Bighorn Canyon preparing for the winter

The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is nearing the end of a busy summer season and the staff is looking toward the winter. In the next month several facilities will be closed for the winter.

The Horseshoe Bend Marina and Ok-A-Beh Marina will be closed this Saturday, Sept. 14. No gas will be available on the lake as of that date. Concession docks at Horseshoe Bend and Ok-A-Beh will be removed after September 16.

The courtesy docks at Barry’s Landing, Horseshoe Bend, and Ok-A-Beh will remain in the water into November or December or when the lake starts to freeze, whichever comes first. Boat ramps usually remain open all winter, however access and use depends upon snow, ice and road conditions. The park will begin removing comfort stations and docks on the lake at Black Canyon, Box Canyon, Dryhead, Devil Canyon and Dayboard 9 beginning September 16. 

Facilities and services may be shutting down for the season at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, but the beauty of the canyon can still be seen from places like the view from the Sullivan’s Knob trail.
David Peck photo

The water at the Horseshoe Bend Campground will be shut off the week of September 16. The restroom next to the marina at Horseshoe Bend will remain open, but there will be no potable water. All campgrounds remain open year-round. The dump and fill stations at Horseshoe Bend and near the Afterbay Campground and the fish cleaning stations in the park will be winterized by September 21.

The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) check stations close on September 15. There will be no available inspectors after that date on the North District. Boats may be inspected year round at the visitor center in Lovell.

The Yellowtail Dam visitor center closed on September 2 for the winter season.  The Cal S. Taggart Visitor Center in Lovell returned to winter hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

“Bighorn Canyon offers wonderful year round boating, fishing and hiking opportunities,” Chief of Interpretation Christy Fleming said. “All hiking trails are open and offer a variety of fall and winter scenery. Bighorn Canyon invites you to enjoy and explore the different seasons at the lake.”

For current lake conditions or help planning a visit, call the Cal S. Taggart Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center at 307-548-5406.