• Red cliffs descend into the water of Bighorn Canyon

    Bighorn Canyon

    National Recreation Area MT,WY

BIGHORN LAKE GEARING UP FOR ANOTHER GREAT SUMMER

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Date: May 6, 2010
Contact: Christy Fleming, 307-548-5406

As of May 2, 2010, the lake level was 3630.57. The public docks are in at Horseshoe Bend, Barry’s Landing, and Ok-A-Beh. The concession docks will be installed at Horseshoe Bend and Ok-A-Beh by Memorial Day. Floating restrooms are located at Black Canyon, Day Board 9, Box Canyon, and Dryhead Creek. Floating restrooms at Devil Canyon and Medicine Creek will be in place by Memorial Day. 

All of the campgrounds are open. On May 15, 2010, the electricity and water to the Horseshoe Bend campsites will be turned on. These sites are $15 per night. Registration slips and the pay station are located near the restrooms in Loop A and B of the campground. The unimproved sites in Horseshoe Bend and the sites at Trail Creek and Afterbay campground are free. Dump and fill stations are located at Horseshoe Bend and near the Afterbay Campground. Fish cleaning stations at Horseshoe Bend and Ok-A-Beh are operational. Hiking trails are open and offer a variety of scenery. 

The Horseshoe Bend Marina and Ok-A-Beh Marina will be open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. The marinas are stocked with life vests, fishing supplies, fishing licenses, water recreation items, snacks and picnic supplies. Ok-A-Beh Marina also will offer gas, boat rentals, and boat slips. Hidden Canyon Charters will be running boat tours from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend from Horseshoe Bend. 

Campground programs and guided tours of historic ranches will be scheduled through out the summer months on both ends of the park. Schedules will be posted on the website, www.nps.gov/bica, and in the campground bulletin boards. 

As a reminder, Bighorn Canyon does allow Personal Water Craft (PWC) on Bighorn Lake with some exceptions. PWC are not allowed in the following areas:

·       In Bighorn Lake and shoreline south of the area known as The South Narrows. Personal watercraft users are required to stay north of the boundary delineated by park installed           buoys.

·       Crooked Creek Bay

·       In the gated area south of Yellowtail Dam’s west side to spillway entrance works and Bighorn River from Yellowtail Dam to cable 3,500 feet north.

·       At Afterbay Dam from fenced areas on west side of dam up to the dam.

·       In Afterbay Lake, the area between dam intake works and buoy/cable line 100 feet west.

·       At Government docks as posted.

·       At the Ok-A-Beh gas dock, except for customers.

·       From Yellowtail Dam upstream to the log boom.

 

In an effort to remove litter from the Bighorn Lake, decrease the cost of trash collection, and decrease bear activity at boat-in only campgrounds, Bighorn Canyon has removed all trash cans located on the lake. Bighorn Canyon is asking boaters to Pack It In, Pack It Out, and Recycle. 

 

In addition to Pack it in, Pack it Out, and Recycle, please help Bighorn Canyon decrease our human footprint on the lake by:

·       always keeping a clean camp

·       packing out all trash and placing it in trash bins

·       located at the boat ramps

·       not burning food or trash items in the fire pits

·      not placing trash in the floating comfort station pits

·      by using the aluminum and plastic recycling bins.           

Pets are members of our families, but there are some things you should be aware of before bringing your pet to the park.

  • Pets must be kept on a leash when in developed areas and in areas of concentrated public use. This is for their protection, and the safety of other visitors.
  • Pets should leave no traces other than footprints. The owner is responsible for clean-up and disposal of all pet feces. 
  • Dogs are not allowed in the backcountry except when being used in support of hunting activities in accordance with Federal and State laws
  • Pets are not allowed on the swimbeach.

If your adventures take you into the Yellowtail Habitat on the south end of Bighorn Canyon, you may notice a couple changes. One of the most dramatic changes is the new South Habitat Boat Launch, approximately two miles south of the Mason/Lovell Ranch. This launch area is accessed from either the Crystal Creek road. The access roads have been widened and covered with road base. A total of eight culverts were added. The parking area has room for three to four trailers and a loop to turn around in. The launch is usable when the Bighorn River is flowing at 1000 CFS or higher.  

Bighorn Canyon invites you to come and enjoy the lake this year. For current lake conditions or help planning a visit, visitors may call the Cal S. Taggart Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center at 307-548-5406 or the Afterbay Contact Station at 406-666-2452.

 

Did You Know?

Bighorn Canyon rock layers as seen from the lake, photo by Sharon Genaux

While the height of the rim of Bighorn Canyon varies dramatically, the entire length of the rim is the same rock layer – the Madison Limestone. More...