State crammed full of odd sites and curious sights


Wyoming is such an interesting place.

Even when you omit Yellowstone, Grand

Teton Park and Devils Tower Monument,

the state is jammed with interesting sites to

visit and sights to see.

These places are both natural and manmade.

Here is a partial list of some to be among

the most interesting:

The oldest house in the world is located

5 miles from Medicine Bow. It is

the famous “dinosaur house,” made out

of 100-million-year-old fossil bones from

nearby Como Bluff. Many of the great dinosaur

fossils on display around the world

came from that area in the 1890s.

Near my hometown of Lander is the

famous Sinks of the Popo Agie River.

The river goes into the side of the canyon

and reappears a quarter mile downstream.

More water comes out than goes in, which

indicates there are many other sinks in the

surrounding area. A state park surrounds

this amazing site.

Periodic Spring near Afton is another of

these remarkable water sites. Hot springs

in Thermopolis, Saratoga, Jackson, Dubois

and Fort Washakie are oddities, in their

own rights.

West of Cody is the surprisingly stunning

Smith Mansion, an odd log building

that is six stories high and built like a Chinese

pagoda. Its builder died creating it

many years ago.

Between Cheyenne and Laramie is the

Ames Monument, celebrating two brothers

who were instrumental in building the

transcontinental railroad. The huge pyramid

is built near the highest point of the

railroad line. It is 60 feet high and 60 feet

square and easily accessible.

In the same area along Interstate 80 is

the towering statue of President Lincoln,

signifying the highest point of the Lincoln

Highway, which was the first transcontinental

road in the USA.

Several amazing sites in Wyoming are

not very accessible.

Three of the most amazing are an arch,

a mysterious rock ladder and the odd boulders

balanced on three tiny rocks.

To see these, you better be rich or fit.

I doubt if I will be able to see them in my

lifetime, but I hope that you may.

We have written before about the famous

Blackwater Arch high in the wilderness

west of Cody. At one time it was

believed to be the largest arch in the world.

Cody photographer Dewey Vanderhoff

showed me photos he took of the arch. He

calls it “Eagle’s Lair,” because the hole in

the arch looks like a face of an eagle with

a snake in its mouth.

It was created by volcanic action, which

makes it all the more amazing.

This Blackwater area is also the site of

the worst forest fire disaster in Wyoming

history where 15 firefighters were killed in

the 1930s.

Space aliens? There are huge rocks balanced

on three little rocks in at least eight

places deep in the Wind River Mountains.

I have seen photos of them and they are

called “Dolmens.” Again, you need a guide

to find them. It would take a very big forklift

to create these oddities. And the fact

there are last eight similar ones rule out an

accidental creation by glaciers.

In the mountains around Thermopolis

there is an odd round formation, which

does not look naturally created by Mother

Nature. Leading up to it is an old rock ladder,

which has the appearance of being

manmade, although it is eroded and very

old. I have seen photos of it and it looks

plausible to me.

The Big Horn Medicine Wheel is a national

site and well worth visiting high in

the mountains above Lovell and Sheridan.

There are also various rock arrows

around the state that seem to point to the

Medicine Wheel including near Jeffrey

City, Greybull and Meeteetse.

Two places that seem to defy gravity are

Gravity Hill on the Casper Mountain Road

and the highway through Wind River Canyon

between Shoshoni and Thermopolis.

Gravity Hill makes you think you are on

the level but if you stop, your car will roll

forward.

In Wind River Canyon you swear the

river is flowing uphill as it flows north because

the massive canyon walls are tilted

at odd angles.

Just north of Rock Springs is the amazing

Boar’s Tusk, a monolith remaining

from the core of a volcano, which juts out

of the desert floor. You can see it from 40

miles away.

Around it are the equally amazing Killpecker

Sand Dunes. If you have not seen

these places, you need to. There is also

a spectacular petroglyph site there. You

can also find handholds carved into the

soft rock where Native American women

gripped while birthing their babies over the

centuries.

The eclipse in August 2017 was a huge

event for Wyoming. In little Shoshoni,

there is an amazing park built by international

eclipse enthusiasts, which commemorates

that event. The writing and symbols

are literally out of this world. Worth a visit

next time you pass through this crossroads

town.

This is just a small smattering of sights

and sites. People can send other oddities to

[email protected] I intend to compile

more in the near future. We have only

scratched the surface here.

Check out additional columns at www.

billsniffin.com.

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