As you travel through the Bighorn National Forest and by the Cloud Peak Wilderness down through Ten Sleep Canyon, be on the lookout for abundant wildlife. The Bighorn Mountains are home to moose, deer, elk, antelope, black bears, mountain lions, a variety of birds of prey like bald and golden eagles and merlins, Merriam’s shrews, beaver, and the rare spotted bat among countless other species.
The Nature Conservancy’s Ten Sleep Preserve lies 10 miles from the town of Ten Sleep and hosts an impressive array of wildlife and violet-blue flowers called Cary’s penstemon, a rare and threatened wildflower, grow better on the 10,000 acres than almost anywhere.
The Ten Sleep Preserve is a spectacular example of the wildness and diversity of Wyoming. The heart of this protected natural area is a 12 mile stretch of Canyon Creek, carving a deep canyon through the southwestern flanks of the Bighorn Mountains. A rugged collection of canyons, uplands and forests, the Preserve is home to eight plant communities, and over 120 bird species.
Trout lovers won’t be disappointed either as countless streams, rivers and mountain lakes offer outstanding fishing to anglers using bait and lures as well as the fly-fisherman. Make sure and check the Wyoming Game and Fish regulations for the area you choose to fish.