Go a little wild in the historic Old West town of Buffalo. Resting in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains, Buffalo is a popular destination for hunters, wilderness enthusiasts and aficionados of the cowboy way. From here, visitors can make day trips to a variety of destinations certain to quench the thirsts of adventure seekers of all ages.
The Sporting Life
If you like to ski, boat, fish or hike, Buffalo serves as your gateway to a sportsman’s paradise. Take a watercraft out on Lake DeSmet just north of the town and take advantage of clear, cool days on the water. Jet skis and water skis are permitted on this popular lake, as is fishing. Anglers can cast their lines at Healy Reservoir and in the Middle Fork of the Powder River, as well as in the mountain streams and lakes throughout Bighorn National Forest and Cloud Peak Wilderness. With a little patience, you’re bound to hook one of several trout species, or maybe even some bass, perch and bluegill.
Big-game hunting in Johnson County, where Buffalo resides, is open to nonresidents who are accompanied by a resident companion or licensed guide. You can also set your sights on elk, black bear, pronghorn antelope and white-tailed deer in the national wilderness areas of the county. If you prefer to capture big game with your camera, the open spaces along major roadways and leading into wilderness areas are great spots to camp out and wait for the perfect photo.
Riding the Range
The Big Horn Mountains beckon hikers and horseback riders to traverse the range’s trails, which follow lakes and streams. The U.S. Forest Service provides detailed trail maps and tips for making the most of a hike. Area guest ranches and outfitters offer visitors the opportunity to ride at their leisure, whether for a half-day or an overnight camping trip.
Hunting for Photos
From the comfort of your vehicle, you can still experience the beauty of the region. Cloud Peak Skyway—U.S. 16—crosses the southern Big Horns and showcases views of snowcapped peaks on its 45-mile route. Equally thrilling are views of Hospital Hill, Meadowlark Lake and Tensleep Canyon. Medicine Wheel Passage, also known as US 14A, rises from the Bighorn Basin near the town of Lovell and crosses through steep canyons and alpine meadows, but the main attraction is the largest intact Medicine Wheel in North America. Because of the fragile nature of the stones that make up the wheel, visitors are encouraged to observe at a distance.
Wyoming’s frontier history is preserved at Fort Phil Kearny. The fort’s historic site features a museum and visitor center that share the story of conflict between Native Americans and U.S. soldiers. Butch Cassidy’s famous Hole in the Wall hideout is nearby.
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Wyoming Travel & Tourism