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?
Fort C.F. Smith, was the most isolated of the posts which guarded the Bozeman Trail. Active from August 1866 to July 1868, it was under constant threat from the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne tribes during Red Cloud’s War. The U.S. government was forced to abandon the fort and trail. Some historians have called this conflict, “the first war the United States ever lost.” More...