Memorial Day Signals Beginning of Tourist Season
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 23, 2017
Memorial Day weekend signals the beginning of a very busy season for businesses in the Big Horn Basin.
AAA projects that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.
Locally, attractions that have been closed all winter will open their doors to the hundreds of thousands of visitors that will pass through this area over the course of the next few months, and workers are completing construction projects in preparation for the tourist season.
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend camping in the Big Horn Mountains, the Ranger Creek Recreation Area and Shell Creek and Leigh Creek campgrounds are scheduled to open Friday. Other Bighorn National Forest campgrounds, trailheads, roads, and picnic grounds will open in the next couple weeks or as soon as weather and other conditions permit.
The Burgess Junction Visitor Center will open for the summer on Saturday, May 27 and will operate seven days a week through Labor Day weekend.
The Beartooth Highway is expected to open by the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend – although WYDOT maintenance workers continue to monitor the Chief Joseph landslide on Highway 296, about 20 miles west of the scenic drive’s intersection with Highway 120. The slide area received about a foot of snow last Thursday, but the road remains open for travel. The landslide has caused one lane of the roadway to drop nearly four feet since March.
And Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area says that they are shooting for a mid-June opening for the Horseshoe Bend Marina. But all campgrounds are open at Bighorn Canyon – however, because lake levels remain low during the spring runoff, many of the on-lake facilities will not be available for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.