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U.S. Forest Service

Rocky Mountain Region Viewing Area


wildflowers in a meadow along Highway 16 in the Cloud Peak Skyway.
Wildflowers in a meadow along Highway 16 in the Cloud Peak Skyway.

the Muddy Guard Cabin off of Highway 16 in the Cloud Peak Skyway.
The Muddy Guard Cabin off of Highway 16 in the Cloud Peak Skyway.

Cloud Peak Skyway

Forest: Bighorn National Forest

District: Powder River Ranger District

Description: Highway 16 through the Bighorn Mountains provides viewers with spectacular wildflower viewing opportunities. A full array of colors from reds to blues and purples to whites can be seen through June and July. Along this route, viewers will also discover the rugged alpine peaks of the Cloud Peak Wilderness, open mountain meadows, and the dramatic Tensleep and Crazy Woman Canyons. It is not uncommon for viewers to spot deer, elk and moose along their journey. The viewing area extends over 40 miles from the foothills just west of Buffalo over Powder River Pass and into Tensleep Canyon. Forest Service rental cabins, in the midst of wildflower viewing, are available throughout the year. Visitor information is available at Forest Service offices in both Buffalo and Worland.

Viewing Information: The Cloud Peak Skyway, U.S. Highway 16, offers breathtaking views of wildflowers in vast open mountain meadows along its 45-mile stretch. Many pullouts and turnoffs are available along the route to provide the viewer with a wide variety of wildflower species. Other highlights along the route include Crazy Woman Canyon, Hospital Hill, Powder River Pass, Meadowlark Lake and Tensleep Canyon.

Safety First: Expect steep grades and sharp turns along mountains roads. Watch for wildlife crossing roadways unexpectedly, especially during early morning, evening and night hours. Remember to pull completely off the road when you stop along the roadway to get a better look at the wildflowers.

Directions: From Interstate 90 or 25, drive into Buffalo and head west through town; this will also be Highway 16. The Bighorn National Forest Boundary is just 13 miles west of Buffalo and continues 45 miles along Highway 16. You will then drop through Tensleep Canyon and down into the town of Tensleep.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Bighorn National Forest; Powder River Ranger District (307) 684-7806.

Closest Town: Buffalo, Wyoming.