If you've ever been driving along and come into a community like Thermopolis and notice a letter or word on the side of a mountain and wonder what that is? This feature isn't in every community or town in Wyoming, actually only in just over 20 in the state.

They are commonly known as hillside letters or mountain monograms and are a form of geoglyph. According GeographyRealm.com :

A geoglyph is a work of art which is created by arranging or moving objects within a landscape. In creating this art form the artist or group of artists arrange objects to create the art or remove objects in a structured pattern to create lines or spaces that contrast with the surrounding terrain to form the art work.

Geoglyph has been around for thousands of year and maybe you've heard of a particularly famous Geoglyph from Wyoming...The Big Horn Medicine Wheel.

Big Horn Medicine Wheel
Google Maps

No one really knows for sure who started making Geoglyph's, but we do know that in more modern times, Wyoming along with 11 other western US states are known to have hillside letters or mountain monograms on the mountains above their communities. Think of them like you would a "welcome to" sign or a towns water tower. A big ol' "HELLO, YEP...WE'RE HERE!"

There's a myth that says the first communities in the western US that had the hillside letters, were identifying their town to pilots that were dropping mail. That has since been debunked and according to sources that say the letters date back to the early 1900's and have been maintained by school. It's said that the first ones were built by schools to defuse heated rivalries. AirSpaceMag.com mentions that the letters may've been a help to pilots, but school pride wins the true reason for the letters.

Take a look at the Wyoming Hillside Letters and how creative they are.

Wyoming Towns With A Hillside Letter On Mountain

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