Scenic USA - Montana

Devils Canyon

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Devils Canyon - Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana

Photo by Ron McEwan
Inset photos courtesy of the NPS

     Perched high above Wild Horses - Pryor Mountain WildernessBighorn Lake, it's a breathtaking 1000 feet drop into Devils Canyon below. Out of Lovell, Wyoming, Route 37 follows the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, offering glimpses of this 70 mile long body of water. Just as you cross the border into Montana, a side road leads out to the Devils Canyon Overlook. Here you'll appreciate this spectacular gorge, another one of nature's wonders.
     Extending well into Montana, the Bighorn Canyon NRA was developed around the Bighorn River soon after completion of the Yellowtail Dam. The dam, named for leader of the Crow Nation Robert Yellowtail, created a lake where rainfall averages no more than 10 inches a year. Taking six years to build, the primary Yellowtail Dam - Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, WY-MT purpose of construction centered on storing irrigation water and producing hydroelectric power. Standing 525 feet high and 1480 feet wide, the Yellowtail releases cooler water from the bottom of Bighorn Lake, creating one of the finest wild trout rivers in America.
     The high desert land surrounds the Bighorn and the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. In 1968, a 39,000 acre refuge was established to protect free roaming horses, descendants of Spanish origin. The Bighorn Canyon area is filled with scenic splendor, wildlife and previouly mentioned, some of finest trout fishing opportunities in the Northwest.

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