Wyoming

Click the links below to access photos of highway signs from around the state:

Last Updated December 2010.

What is this?

From January 2009 to September 2010, I embarked to drive every mile of state highway in Wyoming. I photographed navigational signs along the entire journey and this site mainly serves as a dumping ground for those photos. Included within it is what I know to be a very accurate route log since it has been entirely field-verified. Unlike the last state I drove, Washington, there are a lot of discrepancies on the internet about the Wyoming highway system, and it is my hope that this site can provide answers supported with photographic evidence to some of those questions.

Since I did this on a…tight schedule, where the goal was more the journey itself than the photographs of every single sign, the photos may not be up to the quality that some would strive for. I did my best, but on a tight schedule when you’re in the middle of nowhere Wyoming you don’t wait around for lighting conditions to improve, and you definitely don’t drive another 50 miles to get that shot again. You do your best to minimize the amount of driving west at sunset/east at sunrise and try not to drive when it’s precipitating, but things are unavoidable sometimes.  I do feel like I made good progress in my ability to take quality photos- certainly if you compared the Washington photos to the Wyoming photos you would see the Wyoming photos are better without comparison.

Anyway, Wyoming was a fun state. It was not as diverse as Washington (there’s no big cities, for one. The driving is 95% super-rural), but it presented its own challenges and interesting situations. Unlike a state like Washington, where I’d bet a lot of people have at least driven a good chunk of the system, I’d hazard that very few have driven a good chunk of the Wyoming system. A large percentage of the system consists of spurs that involve driving five to fifty miles down a road with no other traffic on it, coming to a dirt road that doesn’t connect to anything with a sign that says “End State Maintenance,” turning around, and driving back. I drove most of the system twice as a result. This was challenging, and on a few occasions I contemplated giving up, because driving a bunch of random spurs that don’t go anywhere really is not all that fun.

That said, Wyoming was relaxing. Unlike Washington where there were other cars, I could pretty much crank up the tunes, turn on the cruise, relax, and contemplate life. Driving really emerged as a destressing vehicle for me in the last two years- whenever I would feel tense I’d just go drive some Wyoming highways and I’d come back relaxed. The only danger to driving in Wyoming is hitting an animal, something I can quite proudly say I managed to not do in an entire system full of roads (including many with no traffic where the deer are completely content to just hang out- I’d say I had about 30 reasonably close calls).

Unlike with Washington, I don’t really feel compelled to point out my favorite highways. Wyoming is really diverse- pretty much all the through routes were in some way my favorite. Gun to my head, I’d say US-14 is my favorite- it traverses a great variety of terrain in what is generally the more treed part of the state. My least favorite routes were for the most part the spurs- 430 and 136 come to mind as being really really long and therefore no fun (430, though, turns into Moffat County Colorado Route 10N, which is a pretty fun and scenic dirt road). I do feel compelled to say that for non-spurs, Wyoming 450 is really, really bad. That’s a horribly boring drive.

So, now that I’ve finished Wyoming it’s time to move on. In a last minute turn of the wagon, I’m headed to the Arizona desert. This should be a fun highway system. It will be the smallest I’ve done despite being in the largest state, but given the fact that I’ll be a poor grad student, a small system is probably a good thing.

I thank everyone who has supported me through this endeavor and hope that somebody somewhere finds this site useful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at davidjcorcoran (at) gmail!com (replace (at) with @ and ! with .). If you feel like you have or know of a website that provides useful information on Wyoming’s highways, shoot me an email as well and I’ll add you to the sidebar.