somewhat in the last decade, but were commonly advertised by the tourist department in the 1990s. Notably, none of them are anywhere near Yellowstone National Park. The scenic loop tour routes are:
- Cheyenne and Oregon Trail Loop begins on Interstate 25 in Cheyenne and follows U.S. 85 to Torrington, U.S. 26 past Ft. Laramie to Guernsey, WYO 270 through Hartville to Manville and finally U.S. 18-20 back to Interstate 25 south of Douglas.
- Flaming Gorge Loop starts in Green River and circles Flaming Gorge Reservoir via WYO 530 and U.S. 191 before ending in Rock Springs.
- Snowy Range and Laramie Plains Loop starts in Laramie and proceeds along WYO 130 over Snowy Range Pass to Saratoga. After a side trip to Encampment, it returns to Laramie via Wyoming 130-230 to Walcott Junction and then U.S. 30 through Medicine Bow.
- Base of the Big Horns Loop leaves Buffalo and proceeds northward to Story via WYO 193 and then Sheridan via U.S. 87 before going back to Buffalo through Ucross on U.S. 14-16.
- Black Hills Loop begins in Sundance and follows Interstate 90 and then WYO 111 to Aladdin, then along WYO 24 to Hulett, Devils Tower National Monument, and Moorcroft, and then on Interstate 90 back to Sundance.
- Big Horn Basin Loop starts at Ranchester and follows U.S. 14 over the Big Horn Mountains via Burgess Junction, and then it follows U.S. 20, WYO 789, and U.S. 16 in a circuit around the Big Horn Basin.
The Wyoming Highway pages on AARoads are in no way related to or affiliated with the Wyoming State Department of Transportation.
Page updated June 5, 2018.