Get back to nature in Washakie County at the southwestern part of Big Horn Mountain Country! Visitors to the area can participate in a variety of the region’s recreational activities, explore the fascinating archaeological history of the Big Horn Basin, or just relax and enjoy the quiet, uncrowded rural setting.
Known for its wide spectrum of recreational diversions, Washakie County offers a variety of activities to people of all ages for all seasons. In addition to picnicking and hiking in the spectacular Bighorn Mountains, visitors to the area can fish the abundance of streams, go on a camping excursion, or photograph the active wildlife. During the winter months, the snow covering the countryside creates recreational opportunities as well, including snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Breathtaking Ten Sleep Canyon provides a sensational vista of the Big Horn Basin, revealing fascinating geology and allowing a bird’s-eye view of the frisky Wyoming wildlife in their natural habitat.
Animals native to the area include elk, moose and deer, among the myriad of other creatures. Along the way, one must be sure to stop at the Leigh Creek Informative Sign, which tells of an Englishman who accidentally walked off the canyon cliffs into the ravine far below while on a hunting trip.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offers the visitor the opportunity to explore the unique scenic badlands. The Gooseberry Creek Scenic Turnout is located a half-hour west of Worland and Castle Gardens Scenic Area is located just west of Tensleep. These areas are home to bizarre rock formations and sculptures that characterize these colorful badlands. Big Cedar Ridge Fossil Plant Area is located 14.5 miles south on the Blue Bank Road between Worland and Tensleep. The outstanding paleontological resources are result of a volcanic ash fall which swept over and buried the standing vegetation on a low coastal plain 72 million years ago. The quality of preservation is extremely rare and the vegetative community that is found here makes it possibly the oldest site in the world where such association has been determined.
Another archaeological discovery in Washakie County is the Colby Site. This mammoth kill site is the only known site in North America where Clovis points were discovered with the meat cache. The site dates to approximately 11,2000 B.P (before present).
Industry provides a backbone for the county’s economy. Sugar refining, beverage bottling, aluminum can manufacturing and oil, gas and bentonite production serve as major contributors to the count’s industrial mainstay. Washakie County, occupying an abundance of fertile farmland, also serves as a major agricultural center, yielding products which range from sheep and cattle to sugar beets, malt barley and alfalfa.
The Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery and Wigwam Rearing Station are favorites of young and old alike, showing the life cycles of fish native to the Big Horns.
Numerous groomed snowmobile and cross-country ski trails and well-defined horseback riding trails are located throughout the Bighorn National Forest with many based from the Meadowlark Recreation Area. The area also includes Haven Lodge and South Fork Lodge where you will find fishing and hiking very enjoyable!
Be sure to stop in Washakie County for a taste of old-fashioned Wyoming hospitality, a host of recreational and tourist activities, and great times!