The canyon offers a diversified landscape of forest, mountains, upland prairie, deep canyons, broad valleys, high desert, lake, and wetlands. Since the creation of the recreation area, people have been able to find tranquil settings to better explore recreation, nature, wildlife, and history.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, following the construction of the Yellowtail Dam by the Bureau of Reclamation. This dam, named after the famous Crow chairman Robert Yellowtail, harnessed the waters of the Bighorn River and turned this variable stream into a magnificent lake.
Bighorn Lake extends approximately 71 miles through Wyoming and Montana, 55 miles of which are held within spectacular Bighorn Canyon. The Recreation Area is composed of 120,000+ acres, which straddles the northern Wyoming and southern Montana borders.