Bighorn River Update March 31

About an hour ago, we received this notice from the Bighorn River Alliance via National Park Service.  It looks like it’s going to be a bit before things are up and running again on the Bighorn.  State FAS sites (Bighorn, Mallards, 2 Leggins) are still open for the time being to Big Horn County residents.


National Park Service News Release

Release Date: March 31, 2020
Contact: Christy Fleming 307-548-5402


Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Is Modifying Operations To  

Implement Local Health Guidance


Lovell, WY – Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area continues working with neighbors and partners, evaluating the facilities and park operations on a daily basis in support of federal, state, and local mandates to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Bighorn Canyon is announcing modifications to operations in the North District at Fort Smith, Montana, at the request of public health officers from Big Horn County, Montana, the Bureau of Reclamation as part of heightened security measures, and from the Crow Tribal Government.


As of March 31, 2020, Bighorn Canyon National Recreational Area, North District near Fort Smith, MT, is closed to all public entry and suspending all services. This closure includes but is not limited to the following: 

  • All NPS administered property 
  • All Restroom facilities 
  • Afterbay and Grapevine Creek Campgrounds.
  • Boat ramps at Ok-A-Beh, Afterbay Lake, Afterbay River, and Three Mile River Access
  • The Headgate Trail, Beaver Pond Trail, and 3 Mile Trail. 
  • Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center  


On the South District of Bighorn Canyon near Lovell, Wyoming, the Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center is closed.  The Barry’s Landing and Kane boat ramps remain open. The Horseshoe Bend ramp is closed due to low launch levels. Trail Creek and Horseshoe Bend Campground and all trails remain open to provide healthy outdoor options for the public. These areas continue to be monitored daily and could be subject to closure.  


We continue to closely monitor visitation on the South District of the park and will be basing operation decisions on adherence to the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.  


The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website at www.nps.gov/bica and social media platforms.