Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Bighorn Canyon

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a land that time forgot. Geologic forces have distorted and bowed once-level layers of rock into immense walls, creating spectacular, 1000 foot cliffs that loom over the Bighorn Lake. This area was established as federally protected land by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, following the construction of the Yellowtail Dam by the Bureau of Reclamation. The dam, named after the famous Crow chairman Robert Yellowtail, harnessed the waters of the Bighorn River and turned this variable stream into a magnificent lake.

Diverse landscapes of forest, mountains, upland prairie, deep canyons, broad valleys, high desert, and wetlands all wait to be discovered at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Set aside time to take in the beauty of this intriguing part of Wyoming's wild lands. With over 120,000 acres of wilderness that straddle the northern Wyoming and southern Montana borders, Bighorn Canyon offers endless opportunites for adventure.

Hiking in Bighorn Canyon

The southern portion of Bighorn Canyon offers 12 hiking trails, ranging in length and difficulty. This area features desert terrain, so hikers should plan accordingly. Water, sun protection and close-toed shoes are all musts for hiking in Bighorn Canyon. Those who decide to explore the trails will be rewarded with open vistas offering spectacular views that overlook the canyon and its surroundings. For more information on hiking, visit www.nps.gov/bica.

Boating and Fishing on Bighorn Lake

Bighorn Lake extends approximately 71 miles through Wyoming and Montana, 55 miles of which are held within spectacular Bighorn Canyon. The lake gives boaters a chance to see the colorful canyon walls up close with either a motorized or non-motorized vessel. Bighorn Lake can be accessed by watersport enthusiasts at Horseshoe Bend Marina near Lovell, Wyoming. For more information on boating, visit www.nps.gov/bica.

Anglers can take in the canyon's beautiful scenery while fishing Bighorn Lake or Bighorn River. With a variety of fish living in this pristine setting, taking time to cast a line in Bighorn Canyon's waters is a must.

For those who want to enjoy Bighorn Lake with a bit more guidance, scenic boat tours and fishing charters are offered through Hidden Treasure Charters.

Bighorn Canyon Ranch Tours

Indulge your curiosity and discover the history behind ranches and ghost towns near Bighorn Canyon. Historic Ranch Tours feature a handful of local ranches and the legendary Western figures behind them. Learn more about Historic Ranch Tours at www.nps.gov/bica.

Bighorn Canyon Lodging

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers a number of established campgrounds within the area and a handful of hotels in the nearby city of Lovell, Wyoming. Those wanting a more rugged experience can find dispersed camping along Bighorn Lake. For more information on camping and lodging, visit www.nps.gov/bica.

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Visitor Information

The south Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Visitor Center is located in Lovell, Wyoming. It is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. during the summer and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during the winter. Contact this visitor center at 307-548-5406.

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