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Tree Rock

Tree Rock. (Flickr/C.Jill Reed)

This amazing little pre-historic Wonder just might be the most-viewed of all Wonders of Wyoming. Tree Rock is located on Interstate 80, and I mean in the median, smack-dab in the middle of the Interstate. It lies on a stretch of I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, in southeast Wyoming. Imagine the number of travelers that pass by Tree Rock each day. There’s a very unusual median turnout that allows for motorists to stop and take pictures or just marvel at the tree that grows out of a boulder of pre-historic rock.

Tree Rock has fascinated passers-by since the 1860’s when the first Union Pacific train rolled by. It is said that the tracks were once diverted to pass by Tree Rock. In 1901, the railroad line moved south, but a wagon road remained. Then in 1913, the old Lincoln Highway came by Tree Rock, and by the 1920’s, the Lincoln Highway gave way to U.S. Highway 30. Finally, in the 1960’s, Interstate 80 was built, and Tree Rock was guaranteed a large audience for years to come.

Tree Rock is a small, twisted, limber pine tree. And I’m sure there are many others around the Cowboy State that look very much like it. But this one grows out of a crack in a pre-Cambrian Era pink Sherman granite boulder. No one knows exactly how old the little defiant pine tree is, but we do know that the species can live as long as 2,000 years. As for the rock, it is known that the boulder was formed anywhere from 1-4 billion years ago.

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