Mouth of the Canyon Trail
Magnificent views of the canyon as well as spectacular views of the Pryor and Bighorn Mountains can be seen here. The deep red Chugwater outcrops are a sharp contrast to the surrounding geologic colors of Bighorn Canyon.
To explore the colors and contrast Horseshoe Bend has to offer, begin hiking at the service road on the north end of loop B. Just before reaching the water storage tank, veer right onto an abandoned two-track. Follow the two-track up and around the hills toward the canyon.
Just as you think you are going to get a view of the canyon, the trail will turn away from the canyon. When the road disappears, follow the trail markers to the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range boundary fence. From this vantage point you can see the mouth of the canyon and its confluence with Crooked Creek. This colorful setting invites one to rest and watch the horses graze below and the birds soar above.
You may either go back the way you came or follow the trail markers through a juniper lined draw to the top of the ridge and back to the road.
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...