Big Piney, Wyoming

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Big Piney is a town in Sublette County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 408 at the 2000 census.



Big Piney is the oldest settlement in Sublette County. It was founded in 1879, when rancher Daniel B. Budd and his partner Hugh McKay came with a thousand head of cattle from Nevada hoping to ship them, but got caught instead in severe winter weather in the Green River Valley. The following year, Dan Budd relocated his family to what is now known as Big Piney.

Cattle and oil have traditionally been its two primary industries.

In 1987, actress Glenn Close co-produced a documentary about the vanishing cowboy of the American West, entitled, "Do You Mean There Are Still Real Cowboys?" The film focused on several generations of cattle ranching families in Big Piney, originally shown as part of the PBS television series, "The American Experience." It was narrated by actor Robert Redford.

In the Big Piney vicinity is located the Wardell Buffalo Trap, a canyon used by Native Americans to trap bison.[3] Its potential archeological value led to its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[4]


Big Piney is located at 42°32′23″N 110°6′55″W / 42.53972°N 110.11528°W / 42.53972; -110.11528 (42.539768, -110.115350)[5].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²), all of it land.


Sometimes known as the "Ice Box of the Nation," Big Piney has one of the coldest climates among inhabited locations in the Lower 48.[6]

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Big Piney has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc) bordering on a semi-arid climate (BSk).

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