Bighorn River Blue Way Trail Can Flood NW Wyoming with Opportunity

Bighorn River Blue Way Trail Can Flood NW Wyoming with Opportunity

Written by on June 29, 2021

The newest “trail” in the Bighorn Basin will have visitors float down the Bighorn River, experiencing the wildlife and scenery of several Wyoming communities.

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is hosting a kickoff event for its latest endeavor: the Bighorn River Blue Way Trail. If implemented, the trail would provide the Bighorn Basin with a new recreation opportunity unlike any other.

The Bighorn River Blue Way Trail is a proposed river trail that would start at the Wedding of the Waters south of Thermopolis and end at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Lovell. It may extend even further to the Yellowstone Dam in Fort Smith, Montana.

This trail will offer access to non-motorized watercraft and tourists. In addition, a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities will be available, including wildlife watching, ever-changing scenery, fishing (over a dozen game fish inhabit the river), and camping.

Courtesy Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

The creation of the Bighorn River Blue Way Trail can bring significant recreation and economic growth to Wyoming communities along the Bighorn River.

Thermopolis, Worland, Manderson, Greybull, Basin, and Lovell could all directly from the trail benefit in various ways. For example, businesses that sell or rent outdoor equipment, shuttle services, fishing guides, and overnight accommodations could see a significant boost as more tourist traffic floats by.

To raise awareness and interest in the trail’s potential, the Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (BBORC) is hosting an event on July 17.  This event will highlight the recreational opportunities that the Bighorn River offers with activities for children and adults alike.

Activities during the July 17 event include a 1-mile guided beginner river paddle and a four-hour, 13-mile Bighorn River paddle.

Those wanting to participate in the 1-mile paddle should come to Basin Boat Dock Park between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The 13-mile paddle starts at 8 a.m. at the Manderson river launch. Participants will sign in at the ramp and float to the Basin Boat Dock.

On land, families can enjoy activities, music, and food at the Basin Boat Dock from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Other agencies participating in the event are the B.L.M., Wyoming Game & Fish, Wyoming State Parks and Trails, the Basin Area Chamber, and the National Turkey Federation. There will also be prizes, including fishing poles from North Platte Walleyes Unlimited.

For additional information, please call the Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center at 307-548-5406.


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