Special Places

Special places

Photo showing a wildflowers and a mountain


The Bighorn National Forest is filled with special places. With over 1 million acres of national forest, the Cloud Peak Wilderness area, historic guard stations and fire lookouts, developed campgrounds, 1,200 miles of trails, and spectacular scenery, the Bighorn National Forest has something for everyone.

Cloud Peak Wilderness

Photograph taken in 1923 showing John W. Spencer with his camera near Diamond LakePhotograph taken in 2013 showing photographer Dave Stotzel and his camera near Diamond lakeIn Wilderness natural processes are the primary influences and human activities are limited. Here we experience wild places without disturbing or destroying the action of these natural processes. These two identical photos (to the left) were taken near Diamond Lake one in 1923 and one in 2013. 

The Wilderness Act of 1964 defines wilderness as "an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain . . . an area protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions."

Find out more about the 189,000-acre Cloud Peak Wilderness.

Visitor center

Photo looking over viewing platformThe Bighorn National Forest operates one visitor center: Shell Falls Interpretive Site

Scenic byways

Three scenic byways traverse the Bighorn National Forest, for 115 miles of beautiful views.  

  • Bighorn Scenic Byway follows US Highway 14 across the mountain from Dayton to Shell, Wyoming.
  • Medicine Wheel Passage follows US Highway 14A from Burgess Junction down the west side of the Bighorns.  
  • Cloud Peak Skyway follows US Highway 16 from Buffalo to Ten Sleep, Wyoming.