- 27 miles (43 km)
- Allow 45 minutes to drive this byway.
- Some fees are required for use of Forest Service campgrounds.
Leave behind your vehicle to enter Bighorn National Forest; any motorized or mechanical vehicles are banned from this vast forest comprised of fir, aspen, pine, and spruce trees. Spanning over 1.1 million acres, recreation abounds in the forest's cool atmosphere. Over 1,500 miles of trails offer ideal biking or hiking, and numerous trout-loaded lakes provide fishing. Wildlife such as black bears, moose, marmots, mountain lions, and deer reside here, so wildlife watching always proves interesting. Stay overnight in one of the 32 campgrounds for a night under the stars.
Seek peace at the Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark, located in the Bighorn National Forest on Medicine Mountain. Native American cultures revere this sacred stone circle for its strong spiritual ambiance. Here, Native American people held ceremonies and communed with the Great Spirit to obtain strong spiritual medicine. The calm feeling of this landmark reflects the sacred nature of this prayerful place.
For a taste of history set in a quiet park, visit the Connor Battlefield State Historic Site in Ranchester. Here, General P.E. Connor and his troops battled against an Arapaho village in the Battle of Tongue River in 1865. Today, a monument stands at the battlefield, surrounded by a fresh green park. Have an afternoon picnic here, then indulge in some relaxed fishing at the Tongue River, whose waters stream alongside the park.
Medicine Wheel Passage provides a panorama that encompasses the wide meadows in the Big Horn Basin and the towering trees of the Absaroka Mountains. Three primary points of interest will entice you to explore the land and expand your vision of the people and animals that inhabit it.