Off we went to Buffalo, one of our most favorite places in the West! It was a gorgeous summer day and the drive and the weather could not have been nicer. We drove past Little Bighorn Battlefield which we had visited on a previous trip and on past the beautiful countryside of Crow Country and on into Wyoming.
We stopped at a Sheridan rest area and at The Bozeman Trail viewpoint. The Bozeman Trail was about 500 miles long and connected the Oregon Trail to the Montana gold fields. There is a stop along I-90 in Wyoming where provides an interpretive sign and magnificent views of the area.
And on south we headed to Buffalo past the Fairgrounds and the Rodeo going on and on to Deer Park Campground.
Campground: Deer Park Campground
Location: Buffalo, Wyoming
Site: 63 (back-in)
Comments: This RV Park is in a lovely setting on the edge of town with close proximity to downtown Buffalo, the interstates (halfway between I-25 and I-90), and the Bighorns. The sites are close together and most are dirt/gravel but some are grass. Our site was in front of the office and we had an open field to the front of us. It is very comparable to the KOA Buffalo just down the street which we stayed at during our last visit to Buffalo.
COVID Awareness: 6 out of 10. There appears to be no such thing as COVID-19 in Wyoming. No one was wearing masks and they looked at me like I was an alien when I entered wearing a mask. The office staff even recommended to us to head over to the fairgrounds for the Johnson County rodeo and crafts exhibit which was going on at the time. It took awhile to check in as there is no such thing as contactless check-in. There was paperwork to sign (even though we had made a reservation and paid previously online). It was the usual explaining everything to you. We were hoping those days were long gone due to COVID-19 as we love contactless check-in. We don’t need someone reading the rules to us for 10 minutes or explaining how to read the site map. Just text/email us the info and we can read it. They did have a sign on the outside of the office saying that only one customer should be in the building at a time. They did have hand sanitizer on the counter. Note – they are incredibly nice as we have dealt with them before and they could not be kinder. It is a social/cultural difference as they are not dealing with COVID like the rest of the world. Lucky them!
The campground has an upper area, a lower area, a field area for dry camping, and a few nice rental cabins. There is a trail that goes around the campground along with a swimming pool and lots of nice trees for shade. We even saw a bit of wildlife (the requisite deer and a bunch of turkeys).
Downtown Buffalo is about a 10 minute drive from the campground and is cute, quaint, and charming. It is the supposed setting for the Craig Johnson Longmire books (and the TV show of the same name). Durant, Wy is based on Buffalo. The Longmire Camppaign Headquarters store is downtown where you can buy all your Craig Johnson Longmire paraphernalia. Is a great town to wander around and explore.
Clear Creek runs through Buffalo and is known for some great kayaking and rafting along with fishing. The Clear Creek Trail System includes about 17 miles of trails which can be used for foot traffic, mountain biking, skateboarding, mountain skiing, snowshoeing, strollers, and ADA mobility units. There is no horseback riding or camping allowed. The trail starts in downtown Buffalo and heads on up into the Bighorn Mountains. Detailed maps are available online and also posted on boards at various trailheads along the route. We walked the trail from downtown one day (in the hot sun). Boy, the shade near the creek was fabulous as was the sound of the rushing water.
Another day we drove up to Mosier Gulch in the Bighorn Mountains and continued part of the trail along the creek. It was a fabulous hike and one of our all time favorites.
We LOVE the Bighorn Mountains. One day we took a drive up to the mountains to explore along with a picnic lunch which we enjoyed at the fire lookout.
Our first stop was to the James Sabban Fire lookout which is off forest road 429.
On that same forest road is a Chapel in the woods called St. Christopher’s. It was a beautiful setting and perfect for an outdoor service.
Meadowlark Ski area is located off Hwy 16 near Ten Sleep, Wyoming and provides 2 lifts, 20 runs, and 900 feet vertical rise on 300 acres. It sits on Meadowlark Lake.
We headed back towards Buffalo on Hwy 16 and over Powder Pass and into a hailstorm!!! The temperature dropped in a matter of minutes from the 90’s down to the low 60’s and for a minute it was in the high 50s. The hail came out of nowhere, lasted about 5 minutes, most vehicles stopped on the side of the road because it was blinding, and then off we all went. In another 10 minutes as we headed east back into Buffalo the sun came out, the temperature rose, and you would have never known there was a storm. No damage to our vehicle unlike our journey to New Mexico a few years ago. Welcome to the Bighorns!
We love Buffalo and we LOVE the Bighorns!