• Red cliffs descend into the water of Bighorn Canyon

    Bighorn Canyon

    National Recreation Area MT,WY

Hiking

Mother and son hiking the Upper Layout Creek Trail

Mother and son hiking the Upper Layout Creek Trail on a crisp, fall day. 

NPS Photo

Bighorn Canyon has approximately:

  • 27 miles of described trails (13 trails park wide) within the park.
  • The North District of Bighorn Canyon has 3 trails (Beaver Pond Nature Trail, Bighorn Head Gate, & Three Mile Access).
  • 10 of the trails are in the South District

Hiking is a great way to experience Bighorn Canyon. These trails offer varying sights and tranquil settings to better explore the natural diversity the park has to offer. Some trails go through historic ranches while others take visitors to scenic vistas. The trail system is a wonderful way to extend your visit and make it truly unique.

Hiking guides may be purchased at:

  • Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center
  • Cal S. Taggart Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Visitor Center
  • Afterbay Contact Station
  • Crooked Creek Contact Station.

A new Trail and Access Plan is currently out for public comment. To learn more click on the following link:

Bighorn Canyon NRA Trail and Access Planning Site

Maps and other information will be available for comments at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/BighornTrailsPlan.

Comments can also be mailed to:

Cassity Bromley

Bighorn Canyon NRA

20 HWY 14 A East

Lovell, WY 82431

 

Trail Safety and Tips
Bighorn Canyon is a dry, desert area with many terrific views. For your safety, please take the following precautions whenever hiking:

  1. Carry plenty of water especially on longer hikes and on hot summer days.
  2. Wear good, sturdy shoes with closed toes. The canyon trails are rocky and have a lot of spiny vegetation.
  3. There may be rattlesnakes anywhere in Bighorn Canyon. Although they generally shy away from people, you need to watch where you put your hands and feet.
  4. Do not get too close to the canyon rim. In some places there may be weak, unstable overhangs and winds can become hazardous.
  5. Don’t forget sunscreen, a broad brimmed hat, and sunglasses to keep you protected from the sun.
  6. After any spring or summer hike, check your skin and clothing for ticks.
  7. If hiking alone, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Enjoy your hike and remember to stop and look around occasionally. Sometimes the best views are behind you.

Did You Know?

Fishing the Bighorn River, photo by Doug Haacke

Prior to the completion of Yellowtail Dam, the Bighorn River was a muddy, warm water prairie stream. The dam transformed the river into a cold, clear tailwater ideally suited to rainbow and brown trout, and aquatic insects. The Bighorn River now draws visitors and anglers from around the globe. More...