An Ancient Trail
An ancient trail led from the mouth of Bighorn Canyon southward into the Bighorn Basin and eventually to the Wind River Mountains. This route served the inhabitants of the Bighorn canyon region.
The Annual Cycle Of Life
As the season advanced, the people moved ever higher into the mountains until by June or July they, and the animals they hunted, could be found among the cool mountaintops of the Pryors. Here they quarried stone for tools and weapons, tanned and sewed animal skin clothing, gathered any food available, and probably enjoyed life to the fullest.
Bison Hunts - A Matter Of Life And Death
The hunting methods used revolved around the stampeding of bison herds over cliffs or into canyons. There are a number of these killing sites, commonly known as buffalo jumps, throughout the Bighorn country. Through generations of use, stacks of bones from the slaughtered animals became many feet deep.
Following the hunt, the people returned once again to the canyon and it shelters to complete yet another cycle. What happened to these people and why they abandoned their way of life after untold generations is unknown. All that is sure is that long before the arrival of the white man, there were no permanent residents left and the Plains Indians generally scorned the rough canyon country between the Pryors and the Bighorns.
Did You Know?
Bighorn Canyon NRA contains a portion of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. The current debate on management of the herd - 188 strong as of 2009 - concerns its size and whether or not it has grown too large for its protected range. More...