Medicine Wheel Passage
Lovell | Black to Yellow
The Medicine Wheel Passage Scenic Byway is the north-ern-most route across the Bighorn National Forest in the Big Horn Mountains. The 27 miles of this Scenic Byway run nearly the length of U.S. 14A, ending at the western edge of the Bighorn National Forest. Just to the west of the boundary are the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and the nearby town of Lovell. On the east end is Burgess Junction, where the Scenic Byway merges with U.S. 14 and becomes the Big Horn Scenic Byway. The town of Dayton provides access to the route from the east. This two-lane paved highway follows one of the highest routes in the state. The steep, winding road sports numerous truck turnoffs and a maximum 10-percent grade. Heavy snow keeps the road closed in winter and early spring, so summer and fall are the only practical seasons to make this trip. A high point (literally) along the route is the 9,430-foot view looking southwesterly into the Big Horn Basin thousands of feet below. Mountain peaks tower above 13,000 feet in this high-altitude neighborhood. The rapid change in elevation along the Byway provides a variety of habitat types. During the summer, deer and an occasional elk can be viewed feeding at the edge of timber stands. Blue grouse, with their young, are found near the many springs in the forested area. Mourning doves are also common near water.
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