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Cloud Peak Skyway

Basics
Length:
47 miles (75 km)
Time:
1 hour to drive the byway.
Fees:
There is no fee to travel the byway. Fees may apply at Forest Service camping facilities.

Description

Cloud Peak Skyway travels through Bighorn National Forest, following U.S. 16 for 64 miles. This section of road that crosses the Big Horn Mountains offers the smallest grade, but still provides an opportunity to enjoy the history and recreation of this mountainous region.

Fort McKinney, one of two historic sites along the route, was founded as a supply depot in 1876. Just one year later, this post was redesignated and renamed Fort McKinney. Today, it serves as the site for the Wyoming Soldiers and Sailors Home. Wander a few miles off the route and several thousand years back in time to see ancient history at Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site. Situated along the Big Horn Mountains' western slope, this site is known as one of the country's most prominent archaeological sites. See prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs that remain etched on red sandstone cliffs, giving you a canvas of archaic cultures.

Spanning over 1.1 million acres, Bighorn National Forest will keep you cool in its mild climate. Explore pine, spruce, aspen, and fir forests where all motorized or mechanical vehicles are prohibited to keep the land naturally marked. Go fishing at one of the forest's several lakes, where trout and many other fish flourish in crisp waters. For other animal encounters, wildlife watch to see deer, elk, moose, and black bears. Be sure to go hiking and camping here; over thirty campgrounds and more than 1,500 miles of trails await you. Cloud Peak Wilderness Area, part of the Bighorn National Forest, covers 189,000 acres. Ice Age glaciers carved and cut bedrock thousands of years ago, leaving behind this boulder-filled, shapely region that follows the backbone of the Big Horn Mountains. The route provides you with the only view of Cloud Peak, the highest peak in the Big Horn Mountains, standing at 13,167 feet. As you explore this expanse, you'll see deer, elk, mountain lions, and black bears.

Drive the Cloud Peak Skyway through northcentral Wyoming's Bighorn National Forest for close-up views of the Big Horn Mountains, including Cloud Peak. With a bundle of history and nature along the way, take the time to stop and stretch your legs as you explore the area around the byway.

Details

Length:
47 miles (75 km)
Time:
1 hour to drive the byway.
Main Roads:
US-16 E
Fees:
There is no fee to travel the byway. Fees may apply at Forest Service camping facilities.

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