Hours 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily
Season Memorial Day to Labor Day (for Visitor Center)
Immerse yourself in the relaxing surroundings of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. The canyon offers a diversified landscape of forest, mountains, upland prairie, deep canyons, broad valleys, high desert, lake and wetlands. Since the creation of the recreation area, people have been able to find tranquil settings to better explore recreation, nature, wildlife, and history.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, following the construction of the Yellowtail Dam by the Bureau of Reclamation. This dam, named after the famous Crow chairman Robert Yellowtail, harnessed the waters of the Bighorn River and turned this variable stream into a magnificent lake.
Bighorn Lake extends approximately 71 miles through Wyoming and Montana, 55 miles of which are held within spectacular Bighorn Canyon. The Recreation Area is composed of 120,000+ acres, which straddles the northern Wyoming and southern Montana borders. There are two visitor centers and other developed facilities in Fort Smith, Montana and near Lovell, Wyoming. The Afterbay Lake below the Yellowtail Dam is a good spot for trout fishing and wildlife viewing for ducks, geese and other animals. The Bighorn River below the Afterbay Dam is a world class trout fishing area.
Varied, depending on location.
North Entrance - Fort Smith, Montana - Take Interstate 90 to Hardin, Montana. Turn on Highway 313 traveling 40 miles south to Fort Smith, Montana and the North entrance.
South entrance - near Lovell, Wyoming - From 14A turn north on Highway 37, continuing 9 miles to South entrance.