With 1.1 million acres of rocky peaks, dense evergreen forests, wildflower-laden meadows, and rolling grasslands, Bighorn National Forest is an explorer's paradise. Come in the summer to hike and bike 1,500 miles of trails, fish in cool mountain streams, and rock-climb the legendary limestone cliffs of Tensleep Canyon. If you're ready for more, try scenic driving, boating, and wildlife watching. Winter snows cover the landscape in sparkling powder, turning the mountains into a hotspot for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. With so much to do, the forest is more than a stopover between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone; it's a destination in its own right.
Camping in Bighorn National Forest
Everywhere you go in Bighorn National Forest, you're greeted with a new landscape that's even more beautiful than the last. RV camping is a great way to maximize your time in the wilderness and minimize driving. For even more convenience, rent an RV through RVshare. Simply choose the right model and size for your crew near your home or in a city near the forest.
Leigh Creek Campground
If you're planning to fish or rock climb in Tensleep Canyon, Leigh Creek Campground makes a convenient home base. Pull your RV into a site under the pines; there are no hookups or water, but the beautiful location more than makes up for the lack of services. The campground is usually quiet, and the vault toilets are open for campers' use. Sites here are $16 per night.
Lake View Campground
Situated near the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area, Lake View Campground offers lovely sites on the shores of Meadowlark Lake. Each spot has its own fire ring and picnic table, and you'll have access to drinking water, trash bins, and vault toilets during your stay. Nightly rates are $18.
Shell Creek Campground
It's hard to imagine a more picturesque setting than the one you'll find at Shell Creek Campground. Set high in the mountains next to a rushing creek, this spot delivers beautiful views and excellent fishing a few steps from your site. Expect basic services, including trash collection, vault toilets, and drinking water. Sites here are $17 per night.
Big Horn Mountains Campground
With full hookups and a convenient location southeast of Big Horn National Forest, Big Horn Mountains Campground offers comfort and convenience. Take advantage of the hot showers, large bathrooms, and laundry area after a day in the great outdoors. Many sites offer a beautiful view of the mountains. Rates vary; call for details.
Activities in Bighorn National Forest
Bighorn National Forest is a haven for a variety of plants and animals. On any given hike, you can expect to see bald eagles and marmots; in the Cloud Peak Wilderness, moose sightings are common. If you're interested in nature, check out the Bighorn Scenic Byway, Medicine Wheel Passage, and Cloud Peak Skyway. While you're out on the trails, look for the geocaches that are hidden outside of the designated wilderness areas.
Bighorn National Forest is famous for its exceptional trout fishing. Check out the South Tongue River, the Little Bighorn River, and the south fork of Clear Creek. Many lakes, including West Tensleep Lake, are also open to anglers.
When the sun goes down in the forest, step away from your campfire and look up at the sky. This part of Wyoming has little to no light pollution, and the views of the stars are some of the best in the country.
How to get to Bighorn National Forest
Address: 2013 Eastside 2nd Street, Sheridan, WY 82801
Fee: Entry fee $0
With miles of hiking trails, multiple lakes, pristine streams, and varying landscapes, Bighorn National Forest is filled to the brim with outdoor adventures. RV camping is a wonderful way to experience developed campgrounds and off-grid wilderness areas. Enjoy a full day in the outdoors and a relaxing night under Wyoming's wide-open skies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bighorn National Forest
How many hiking trails does Bighorn National Forest have?
Bighorn National Forest has more than 1,500 miles of trails for hiking and biking. There are trails for all levels, from beginning hikers to experienced trekkers - there's something for everyone!
Is Bighorn National Forest open all year round?
Yes, Bighorn National Forest is open year-round. In summer, visitors can hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, and fish. In winter, there is skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling available in the forest.
What type of wildlife lives in Bighorn National Forest?
Wildlife in the Bighorn National Forest includes marmots, moose, bears and bald eagles. There are plenty of other birds that live in the forest as well, along with a variety of fish and small animals.
Is there a fee to get into Bighorn National Forest?
No, there is no fee to get into Bighorn National Forest. However, there are fees for some day-use areas, along with campground fees and costs for other recreational activities within the forest.
Does Bighorn National Forest offer free camping sites?
Yes, Bighorn National Forest offers free camping sites. Dispersed camping is allowed throughout the forest, and campsites are free. There are no amenities with dispersed camping - campers must bring everything they need with them, and must pack everything out afterward.