Johnson County is tucked away between the rolling plains of the Old West and the towering peaks of the Bighorn Mountains. It’s a land rich in both history and scenery. Situated along the historic Bozeman Trail, Johnson County is located in the midst of the legendary, colorful tales of cowboys and sheep herders, renegades and rustlers. Yet the amazing thing about our past is that it’s so much a part of our present. It’s as common to find herders tending sheep on a hillside as it was a century ago. Wheel ruts from pioneer wagons are still visible. And the air is still clean, the wildlife abundant, and land and mountains unspoiled.
Fishing opportunities abound in area reservoirs, Lake DeSmet located north of Buffalo, and alpine streams and lakes in the Bighorn National Forest. Or you can toss a line in Clear Creek, which flows right through downtown Buffalo. Among the many varieties of fish you will find grayling, rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat and lake trout.
Buffalo’s Jim Gatchell Museum and Kaycee’s Hoofprints of the Past Museum serve as the hub for history in Johnson County. In the Jim Gatchell Museum you will find items from the Little Bighorn Battlefield, Fetterman Fight and Johnson County Cattle War. In Kaycee’s museum, visitors will find authentic replicas of an old-time schoolhouse and one-room jail.
Fort Phil Kearny is located north of Buffalo, the most hated fort by the Native Americans in the 1860’s. Visit the museum at Fort Phil Kearny, take a walking tour through the grounds and then continue to the Fetterman and Wagon Box Fight sites.
Whether it’s beautiful scenery, wide open spaces, great outdoor recreation, or getting a sense of our history through the great museums, Johnson County is a place you’ll be glad to visit!