As you journey through Wyoming, you are one of the countless travelers who has looked out to the west and seen the granite rising of Laramie Peak. Near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, approximately 80 miles east of Dwyer Junction, emigrants witnessed their first view of the western mountains with the hazy silhouette of Laramie Peak. Although the sight may have been awe-inspiring for the emigrants traveling on the Oregon and Mormon Trails, it also indicated the start of their journey into the mountains - a much more treacherous expedition than that across the plains. In their diaries, emigrants and other travelers usually noted seeing Laramie Peak. In Chapter IX of his 1891 Roughing It, Mark Twain wrote, "We passed Fort Laramie in the night, and on the seventh morning out we found ourselves in the Black Hills, with Laramie Peak at our elbow (apparently) looming vast and solitary - a deep, dark, rich indigo blue in hue, so portentously did the old colossus frown under his beetling brows of storm-cloud. He was thirty or forty miles away, in reality, but he only seemed removed a little beyond the low ridge at our right. ..." Laramie Peak, which stands at 10,272 feet above sea level, is the highest Wyoming point of the Laramie Range. Part of the central Rocky Mountains, the Laramie Range, originally called the Black Hills, reaches
for 125 miles from the Colorado-Wyoming border to the North Platte River near Casper. Visible from over 100 miles away, Laramie Peak is named for the early French trapper, Jacques La Ramie. While on a beaver trapping expedition, La Ramie vanished from what is now the Laramie River. Upon learning of his disappearance, other trappers in the region named the river after him. Soon the nearby mountains, plains, and many other areas also took the name.