Often called the “Grandest Canyon in the Northern Rockies” the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area boasts cliffs that tower 1,000 feet all encompassing clear blue waters. One can find wild horses and a multitude of fish waiting to be caught. The canyon straddles the border of Montana and Wyoming and is only two hours west of Sheridan. There are numerous recreational opportunities and attractions within the site. Many visitors like to go to Sullivan’s Knob Trail north of Lovell, where one can yell at the canyon and “hear a triple echo.” About a quarter of the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range lies in the Montana side of the site, where free-roaming mustangs can be seen galloping about.
Photograph by Tim Doolin
From Sheridan, Wyoming:
- Take Interstate 90 north 70 miles to Crow Agency, Montana.
- Turn off at exit 509.
- At the exit ramp take a left and go under the highway overpass. Veer right onto BIA 1 (Crow-St. Xavier Road)
- Take BIA 1 west for 20 miles
- Take a left onto State Highway 313, then travel 19 miles south to Fort Smith, Montana.
- Drive through the community of Fort Smith. You will then see a sign that gives directions to several areas of the park, on the bottom of the sign it says Fee Station. Turn right towards the Fee Station.
- The Afterbay Contact Station (Fee Station) is on your immediate left. This should be your first point of entry into the park. There is an “iron ranger” fee payment station in the parking lot where you can get entrance passes for the park. You can get a map at the contact station.
- During the summer, drive up to the Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center.
- Distance: 110 miles
Last modified: January 7, 2022