This massive national park, covering 1,800,339 acres and encompassing Campbell County
, Converse County
, Crook County
, and Weston County
, used to be but a huge dust bowl. Settlers from the East, knowledgeable only about farming a humid land, failed when they attempted to farm Wyoming's semiarid plains. Poor soil and frequent droughts ended in disaster, and the land soon deteriorated into dust bowls.
Although dry land may be impossible for some cultivation, it doesn't rule out every possibility. Now, the acreage is home to one of the world's largest pronghorn herds, and sheep and cattle graze on the once deemed unsuitable land. The Bozeman and Texas trails cross a section of the grassland as well.
The land lies within the Powder River Basin, and is rich in fuel such as oil, gas and coal. One of the largest coal mines in the country, The Black Thunder Mine is nine miles south from Hwy 59 on east Route 450. The mine continues operation and produces over 30 million tons of coal each year.