Bighorn River is a tributary of the Yellowstone, approximately 461
miles (742 km) long, in the states of
Montana in the
western United States. The river was named in 1805 by fur trader
François Larocque for the bighorn sheep he saw along its banks as he
explored the Yellowstone.
The upper reaches of the Bighorn, south of the
Owl Creek Mountains
Owl Creek Mountains in
Wyoming, are known as the Wind River. The two rivers are sometimes
referred to as the Wind/Bighorn. The Wind River officially becomes the
Bighorn River at the Wedding of the Waters, on the north side of the
Canyon near the town of Thermopolis. From there, the river
flows through the
Bighorn Basin in north central Wyoming, passing
through Thermopolis and Hot Springs State Park.
At the border with Montana, the river turns northeast, and flows past
the north end of the Bighorn Mountains, through the Crow Indian
Reservation, where the
Yellowtail Dam forms the Bighorn Lake
reservoir. The reservoir and the surrounding canyon are part of the
Canyon National Recreation Area.
Little Bighorn River
Little Bighorn River joins the Bighorn near the town of Hardin,
Montana. Approximately fifty miles farther downriver, the Bighorn
River ends where it joins the Yellowstone.
2 Variant names
3 See also
4 Further reading
6 External links
The river carves a canyon through Bighorn
Canyon National Recreation
Bighorn River begins as the Wind River in the Rocky Mountains at
Wind River Lake, near Two Ocean Mountain and the summit of Togwotee
Pass. The Wind River flows southeast receiving the east fork of the
Wind River from the north, and enters the Wind River Basin, flowing
past Dubois and Johnstown, to Riverton, where it receives the Little
Wind River. The river then changes direction to the northeast and then
the north, flowing into Boysen Reservoir, which is formed by Boysen
Dam. Below the dam it enters the Wind River Canyon, where the river
narrows and forms many rapids. At the end of the canyon the Wind River
widens out in an area called the Wedding of the Waters where it
Bighorn River and enters the Bighorn Basin. The Bighorn
continues northward, passing through Thermopolis, Worland, and Basin.
At Greybull it receives the Greybull River, and about 30 mi
(48 km) north of that confluence it enters Bighorn Lake, where it
is joined by the Shoshone River. North of the confluence with the
Shoshone, the reservoir narrows as the river enters the Bighorn
Canyon, where it crosses into Montana. At the end of the canyon, the
river passes through
Yellowtail Dam and Afterbay Dam. The river turns
to the northeast and enters the Great Plains. At Hardin the river is
joined by the Little Bighorn River. Approximately 50 mi
(80 km) downriver from the Little Bighorn, in Big Horn County,
the Bighorn empties into the Yellowstone.
Bighorn River in Montana
Bighorn River has also been known as the Great Horn River, Le
Corne and Iisaxpúatahcheeaashisee in the Apsáalooke language
which translates to English as Large Bighorn Sheep River.
List of rivers of Montana
List of rivers of Wyoming
Montana Stream Access Law
Sullivan, Gordon (2008). Saving Homewaters: The Story of Montana's
Streams and Rivers. Woodstock, VT: The Countryman Press.
^ "Wind River". Geographic Names Information System. United States
Geological Survey. 1979-06-05. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
^ a b "Bighorn River, MT". Geographic Names Information System. United
States Geological Survey.
^ Aarstad, Rich; Arguimbau, Ellie; Baumler, Ellen; Porsild, Charlene;
Shovers, Brian (2009).
Montana Place Names. Helena, Montana: Montana
Historical Society Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-9759196-1-X.
^ "Apsáalooke Place Names Database". Library @ Little Big Horn
College. Archived from the original on 2014-11-11. Retrieved
State of Wyoming:
Bighorn River Basin
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Wind/
Bighorn River Drainage (archive)
Wyoming Game and Fish map showing the Wind River becoming the Bighorn
State of Montana
Seal of Montana
Glacier National Park
Regional designations of Montana
Lewis and Clark
State of Wyoming
Seal of Wyoming
Powder River Country