Posts From The Road: Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Bighorn Lake: A view of a portion of Bighorn Lake near the Horseshoe Bend Campground. The lake and campground are a part of the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Wyoming and Montana. Photo by Gary Warren/

Campground View: A sunrise view of the spectacular scenery in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area as seen from our campsite in the Horseshoe Bend Campground. Photo by Gary Warren/

Bighorn Canyon: One of the overlook areas in the Southern District of the recreation area shows Bighorn Canyon and surrounding scenery. This magnificent recreation area is not crowded allowing for solitude and appreciation of the area. Photo by Gary Warren/

Formerly of Los Alamos

The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is on the border of Wyoming and Montana. The recreation area is more than 200,000 acres bordering the Bighorn Lake, which also straddles the border of the two states.

The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a lesser-known area compared to the more popular national parks and monuments, which also translates to equally beautiful landscape and recreation opportunities but without the crowds of people in the more popular parks.

The Yellowtail Dam was built in the 1960s on the Bighorn River in southern Montana forming Bighorn Lake. The lake is about 60 miles long and about 55 of those miles are within the Bighorn Canyon. The recreation area can be reached from the north in Montana near Ft. Smith, Mont. and can be reached from the southern end near Lovell, Wyo. Much of the land mass surrounding the recreation area in Montana is the Crow Indian Reservation.

There is not a through road within the recreation area and the drive distance by car is about three hours between the North District in Montana and the South District near Lovell, Wyo. You can boat from one end to the other.

The unlimited natural beauty of the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers beautiful scenery, a large population of wildlife, as well as boating, fishing, camping, and hiking and other outdoor activities. We visited the Bighorn Canyon in July and entered from the southern entrance near Lovell, Wyo. We camped in the campground and drove and explored the entire southern end of the recreation area. A trip to the northern end of the recreation area will definitely be in future travel plans.

Editor’s note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn are traveling around the country, and he shares his photographs, which appear in the “Posts from the Road” series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Late Afternoon Glow: The late afternoon rays of the fading sunlight cast a beautiful glow across the landscape and valley in the distance at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in northern Wyoming. Photo by Gary Warren/

Wild Horses: A portion of the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range in Montana extends into the Bighorn Canyon recreation area. Horses could be spotted from the road as we traveled and explored the area. Photo by Gary Warren/

Barry’s Landing: The road in the South District of the recreation area ends at Barry’s Landing. The South District begins in Wyoming and crosses into Montana. Barry’s Landing and the Pryor Mountains Wildhorse Range are well within the Montana portion of the recreation area. To enter the area from the north is about a three-hour drive, which is near Ft. Smith, Mont. Photo by Gary Warren/