Touring the Byway
27 Miles | 4 Days / 3 Nights | Gateway City: Sheridan, Wyoming
We recommend starting your journey in Sheridan, an authentic cowboy town with a Wild West vibe. Learn about the region’s history at Museum at the Bighorns, get a glimpse of Victorian-era frontier life at Trail End State Historic Site, and see one of the West’s best collections of Native American art at the Brinton Museum before spending the evening in a converted flour mill.
You’re in for a real treat on Day Two as you drive the Medicine Wheel Scenic Byway! Keep an eye out for wildlife as you twist and turn along WY-14 – moose sightings are common in this spectacular stretch of high-country scenery. Get a panoramic view of the Bighorn Basin at Sand Turn Interpretive Site and Bighorn National Forest Visitor Center, then make sure to continue on to WY-14A after the road splits at Burgess Junction in order to stay on the Byway. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel, for which the Byway is named, is a National Historic Landmark measuring around 80 feet in diameter and an archeological site not to be missed. Afterwards, head to Lovell when you can learn the history of North Big Horn at the Lovell-Kane Area Museum before relaxing in a rustic Western-themed hotel.
View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!
Please keep in mind while you are exploring the Bighorn Medicine Wheel that you are walking on an active Native American sacred site, used by many different tribes before Euro-American contact to the present day. Located in the Bighorn National Forest, the structure is made of local white limestone laid upon a bedrock of sloping limestone. Archaeological evidence clearly indicates that the Medicine Wheel has been visited by Native Americans for nearly 7,000 years.
Dedicated to the display of the northern Bighorn Basin’s natural resources, The Center includes the Museum of Ancient Life which displays fossils in their appropriate geologic context. and reproductions in the context of the environment that was prevalent in the timeframe the animals existed. The museum also features a 40-foot mural depicting the landscape, flora, and fauna of the Bighorn Basin 150 million years ago, enhanced with a display of actual fallen trees, rocks, and plantings. Be sure to watch the movie about first dig in the Basin, and touch a few of the fossils.
Featuring hundreds of dinosaur tracks, this assemblage of fossil dinosaur footprints was discovered in 1997. It is the largest site of dinosaur tracks in Wyoming, and one of only a few worldwide from the Middle Jurassic Period (160 million to 180 million years old). The site features a boardwalk, interpretive signs, picnic tables, benches, and trails.
This 1908 Flemish Revival style historic home, built by Wyoming cattleman, banker, governor, and U.S. Senator John B. Kendrick. In authentically furnished rooms surrounded by finely manicured lawns, Trail End elegantly displays different aspects of Wyoming’s rich and colorful history.
Connecting the past, present, and future of the American West, showcasing each in collections of unique and engaging artwork, the Quarter Circle A Ranch is 620-acres designated as an Audubon Important Bird Area featuring gardens and outdoor sculptures. The Historic Brinton Ranch House features original watercolors, oils, pen and ink drawings, sculptures, and historic documents in their original setting. The Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building highlights founder Bradford Brinton’s eclectic and extensive collections of his favorite artists, including Edward Borein etchings, hand-colored letters, and monotypes; the largest collection of Hans Kleiber art in existence; Gollings oils and drawings; and the Gallatin Collection of Plains Indian Native American art.