The story of the Bighorn Canyon area involves diverse peoples, places, and cultures in one of the United States most stunning landscapes. This story has manifested itself in the site's extensive museum collection. This collection is crucial to the purpose stated by the park's enabling legislation for Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area "to preserve the scenic, scientific and historical resources."
The site's collection reflects the magnificent breadth of natural and cultural history in the area. Artifacts range from prehistoric times all the way up to the modern era when man and machinery transformed the canyon through the construction of the Yellowtail Dam. Today there are nearly 400,000 objects in the collection.
There are also over 133,000 archival documentary materials. These include rare books, photographs, reports, and memorabilia. One of the most amazing photos shows President Theodore Roosevelt on a ride with Doc Barry, the founder of Hillsboro and the Cedarvale Dude Ranch.
Some of the most extraordinary items in the collection include:
For inquiries regarding the park collections please contact Suika Rivett, Museum Technician at 307-548-5409 or e-mail us
Did You Know?
Long before the Bighorn River was tamed by the Yellowtail Dam, the roiling waters through the canyon were feared. During spring snowmelt, the water turned into a raging torrent, a combination of whirlpools, rapids, and eddies. Conversely, the river through the canyon had a reputation for being placid by late summer, when dry heat and lack of rainfall turned it into a sedate stream. More...