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Recreation & Adventure
in Buffalo, Wyoming

Discover Historic Buffalo, P.O. Box 383, Buffalo, WY 82834

Aerobics and Weight Training

    The Johnson County YMCA offers a wide variety of fitness and recreational activities for people of all ages.

LOCATION: 101 Klondike Drive
PHONE: (307) 684-9558

HOURS:
Monday thru Thursday: 5:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday: 5:00 am – 8:30 pm
Saturday: 12 Noon – 5 pm

Johnson County YMCA
Johnson County YMCA

Aerobics:
The YMCA offers a full range of fitness and aerobic classes and training sessions. For specific times for the different workouts call :  (307) 684-9558.

Weight Training:
The Y also offers a full range of weight training clinics throughout the year. There is full gym and work out area equipped with modern weight training systems, as well as free weights, stair masters, rowing machines, track, etc. Please call the YMCA for the latest schedule. You may set up a fitness evaluation or weight room orientation before beginning any comprehensive training program by calling us at : 684-9558.

Some of the essentials we work on in our clinics, which are all led by professional trainers and YMCA trained specialists, are High Intensity Training, Basic Muscle Theory, Demonstration of Techniques, Breathing and Your Safety and Goal Setting.

Biking and Mountain Biking

     Within the City of Buffalo, there are plenty of places to bike, and it is an enjoyable way to see our city. For the slightly more adventurous there is a bike trail that starts just past the old Veterans Home near Clear Creek and then follows Hwy. 16 towards the mountains for about 3 miles. This all asphalt bike and path way is completely separate from the highway and provides you a great view of the Bighorn Mountains. The route and a map are included in the Clear Creek Trail System brochure available from the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.
 
     Mountain Biking in the Bighorns is both a challenging workout and a great way to cover a lot of ground! Information about those trails that are particularly good for and open to mountain biking are available from the Bighorn Forest Service on Hart Street and from the Chamber of Commerce.

Boating & Water-skiing

Lake DeSmet
Lake DeSmet

     Boating opportunities abound in the Bighorns region. One of the most popular destinations for boating and water-skiing is Lake DeSmet, just north of Buffalo. On the west side of the lake are boat ramps and docks. It is also equipped with picnic shelters, camp sites, restroom facilities and BBQ grills.

     Boat operators must be at least 16 years old here in the Equality State. This includes personal watercraft such as "Wave Runners" or "Jet Skis". Persons under 16 years-of-age can operate a boat if they are accompanied by an adult and the adult is responsible for the craft's safe operation.

     Wyoming law requires that watercraft, whether motored or not, must carry a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device (PFD) of a suitable size for each person on board.

For more information on Boating restrictions, see the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Web site.

Golfing

Buffalo Golf Club
550 W. Hart Street
(307) 684-5266

     In 1994, Golf Digest chose the Buffalo Golf Club as one of the best places in Wyoming to play. The Buffalo course boasts incredible scenic views of the Big Horns, with a challenging 18-hole, par 72 play.  Rentals of equipment and carts are available and there is a restaurant in the club house. One of the best golf deals around!

Buffalo Golf Course

Hiking & Backpacking in the Big Horns

Hiking & Backpacking
    Hiking in the Bighorn National Forest can be an enjoyable, rewarding experience. Trails are found along lakes and streams, across grassy parklands and climbing to reach the highest mountain summits. Those listed on the accompanying trail table provided by the Forest Service are only a sample of opportunities awaiting the visitor.

     We encourage you to purchase a detailed Forest Map to accurately locate these trails. The Forest Map can be purchased at any of the Bighorn's District Offices and at many commercial outlets throughout the area. Topographic maps are available through the US Geological Survey or at local sporting goods stores.

Take responsibility for a safe memorable trip:

  Plan ahead
  Know your abilities and limitations
  Tell someone where you're going
  Carry the appropriate maps
  Be aware of weather changes
  Carry water, food, first-aid kit, and
   other essentials.

Backpacking & Day Hikes

     Backpacking offers great freedom for the forest adventure. You become part of a nature and survive in an environment with few modern conveniences. With this freedom goes an individual responsibility to care for the environment and respect the rights of those you meet along the way. Help protect this fragile resource by following the "Leave No Trace" principles listed below.

If you are planning a trip to the CLOUD PEAK WILDERNESS AREA, please follow these additional regulations.

  • Campfires, other than a self contained stove, are not allowed within 300 feet of lakes, streams or trails.

  • Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of any lake or stream.

  • Camping at sites posted as being closed is not permitted.

  • Camping structures such as hitching racks, tent frames, pegs, and fire rings must be dismantled after use.

  • Hitching, tethering or hobbling a horse must be done so it does not cause injury to any live trees. Keep hitched or hobbled horses 100 feet from a lake or stream.

  • Groups may have a maximum of 25 people or a combination of 25 people and/or recreational stock, except no more than 15 head of stock in any group.

  • Cutting a trail switchback is not permitted.

  • Possessing a bicycle or other mechanical or other motorized vehicle is prohibited.

  • All users must register prior to entry.

  • IMPORTANT: OBTAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON NEW AND SEASONAL FIRE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE HIKING OR CAMPING IN THE BIGHORN NATIONAL FOREST!

Trail #

Trail Name

Trip Duration

Trail Head
Location

Destination
or Access

Difficulty

Use

Mileage (1)

Season

053 Bucking Mule Falls 2-4 days FR 14 or FR 137* Devil Canyon M-D L 12.0 L
053 Bucking Mule Falls (4) 1 day End of FR 14 Bucking Mule Falls E-M L 3.0 L
004 Dry Fork Ridge 1 day or 2-4 days FR 113* or FR 149* Dry Fork Canyon M-D L 10.5 L
076 Bull Elk Park 2-4 days FR145/147* or Trail 004 Bull Elk Park Natural Area M-D L 9.5 M
050 Little Horn (4) 1 day or 2-4 days FR 11 or FR 113* Little Bighorn River Canyon M-D L 18.0 L
011 Black Mtn. Lookout 1 day FR 16/222* Black Mtn. Fire Lookout M L 2.0 E
013 Sibley Lake Nordic 1 day US 14 (Sibley Lake) Sibley Lake Rec. Area E-M M 1.6 W
015 Soldier Creek 1 day or 2-4 days End of County Rd 52 or Trail 14 Walker Prairie D L 5.1 M
430 South Tongue 1 day End of FR 193* or FR 16 South Tongue River E-M L 4.5 M
002 Tongue River Canyon 1 day or2-4 days End of County Rd 133 (Dayton) or FR 166* (Burgess RS) Tongue River Canyon E-M M 11.5 E
057 Shell Creek 1 day or 2-4 days FR 17 (Ranger Creek CG) Adelaide Lake / Shell Reservoir E-M M 5.3 M
056 Beef 1 day US 14 or FR 264* Cedar Creek E-M L 10.0 E
184 Shell Bench 1 day US 14 (Post Creek PA or FR 17 (Ranger Creek CG) Shell Canyon M L 10.0 E
025 Edelman (2) (4) 2-4 days FR 17 or Trail 038 (Solitude) Edelman Pass / Solitude M L 10.7 L
059 North High Park 1 day FR 17 (Lower Paintrock Lake) Teepee Pole Flats / Solitude M M 4.0 L
116 Kinky White / Paintrock Loop 2-4days FR 17 (Lower Paintrock Lake) Loop with Trails 062, 038, & 059 D L 14.0 L
116 Paintrock / Battle Park Loop 5-7 days FR 17 (Lower Paintrock Lake) Loop with Trails 173, 164, 038, & 059 D L 21.6 L
014 Walker Prairie 1 day FR 26/296* (Big Goose RS) Big Goose Falls E L 3.0 M
592 Coffeen Park (2) 1 day or 2-4 days FR 26/293* Lake Geneva or Edleman Pass via Trails 025 or 038 E-M M 4.0 to 5.0 L
021 Coney Lake (2) 1 day FR 26 Coney Lake E H 3.3 L
033 Story Penrose (3) 1 day End of County Rd 194 Penrose Park or Trail 038 M H 13.2 M
014 Walker Prairie 1 day FR 26/296* (Big Goose RS) Big Goose Falls E L 3.0 M
592 Coffeen Park (2) 1 day or 2-4 days FR 26/293* Lake Geneva or Edleman Pass via Trails 025 or 038 E-M M 4.0 to 5.0 L
021 Coney Lake (2) 1 day FR 26 Coney Lake E H 3.3 L
033 Story Penrose (3) 1 day End of County Rd 194 Penrose Park or Trail 038 M H 13.2 M
098 Upper Tensleep / Baby Wagon (2) 1day End of FR 419* Maybelle Lake M L 3.4 M
173 Battle Park / Paintrock Loop (2) 5-7 days End of FR 24 (Battle Park) Loop with Trail 116, 059, 038, & 164 D L 21.6 L
065 Roy Loudon North (2) 1day or 2-4 days End of FR 27 (West Tensleep Lake Trailhead) Mirror & Lost Twin Lakes M-D M 5.5 L
065 Roy Loudon South 1day End of FR 27 (West Tensleep Lake Trailhead) Middle Tensleep Creek Falls E M 2.0 L
067 Highline 1day or 2-4 days FR 24 (Deer Park CG) East Tensleep Lake M M 4.0 L
063 Misy Moon (2) 1day or 2-4 days End of FR 27 (West Tensleep Lake) or Trail 038 (5) Lake Helen, Marion and Misty Moon E-M H 7.0 L
409 Willow Park Nordic 1day US 16 (Willow Park Group) Willow Park Area (Loops) E-M M 27.0 W
555 Elgin Park (4) 1 day End of FR 372* Elgin Area/Pines Lodge E L 4.3 E
088 Lake Angeline (2) 2-4 days End of FR 391* Lake Angeline M-D M 4.2 L
024 Soldier Park (2) (4) 1 day or 2-4 days FR 19 (Hunter Corrals) (5) (6) Solitude Loop Trail M H 5.0 L
045 Seven Brothers (2) 1 day or 2-4 days FR 19 (Hunter Corrals)/FR 395* (5) (6) Seven Brothers Lakes M H 5.8 L
182 Circle Park (2) 1 day or 2-4 days FR 20 (Circle Park) Sherd Lake, South Fork Ponds. Loop with Trails 046, 095 E H 1.0 to 8.9 L
038 Solitude Loop (2) 5-7 days Circumnavigates Cloud Peak Wilderness Cloud Peak Wilderness M-D H 53.1 L

Key:
Difficulty: E=Easy, M=Moderate, D=Difficult
Use: L=Low, M=Moderate, H=High
Season: (Typical months trails become snow free) E=Early (May-June), M=Mid (June-July), L=Late (July-August), W=Winter

Footnotes:
(1) Mileage is recorded as one-way except for loop trails.
(2) Trail enters the Cloud Peak Wilderness. Special regulations apply.
(3) Trail used by ATV's (motorized).
(4) Major use by horses (horse use is permitted on all trails).
(5) Corrals available for horse use.
(6) Camping available at trailhead.
(*) Access requires 4-wheel drive. Use of passenger cars may result in longer hiking distances.
116) Designates multiple trail routes to complete suggested loop.
RS = Ranger Station; CG = Campground; PA = Picnic Area

Horseshoes

     Washington Memorial Park offers a wide variety of fitness and recreational activities for people of all ages in our community. If you’re in the mood to take on some of our local competition in horseshoes – well, this is the place! The park boasts regulation horseshoe pits along side Clear Creek, and they are well shaded by 100 year old cottonwood trees. Located in the City Park off Burritt & DeSmet, the whole area is surrounded by trees, walking paths, picnic tables and, of course, beautiful Clear Creek. And it’s just one block off of Buffalo’s Historic Main Street District!

Horseback Riding

    The Big Horns region around Buffalo offers ample opportunity for horseback riding. If you want to explore our native landscape on horseback, there are holding corrals and ramps available at Circle Park and the Hunter Corrals trailheads within the Bighorn National Forest (see the chart under hiking for the exact location of these sites). Several of the guest ranches and area outfitters also offer horseback riding on hourly, 1/2 day, day, overnight, pack trips and drop camps.

Horseback Riding

Hunting and Fishing

Bull Elk
Bull Elk

Hunting

     Johnson County offers marvelous hunting opportunities for several types of big game species including elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bear, mountain lion and pronghorn antelope. As well there are a variety of upland game birds that can be hunted. Outfitters in the area are available for guided hunts….or go it on your own!

     Hunting is allowed on National Forest lands, however, Wyoming statute says nonresidents must have a licensed guide or resident companion to hunt big or trophy game in national forest wilderness areas. The resident companion will need to get a free non-commercial guide license from a G&F office.

     The law does not prohibit nonresidents from hiking, fishing or hunting game birds or coyotes in wilderness areas. Only nonresident big and trophy game hunters must have a licensed guide or resident companion.

Licensing: There really aren't any secrets to winning in the draw, but an understanding of the drawing process may be of benefit. In a nutshell, some areas are easier to draw than others. If there is a truism about drawing, it is that public land areas are generally more difficult to draw than private areas. It's not unusual for public land antelope areas to have three or four residents apply for every license. For nonresidents, it's even more difficult with odds being 10 to 1 or worse for public antelope areas. If you apply for a license in a private land area, you'll almost always improve your odds of drawing, but you are strongly advised to have permission lined up to hunt before you apply.

Fishing
 
     Most streams and lakes provide good trout fishing. Fish species include brook, brown, cutthroat trout, and grayling. Fishing opportunities abound in the Middle Fork of the Powder River near Kaycee, area reservoirs, and the mountain streams and lakes within the Bighorn National Forest and Cloud Peak Wilderness surrounding Buffalo. Two of the most popular sites are Lake DeSmet and Healy Reservoir.

Licenses are required for fishing and hunting. Contact the Wyoming Game and Fish department for more information.

Fishing

Karate

    The Johnson County YMCA offers a wide variety of fitness and recreational activities for people of all ages.

LOCATION: 101 Klondike Drive
PHONE: (307) 684-9558
HOURS: Monday thru Thursday: 5:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday: 5:00 am – 8:30 pm
Saturday: 12 Noon – 5 pm

     A great class for physical and mental discipline.  Karate Classes are taught on a month to month basis, please call us for the latest program information at : (307) 684-9558.

Nature Walks in & around Buffalo

Clear Creek Trail System

The Clear Creek Trail System

     The Clear Creek Trail System stretches across the City of Buffalo, hugging the beautiful Clear Creek for almost 13 miles! The trail system is a wonderful way to enjoy Buffalo and the wildlife that abounds within the environs of the city. On your walks you may well encounter all kinds of birds, deer, rabbits, marmots, etc.

     The Trail is divided into different sections and easily assessable along different points – depending on your interest and energy level. The trail is readily identified with signs and mileage markers. Dogs are especially welcome on "certain" portions. A brochure identifying the trail and trail etiquette is available from the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.

Scenic Auto Tours

There are 3 major highways traversing the Big Horns in an east-west direction. Each offers its own distinct and memorable scenery with relatively equal travel distances and comparable surfaces. So the choice is up to you and your travel objectives:
     CLOUD PEAK SKYWAY (US Hwy 16) traverses the southern Big Horn Mountains and offers breathtaking vistas of distant snowcapped peaks along its 45 mile length. This route connects the towns of Buffalo and Tensleep, Wyoming. Highlights include Hospital Hill, Powder Pass, Meadow Lark Lake and Tensleep Canyon. The Cloud Peak Skyway is the safest, most scenic and most direct route over the Big Horn Mountains to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  It provides the best views of the tallest peaks of the Big Horn Mountains, including the tallest - Cloud Peak at over 13,000 feet. Open year around.

Cloud Peak Skyway

     BIGHORN SCENIC BYWAY (US Hwy 14) connects Sheridan and surrounding communities with Greybull, Wyoming and includes 45 miles of scenic mountain driving. Look out over spectacular valley views from one of several roadside turnouts -- on a clear day, you can see forever. Interesting stops include Shell Falls, Burgess Junction Visitor Center and Sand Turn. Open year around.

     MEDICINE WHEEL PASSAGE (US Hwy 14A) rises sharply from the Bighorn Basin near Lovell, Wyoming and winds 25 miles through steep canyon terrain and high alpine meadows to Burgess Junction. This route provides primary access to the Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark. This may not be the best choice for those pulling trailers or driving an RV -Grades exceed 10%. Open from May to November.

     A stop at the Medicine Wheel is highly recommended!  It is the largest intact Medicine Wheel in North America, and predates the Native American peoples who live here today. Nevertheless, the recognize its importance as a sacred site and the fence around the medicine wheel is covered in prayer offerings left by Native non-Native visitors. The view of the great basin from this site explains why it was originally chosen. Because of damage over the years and the danger of maintaining two way traffic to the top of the mountain, visitors must now hike up to the Medicine Wheel. So bring plenty of water and good shoes. For those unable to walk the rangers on site will allow vehicle travel.

Historic and Scenic Loop Tours around Buffalo and Johnson County

    Nothing compares to visiting – up close and personal -- the majesty of nature and the feel of history all around you! Around Buffalo and Johnson County, the opportunity for both abounds. Here are some easily accessible sites, along with some that may well require four-wheel drive – depending on the time of year. Maps to these sites are available through the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.

Bud Love Winter Range (1-2 hours)

     On this tour, there is some of the most scenic mountain views imaginable of the Bighorns. As it traverses a wildlife reserve, expect to see white tail deer, mule deer, antelope, wild turkey and other game birds, as well as elk in the winter months.

Fort Phil Kearny

Fort Phil Kearny (1/2 to a full day tour)

     Relive some of the West’s legendary history on this tour of where some of the fiercest fighting between Native American’s and the U.S. Calvary took place. The highlight of this tour is the Fort Phil Kearny historic site, which has a visitors center and museum with outstanding displays of battle scenes and local history.

Crazy Woman Canyon (half day, but NOT recommended for trailers or large RVs)

     One of the favorite outings for locals looking for a beautiful drive and nice, cool place to picnic in the middle of the summer, Crazy Woman Canyon offers a close up view of beautiful rock formations as it hugs a roaring mountain stream along its way. This tour follows a single gravel road through high canyon walls and ends with a great view of the surrounding Big Horn Mountains.

Crazy Woman Canyon

Pole Creek and Sheep Mountain (one half to a full day, but high clearance vehicles are necessary for some sections of this route)

     This tour provides breathtaking panoramic views of Hazelton and Cloud Peaks, the Powder River Basin, as well as likely sightings of mule deer and other wildlife.

Outlaw Cave & Dull Knife Battlefield (one half to a full day, but high clearance vehicles are necessary for some sections of this route)

     This loop tour takes you into the "Hole-in-the-Wall" hideout area of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Johnson County locals and visitors enjoy the wildlife found on this tour as much they do soaking up the history and tales about this wild bunch of local outlaws. The Middle Fork of the Powder River is also viewed along this route.

Swimming - Outdoor and Indoor Pools

Washington Memorial Park Swimming Pool

     Washington Park offers a wide variety of fitness and recreational activities for people of all ages in our community. The largest outdoor swimming pool in this region, it is 120 x 80 meters. And it’s FREE! Located in the City Park off Burritt & Angus, the whole area is surrounded by trees, walking paths, picnic tables and beautiful Clear Creek. It’s just one block off of Buffalo’s Historic Main Street District!

     There is even a waterpark for the kids. Life guards on duty at all times, and snack shack is on the premises. Open from mid-morning to sunset June, July and August.

Buffalo Swimming Pool - Washington Park
Buffalo Swimming Pool - Washington Park

YMCA Swimming Pool

The Johnson County YMCA offers a wide variety of fitness and recreational activities for people of all ages. It offers a six-lane, 25 yard pool with diving board, Jacuzzi, locker rooms with showers and youth game room. It has several swim programs on our schedule (lap swim, open swim, swim team, lessons, etc.), so call to confirm. You may also wish to set up a fitness evaluation before beginning any training program by calling us at : (307) 684-9558.

LOCATION: 101 Klondike Drive
PHONE: (307) 684-9558
POOL HOURS: Monday thru Thursday: 5:30 am-8:30 pm
Friday: 5:30 am – 3:30 pm
Saturday: 12 Noon – 3:30 pm
Sunday: 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Aquatic Classes

  • Skipper Preschool Swim Lessons for Ages 3,4,5: (call for your age group and for registration). The objectives of the Skippers Program are Fun, Exercise, Parent Education, Water Adjustment, and Safety Education.

  • Senior Swim: This class focuses on exercises to improve mobility of the muscles and joints.

  • AFYAP Arthocise: This Arthritis Foundation and the YMCA have jointly designed and program of exercisers that can help to improve joint flexibility and relieve pain and stiffness.

  • Aquatic Aerobicize: This class offers a varying level of fitness through workouts of aerobics, exercise, and dance steps in the waer! There will be shallow water workouts expanding to deep water workouts. This class allows you to work out at your own comfort level.

  • Water Exercise Class: This class is for those who like to exercise, but need the water environment. This class includes walking, aerobics, strengthening and conditioning, and a relaxing cool down/stretch.

  • Adult Swim Classes: This swim class is designed for the adult who has never learned to swim or lacks confidence in the water.

Tennis and Racquetball

     Washington Memorial Park offers a wide variety of fitness and recreational activities for people of all ages in our community. Public Tennis Courts are available for use on a first come, first serve basis. Courts are located in the park off Burritt & Angus, right behind the Washington Park outdoor swimming pool. These courts are lighted so after dark play is available. The courts are just one block off of Buffalo’s Historic Main Street District!

     The Johnson County YMCA offers a wide variety of fitness and recreational activities for people of all ages.

LOCATION: 101 Klondike Drive
PHONE: (307) 684-9558
HOURS: Monday thru Thursday: 5:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday: 5:00 am – 8:30 pm
Saturday: 12 Noon – 5 pm

Tennis & Racquetball at the Y:

The Y has several courts that are available, as well as racquets to rent and balls to purchase. Courts are available for play during regular hours. Call for reservations and more information : 684-9558.

Winter Recreation Sports in the Big Horns

     The Bighorn National Forest offers 387 miles of snowmobile trails, two downhill ski areas and four cross-country ski trails.

Snowmobiling:  Of these 387 miles of snowmobile trails there are great powder trails, as well as groomed trails for the snowmobile enthusiast. The Buffalo Chamber of Commerce has directions to specific trailheads. In addition, many lodges in the area offer machine rentals and repairs. The snowmobile season is December 1 thru April 15. Snow depths and trail conditions are available below. Wyoming law requires that all snowmobile have either a resident or nonresident user fee decal adhered to the machine.

Snowmobiling

Bighorn Mountain Resorts
Meadowlark - Ski Lodge

     Downhill Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowshoeing:  Located in the majestic Big Horn Mountains are two downhill ski areas: Antelope Butte Ski Area and Meadowlark Ski Lodge. Antelope Butte is located off of US Highway 14 and features two chair lifts, one beginner lift and nineteen runs. The longest run is one and a half miles long.  Meadowlark is located off of US Highway 16 about 35 miles west of Buffalo.

     For the cross-country ski enthusiasts, there is ample space to escape into the forests four cross-country ski areas. These trails have yet to be discovered by most Nordic skiers and offer plenty of solitude. Sibley and Antelope Butte cross-country ski trails can be accessed from US Highway 14 in the northern Bighorns and Pole Creek and Willow Park from US Highway 16 on the southern end of the Big Horns.

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Buffalo, Wyoming and the Big Horn Mountains has it all.  Why not plan a trip and discover it for yourself?

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