Day Trip to Lovell. Start Your Adventure!

Big Horn Canyon

Day Trip to Lovell. Start your adventure at the Big Horn Canyon in the Pryor mountains with breath taking views at the Devil Canyon Overlook, 1,000 feet above the water. If you stand at the left canyon and give a big belly yell, whoop or holler you should hear it echo back. This amazing canyon runs for 70 miles though Wyoming and Montana.

Big Horn Canyon Overlook-Ron Nettie

Yellowtail Dam

I recommend a boat ride north to the Yellowtail Dam. The Dam was engineered and built in the sixties to help irrigate more than 60,000 acres for the new settlers under the Homestead Act.  This irrigation effort not only helped the Crow Indians but other setters in the Big Horn Basin. As a result of the dam and efforts to control the flooding, the town of Kane has been flooded. Currently the river feeding the canyon is famous for trout fishing.

Click Here for NPS Big Horn Canyon.

Ride to Yellowtail Dam- Tippetts

The Yellowtail Dam is 525 feet high and located in the Crow Indian Reservation. The primary purposes of the dam are flood control, power generation, irrigation and recreation.

Click Here for NPS Yellowtail Dam.

View from Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center- NPS, Jen Prentiss

Big Horn Sheep

On this day trip to Lovell, continue your day adventure by looking for Big Horn Sheep in the parking lot to the scenic overlook. Did you know that our Big Horn Sheep have adapted to drinking water? Occasionally, Big Horn Sheep will be at the water’s edge drinking, watch in amazement as they climb back up the steep canyon walls. During this adventurous drive keep a look out for purple dirt. This is “dinosaur dirt from the Morrison Formation.

Click Here for NPS Big Horn Sheep.

Big Horn Sheep at Scenic Overlook- Tippetts

Pryor Mountain Wild Mustangs

Wild Mustangs on the Pryor Mountains- Brian Morse

On your drive into the Pryor Mountains be looking for Wild Mustangs. This is home to more than 120 wild mustangs, on the first established public wild horse refuge, established in 1968. Sometimes you will see them on the side of the road, and other times they are just small dots on the horizon. 

Click Here for Link the Pryor Mustang Website.

Lockhart Ranch

Your next adventure stop on your day adventure should take you two miles north of Berry’s landing to Lockhart Ranch.  Caroline Lockhart started her career in journalism by getting locked in an insane asylum so she could accurately report the treatment of patients. Getting admitted was easy, trying to prove she was not crazy was the challenge. In 1904 she moved to Cody, Wyoming, and later became the owner of the Cody Enterprise newspaper. In 1926 she purchased the Lockhart Ranch. She was also an early owner of an automobile. When walking around the ranch be sure to check the buildings, many of which you can wander around. In the main cabin you can see where the lumber was delivered to Kane, Wyoming, which was later flooded. Click Here for NPS Webpage.

Starry Night at Lockhart Ranch- Lynn Richardson, Wyoming Images

Rose City

Lovell is known as the Rose City because Dr. William Watts Horsley who came to Lovell in the 1920’s was an expert on roses. He claimed the climate in Lovell was exceptional for growing the flower and began to create rose gardens. As you drive through town you will see many rose gardens all around town. If you come to town during Mustang Days, one of the Follies might even give you a embroidered rose sticker.

Rose City Follies- Lovell Mustang Days

Nostalgic Stops

To finish on your day trip to Lovell, on you way back into town to start your next adventure at Queen Bee honey factory. Many of the local farming fields contain white rectangular boxes, these are for the local bees. In the local shop not only do they sell local honey, but chocolates and candies all made with the fresh honey.  This is the perfect place to find some local gifts to take home and grab some sweet treat just for you. 

Buy Queen Bee Sweets.

This nostalgic part of the day adventure, is the Hyartt theater, built in 1950 and is packed full of character. Featuring the largest screen West of the Mississippi. This theater contains 950 seats! It also comes complete with crush red velvet seats. Check out this adventure stop and buy your bargain price ticket for $5!  Make sure to come early enough to get some concessions.

Hyartt Theater Movie Times

PEP/ Powell Chamber/ Powell Visitor Center

Check out our blog for more day adventures from Powell and all of our great shops and fun stops.

Click Here for Powell Chamber.

Enjoy the Region with Geotourism in Powell, Wyoming

Whether you’re a longtime Powell local or visiting the area from abroad, Powell is a fantastic basecamp for family-friendly outdoor recreation and exploration.  From mountain biking to skiing to fishing, there are endless opportunities to explore designated recreation areas.  However, if you’re looking for new ways to enjoy the region, consider geotourism in Powell, Wyoming.

What is Geotourism?

Geotourism turns the landscape and geological sites into the destination rather than just the scenery you drive past on the journey to somewhere else. The phrase was coined in England in the early 1990s, and it has grown in popularity due to the explosion of ecologically conscious tourism known a ecotourism.

What’s the Difference Between Ecotourism and Geotourism?

Geotourism is for geologically curious travelers.  Whereas ecotourism celebrates flora and fauna, geotourism focuses on geomorphology–the physical characteristics of the Earth’s surface.   Though you may be headed to Yellowstone to see bison, elk, and grizzly, you can couple your ecotourism with geotourism by visiting the alluvial fan formation in the dramatic Clarks Fork Canyon or take a detour to visit the 300-million-year-old Heart Mountain, which came into formation when this high desert was a tropical sea. 

Who Are Geotourists?

Walk, hike, climb, or sit in your car, geotourism in Powell, Wyoming is for the young and old, able-bodied and disabled.   One wonderful aspect of geotourism is that it only requires as much effort as you want to put into it.  The sheer grandeur of Wyoming’s geological features can be appreciated from your vehicle, but if you’re adventure seeking, geosites often have nearby hiking trails for seasonal recreationists. 

However you decide to view the spectacular geological formations, be sure to visit GeoWyo.com

Before you head out, don’t forget to pack Fritz and Thomas’s Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country for enlightening commentary on the region.

3 Geosites within 45 minutes of Powell Wyoming

Polecat Bench (aka “The Bench”)

Polecat Bench is 10 minutes from downtown Powell. The closest destination on the list. The Bench is the unsung hero of geotourism in Powell, Wyoming.  Many locals don’t even know the name of the looming bench-like formation that serves as the backdrop to Powell.  However, Ivy League universities have been setting up camp on Polecat for decades to study its unique paleontology.  Significant fossils have been found here.  

While you’re here, see if you can locate the remnants of the old stage stop. 

Hint: If you come across a section of slick rock that would make for great mountain biking, you’re close!  Wear boots and pack your snake bite kit.

Clarks Fork Canyon

As you drive through the vast moraine fields on Canyon Road, the mouth of the Clarks Fork Canyon reveals its breathtaking scale.  42 minutes from Powell, the free-flowing Clarks Fork River tumbles down from Colter Pass.  Though the energy of the Clarks Fork River is something to behold, it’s really the anticline that serves as the centerpiece of this miraculous vista.

On the south side of the river, the Bald Mountain anticline shoots up from the valley in a stunningly naked display of motion over time.  It is a radical and breathtaking sight that any viewer can appreciate.  To the north side of the river, sharp and angular Chugwater formations rise from the red dirt like rock fins.  To get a different perspective, hike the Bridal Falls trail and behold the same formations from the interior of the canyon. 

The kicker: subsurface mapping suggest that the Clark’s Fork region is still developing!

Man has made his mark own mark in this canyon with rocks too.  As you walk along the river, keep an eye out for the remnants of Native American tepee rings.

Heart Mountain

Lovingly named, Heart Mountain’s geological biography suggests that the world’s largest landslide transported the rock from its original birthplace dozens of miles away in the Beartooth Range.  Now, Heart Mountain rises from the Big Horn Basin like a lone and bold sentinel.  How did it get so far from home, you wonder?  Well, research suggests that the release of carbon dioxide gas below the surface created an air cushion similar to the of a hovercraft.  This served to reduce friction as it was deliver to its current resting place.

On your way to visit the mountain, take in a lesson from more recent history at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center.  The Interpretive Center was formally a Japanese internment camp during World War II, and its current mission is to tell the story of Japanese internment camps to future generations.

There is endless opportunity for exploration in the Powell area. So if you like this article, keep an eye for more ways to enjoy the region near Powell on your way to Yellowstone National Park. Did you know Yellowstone National Park is the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined? Here are some hacks to maximize your Yellowstone trip.

Yellowstone National Park Travel Hacks

This is an amazing place but can quickly become more of an adventure then you bargained for. These Yellowstone National Park travel hacks will ensure you have the best experience.

National Parks are on your travel list and you’ve narrowed your trip down to Yellowstone National Park. Get excited, here are the major highlights. Yellowstone Lake is the largest high-elevation lake in North America. Plan to spend some time on the water. There are sixty-seven mammal species, from massive bison to cute river otters. Get off the roads and walk on the trails, you’ll see more wildlife. Seek out native cultures. Before Yellowstone was designated as a national park twenty-six tribes used its resources.

#1 Yellowstone is the size of a small state.

It is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. So, unless you are on a bus tour or have scheduled a shuttle you will need your own transportation.

#2 Pick a gate. Hint, The East Gate is the Best Gate.

Yellowstone spans three states (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho). The majority of Yellowstone is in Wyoming. That’s right, Wyoming = Yellowstone. Actually 53% of Yellowstone is in Park County, Wyoming. Powell is in Park Country, Wyoming (aren’t we lucky). The gates (entrances) into the Park very in size, landscape and animal activity. BONUS: When you travel to the Park from the East, you get to experience the United States’ first National Forest, Shoshone National Forest. If you are looking often you will see moose, bears, and buffalo before you enter Yellowstone.

#3 Pick a gate community.

Each gate has a town close to it. The South Gate is Jackson, the West Gate is West Yellowstone, the North Gate is Gardiner, the Northeast Gate is Cook City, and the East Gate is Cody. Powell, Wyoming is just 20 miles northeast of Cody and we have two gates that are easily accessible by vehicle, the East Gate and the Northeast Gate. Each of the gate communities are distinct.

#4 Cell service is spotty.

Isn’t this kind of the point of our National Parks? Unplug, unwind, go ahead and take those selfies and send them a little later. Keep a map of the park with you so you don’t get lost. The best places to get cell service are Lake Village, Grant Village, Canyon Village, Old Faithful, West Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner, MT.

#5 Again, Yellowstone is the size of a small USA state.

While there are gas stations in the park they aren’t around every geiser. Fill up your tank before you enter the park. Keep it full.

#6 You are at elevation, in the Park and in the surrounding communities.

Drink water, stay hydrated. You have spent time planning your trip and paying for it. Do you really want to get sick due to dehydration, nah.

#7 The animals are wild.

Not like theme park, well fed, will not approach your jeep wild. The kind of wild that is live or die wild. So, don’t approach the Buffalo…use the zoom instead. The friendly Park Rangers give a pamphlet of what types of animals are in the park and how far away you need to view them. Read it.

#8 Get off the roads. Get into the park.

Hike some trails. Bike some trails. You traveled all the away from your busy city to be in nature. Get in nature. Yellowstone National Park fills your soul in a kind of way that little other places do. Our great President Teddy Roosevelt knew what he was doing when he declared this land to belong to the people.

#9 Bring bear spray. The animals are wild in Yellowstone.

Grizzly bears live in the park. They are meat eaters. Black bears live in the park. They eat lots of plants but also eat meat. If you surprise either kind of bear they may attack you. That is when you pull out your bear spray which is in the holster on your body, per the manufacturer instructions, not in your backpack were you can’t reach it.

#10 Bison do ram cars.

Bison are herd grazing animals. Often they will be to the side of the road or on the road. Mostly they will just keep walking; but, Buffalo are wild animals and you never know!

Not sure about what to bring, where to stay, and what to do in Yellowstone National Park? Ask a local. The Powell Visitor Center is here to help. We love talking about our National Treasure and surrounding region.

#11 Gates open and close for the season. Plan your visit. 

Yellowstone is a wild place located in the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. It is a mountainous region with high elevations. Roads close during the winter months. And, winter comes early in Yellowstone. When planning this trip of a lifetime first consult the Yellowstone Live Roads Map. This page also outlines gate opening and closing, current road status, and road maintenance projects.

#12 Look good and layer up. 

Packing your suitcase for all types of weather is always a good Yellowstone travel hack. Especially, if you are visiting in spring (May) or fall (September and October). Include a windproof/ water resistant winter coat, hat, and gloves. It will allow you to stay outside longer to enjoy the beautiful views. It is function over fashion here. Bring hiking boots or good walking shoes. Yellowstone is more fun if you get on the designated trails and off the boardwalks.

Looking for more Yellowstone National Park travel hacks? Ask a local the Powell Visitor Center is here to help give us a call or send us an email. We are happy to give you all the inside info.