A Driver's Guide to the Bighorn Mountains

Part 1: US14 from Dayton to Burgess Junction

US14 nears the Bighorn Mountains west of Dayton.

As US14 passes through the small town of Dayton, the forested northeastern flank of the Bighorn Mountains rises ahead. The highway ascends a series of long switchbacks before heading up the valley of the Little Tongue River. There is a pullout at Sand Turn which offers a great view of the Powder River Basin. This is also a popular launching point for hang-gliders.

View to the east (left) and southeast (right) from Sand Turn.

Just beyond Sand Turn, the jumble of boulders called the "Fallen City" can be seen across the valley. The Bighorns are a great place for amateur geologists; many natural features and rock types are identified by signs along the highways.

Fallen City (left) and a closer view (right).

As you near the top of the climb, the highway passes below the distinctive Steamboat Rock.

Steamboat Rock (Left) and looking back toward the Powder River Basin (Right).

At this point, the climb is over. Black Mountain can be seen to the south as US14 winds gently through forests, past Sibley Lake to reach Burgess Junction and the intersection with US14A.

Black Mountain (elev. 9489) and Sibley Lake.

Burgess Junction is not a town, even by Wyoming standards. There is a Forest Service Visitor's Center just to the east, several lodges within a couple miles, and some Forest Service housing nearby. At least one of the lodges (Bear Lodge - a few hundred yards west of the junction on US14A) sells gasoline, which can be useful, and all three have accomodations and food. The Visitor's Center has a bookshop, clean restrooms, and some interesting displays, as well as a short interpretive trail. The staff can answer questions about road conditions, wildlife, etc, and there are sometimes scheduled Ranger talks, similar to those given in the National Parks.

Twin Buttes, a distinctive landmark as seen
from the Burgess Junction Visitor's Center.

Continue on to Part 2: US14 from Burgess Junction to Greybull

Skip to:
Part 3: US14A from Burgess Junction to Lovell
Part 4: US16 from Buffalo to Worland
Part 5: 4WD Roads - Red Grade Road and Crazy Woman Canyon