• Red cliffs descend into the water of Bighorn Canyon

    Bighorn Canyon

    National Recreation Area MT,WY

Barrys Island Trail

The Barry’s Island trail starts as a two track road leading north from the Barry’s Landing parking lot. First the trail goes around Chain Canyon, a secret escape route for cattle rustlers in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

At Barry’s Island the road to the west goes to Medicine Creek Campground, a boat-in or hike-in only campground. Continue following the road northeast clockwise around the island. About one third of the way through the loop you will come to another fork in the road. In the words of Robert Frost, “ Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” and you may continue following the two track or travel straight up the one less traveled.

It will make all the difference, giving extra opportunities to overlook the canyon walls and possibly view the bighorn sheep that enjoy this area. The variation in water elevation is evident as you walk around the island.

During low water years, past water levels have left their mark on the canyon walls almost like a growth chart with scattered driftwood marking the highest elevations. During years of high water, the road can be covered. If that is the case, there is a trail that bypasses it just above the road.

Did You Know?

Bighorn Canyon from the lake, photo by Sharon Genaux

The sequence of events that comprise the geological history of Bighorn Canyon is exceedingly similar to that of the Grand Canyon. More...