Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is treasure waiting to be discovered. It boasts breathtaking scenery, countless varieties of wildlife, and abundant recreational opportunities, such as boating, fishing, camping, and hiking. The Bighorn Canyon NRA straddles the border between southeastern Montana and northern Wyoming and is comprised of over 70,000 acres of land and water. Established in 1966, the Bighorn Canyon NRA was dedicated just after the completion of the Yellowtail Dam, responsible for harnessing the waters of the Bighorn River and flooding the deep canyon it had carved between the Bighorn and Prior mountain ranges, forming Bighorn Lake. Bighorn Lake extends approximately 60 miles through Wyoming and Montana, 55 miles of which are held within spectacular Bighorn Canyon.
Visitors will find that there is a bit more effort required than average to access to Bighorn Canyon NRA. The majority of the land that abuts the Bighorn Canyon NRA is part of the Crow Indian Reservation and is off limits to most visitors. Visitors will also find that there is no easy way by car from the northern Fort Smith end of the canyon to the southern Horseshoe Bay access points. The most direct route being a boat ride down the canyon or a several hundred mile drive that circumnavigates the canyon and the surrounding Crow Reservation lands. Despite its difficult access, visitors willing to make the trip to Bighorn Canyon NRA will be rewarded with access to a land that offers unparalleled solitude, serenity, and beauty.