Bighorn Canyon: 10,000 Years of Nature & History | WNPA

Bighorn Canyon

National Recreation Area


The vast, wild landscape offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world, and experience the wonders of this extraordinary place. With over 120,000 acres, you can find an astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife, and more than 10,000 years of human history to explore.

Explore the Park

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a stunning natural wonder located in two separate districts, one in southeastern Montana and one in north-central Wyoming. Covering more than 120,000 acres of land, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area has two visitor centers: Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center near Lovell, Wyoming, and Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center near Fort Smith, Montana. Bighorn Lake, the area’s centerpiece, was created by construction of the Yellowtail Dam and hydroelectric power station in 1967 as part of the Missouri River Basin Project. A year later, on October 15, 1966, Congress established Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area for public outdoor recreation and for the preservation of the scenic, scientific, and historic features of one of the nation’s most beautiful places.

Stories from Bighorn Canyon

Documenting Domestic Landscapes at Crow Stone Circle Sites in Bighorn Canyon, Southern Montana and Northern Wyoming
Aquatic Microinvertebrate Inventory and Assessment of Springs and Seeps within Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Climate Change-Mediated Expansion of Utah Juniper Across the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: Implications for Bighorn Sheep
Since our founding in 1938

WNPA has provided more than

$136 million

in aid to our partner parks to fund educational programs, initiatives, and scientific research

Kids in Parks

National parks are places where kids can dream up great adventures! Taking in amazing scenery. Testing out new skills. Exploring places kids may have only heard about. But most importantly, creating new memories with friends and family.

Our public lands are our public commons. They belong to all of us as part of our natural and cultural heritage. They remind us of a larger world that has existed long before the arrival of humans and will survive long after we are gone.

Terry Tempest Williams Author & Conservationist
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Bring the Parks Home

When you can’t get to a national park for a visit, experience it from the comfort of your home. WNPA’s online store is packed with ranger-approved park collectibles, books, toys, and clothing. Shop for a special item.