Off grid living in Wyoming ( Cowboy State )

Wyoming is one of the largest states in the country although it also has one of the lowest populations in the entire country. Currently, the population of Wyoming is only around 580k people, most of the population lives in smaller towns, in fact, there are no cities that have a population above 100k people. The biggest cities in Wyoming are Cheyenne with 65k, Casper 57k, Laramie 32k, Gillette 31k and Rock Springs with 23k population.

Wyoming is one of the best states for off grid living, you can legally live off the grid, the population density is fairly low, and you have the option to grow plenty of crops and the wildlife is diverse. Although the local climate is semi-arid and continental you are still allowed to harvest rainwater legally. On the other hand, the cost of property and living is right on the level of the national average, although the taxes are a lot lower.

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If you love untouched nature then you will love Wyoming, the scenery is simply breathtaking. Wyoming is one of the few states in which cowboys still exist, and I don’t mean people who dress up like cowboys going to the mall, but actual cowboys which work the same as they had centuries ago. A lot of people consider Wyoming as being a flyover state, mostly because except for nature there is nothing else attracting people, although from an off grid living perspective this is a big plus in my eyes.

As most of the population lives in smaller cities and towns, you won’t have any problem finding yourself a nice plot of land suitable for growing crops and setting up your homestead. One of the main problems in many states is the traffic, Wyoming doesn’t have this problem, on the other hand, the distance between cities and towns can be fairly long. Even with such a small population, Wyoming has a fairly stable economy, taxes are relatively low and most of the money made in this state is from agriculture, mining, and tourism.

At first glance, Wyoming seems to be an excellent off grid state, although it has its share of problems. Most states which have a fairly low population compared to their size tend to have a low crime rate but a high suicide rate, in fact, Wyoming has one of the highest suicide rates in the entire nation. If you want to check out one of the states on the west coast then check out my recent article Off grid living in Washington ( The Evergreen State ).

Wyoming climate

Wyoming’s climate is semi-arid continental, which basically means that the summers are mild and the winters are cold, some would say too cold. The average temperature during the summertime is around 75°F, and the average wintertime temperature is around 25°F. Most of the state is flatland which means that there is almost nothing stopping the winds. As the climate is continental type the winds will be blowing almost constantly. If you want to take a look at a state which has a more humid climate then check out my recent article Off grid living in Tennessee ( The Volunteer State ).

Types of crops grown in Wyoming

The main crops grown in Wyoming are wheat, beans, barley, sugar beet, oats, sunflowers, corn for grain, and nursery products. As most of the state’s economy relies on agriculture, the local farmers have a lot of incentives to grow crops. Although if you set up a homestead with a small vegetable garden you will probably not be able to access these incentives. Not all areas in Wyoming are suitable for growing crops, mostly because there are areas that do not get enough rainfall trough the year.

Freshwater availability in Wyoming

Most of the state doesn’t have a problem with freshwater, not because it gets plenty of rain but because the population is fairly small. Although as the climate is semi-arid there can be a major difference between some areas when it comes to the annual rainfall. The average yearly rainfall is around 10″, and this can drop as low as 8″ in some areas. The good news is that even though Wyoming is somewhat arid you can still harvest rainwater legally.

Wyoming wildlife

As most of Wyoming is untouched nature, there are a lot of animals living here from bison, bobcat, wolverine, cougar, grizzly bear, American black bear, white-tailed deer, elk, moose, and even wild horses amounts other types of animals.  Wyoming has in fact one of the largest reservations in the country, named Wind River reservation. In the local rivers and lakes, you will find sunfish, catfish, trout, walleye, salmon, yellow perch and whitefish. You will need a license both for fishing and hunting https://wgfd.wyo.gov/apply-or-buy.

Generating power off the grid in Wyoming

  • Solar power: Solar panels are a great option for generating power in this state, although in the more arid areas you have to get ready to clean the panels fairly often as they will be covered by dust in no time. The good news is that Wyoming doesn’t have a state tax, the and news is that usually, incentives for solar power which are available in other states will not be available here. On the other hand, you can always apply for the federal tax credit which is around 30%.
  • Wind power: Wyoming is excellent for generating power with wind turbines, the wind is constantly blowing. Although there are no statewide incentives for wind power you can still apply for the federal tax credit.

Wyoming off grid laws

You can legally live off the grid in Wyoming, currently, there are no laws stopping you, in fact, Wyoming has a lot of people living off the grid. You can also legally haven’t rainwater even though the climate is semi-arid, although this might change in the future if the population starts growing, but this won’t be an issue for the next decade or so as the population is shrinking rather than growing. You can also homeschool your children without any problems as the homeschooling laws are fairly relaxed. If you want to know where are the best places to live off the grid in this state then check out my recent article Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Wyoming ( Top 7 Counties ).

Wyoming road access

Wyoming has one of the lowest death rates caused by accidents on the roads, although this is not because the quality of the roads is so high but because the state is sparsely populated. During the wintertime some areas could be inaccessible due to snowfall or ice covering the roads, the winters in this state are fairly harsh so you should prepare for them as best as you can.

Price of land in Wyoming

The price of land and property is almost the same as the national average, the difference being only just 1%. Usually, states which have a small population tend to have cheaper costs of housing and property, as Wyoming is right on the national average is one of the reasons why not so many people move into this state.

Wyoming property tax

The property tax in Wyoming is one of the lowest in the entire country, currently, it is at 0.61% and the national average is around 1.08%. Generally speaking most of the states which do have such a low property tax also have a fairly low price of housing and land.

Cost of living in Wyoming

When it comes to the cost of living Wyoming is an average state, you will pay around 6% less for utilities, and 23% less for transportation than the national average. The one thing that is more expensive in this state is health care which is around 30% higher than the national average.

Wyoming jobs

The unemployment rate in Wyoming is at 3.8% which is somewhat above the national average. The minimum wage is at $7.25 which is lower than in the neighboring states. The biggest industries where most of the people work are agriculture, mining, government, manufacturing, and transportation.

Wyoming crime rate

The crime rate in Wyoming is below the national average, currently, there are 2.11 crimes per 1000 people and the national average is at 4 crimes per 1000 people. The safest areas are around Rolling Hills, Upton, Farson, Basin, and Rock River. The areas with the highest crime rates are Lander, Riverton, Cheyenne, and Gillette.

Wyoming natural disasters

The most common natural disasters in Wyoming are floods, landslides, and earthquakes. Generally speaking, Wyoming is a fairly safe state when it comes to natural disasters although some scientists are worried about the seismic movements in Yellowstone Park.

In conclusion

Overall Wyoming is probably one of the best states for off grid living, although not the cheapest. The local climate can also be difficult to adjust to if you are coming from the southern part of the country, especially in some areas where the climate is arid.