Converse County Wyoming Ranches For Sale – Area Overview
Population estimate, 2008: 13,267, 3.1 persons/sq. mi.
Square miles: 4265
Approximate driving time from Cheyenne: 2 hours
Commercial Airport: None in county, Casper/Natrona County International Airport one hour distant. General aviation airport at Douglas.
Ski Areas: None in the county
Major Communities: Douglas (5300), Glenrock (2200)
Elevations: 4500 to 9000 feet
Major streams: North Platte River, La Prele Creek, Boxelder Creek, La Bonte Creek
Average ranch/farm size: 7427 acres (NAICS, 2002) vs. Wyoming average 3651 acres
Pros: Close to metropolitan Casper, but with plenty of undeveloped land, excellent grasslands, moderate elevation, interstate access
Cons: Wyoming winters
Converse County straddles the North Platte River, which has been an artery of transportation since the early 1800s. The Oregon Trail followed the North Platte, but the region was not settled until the late 1800s. Rich grasslands in the north and the rugged pine and fir-covered Laramie Mountains in the south make up a diverse landscape that supports a diversity of large and small game, and most Laramie Mountain streams support trout. Much of the lower country below 7000 feet is privately held, with the higher portions of the Laramie Mountains managed by the Medicine Bow National Forest. The landscape is enchantingly Western, with many inviting hills and vales to explore.
Cattle ranching and energy are major drivers in the Converse County economy. Expansive historic ranches dominate the northern portion of the county, with slightly smaller ranches common in the foothills of the Laramie Mountains. The county is experiencing moderate growth, due to its proximity to Casper, and its coal and gas resources, but the county retains a decidedly rural character. Compared to other many other parts of the Rockies, Converse County land prices are generally moderate.
Hunting: Converse County holds a good variety of big game, from elk and mule deer in the south, to whitetail deer and antelope in the north. Trophy-class elk are found in the Laramie Mountains, with bulls in the 350-class taken regularly. In the lower elevations, the rich bottomlands are highly cultivated for hay, and big game reaps the benefits of these large tracts of private land as well. Given the generally large size of Converse County ranches, private land hunting opportunities are superb.
Fishing: The North Platte River is the most popular fishery in the county, with the section between Casper and Glenrock perhaps the best for large rainbow and brown trout. Trout fishing exists on the North Platte for its entire reach through the county, however. Most of the tributaries running off of the north slope of the Laramie Mountains support trout as well, brook trout in the headwater sections and browns and rainbows lower down. Private ranches on these tributaries can support browns and rainbows well over 20 inches in some of these streams such as Boxelder and La Prele Creeks. Springs that are developed into ponds are generally fertile trout factories as well. Late season dewatering can be an issue on the lower sections of some of these streams.