Tours highlight July programs at Bighorn Canyon

The following programs have been announced for the South District of the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area near Lovell:

Ranch tours

July 13 – Join Ranger Christy Fleming and Homesteader Museum Collection Manger Avery Frank for the second of three Spark ranch tours.  Bighorn Canyon is partnering with the Homesteader Museum in Powell, which received a grant from the Smithsonian Institution to present Spark based programming. 

Spark is the story of human history written in inventions and innovations.

“People are problem solvers,” Fleming said. “Sometimes we invent and create a completely new thing or a process based on new ideas. More often, we innovate; that is, we introduce a fresh idea or an invention into use in some way that creates a new way of doing or thinking.

“All it takes is a spark — an idea — to get started.”

Places of Innovation takes visitors on a journey through time and place across America to discover the stories of people who lived, worked, played, collaborated, adapted, took risks, solved problems and sometimes failed — all in the pursuit of something new. The themes addressed are technological, social, artistic and cultural/heritage innovation.

July’s Spark program will take place at Hillsboro, Montana. Fleming will discuss how a spark of creativity created a silversmith out of blacksmith Eddy Hulbert in the wilds of Montana. Participants can meet Ranger Fleming at the Lovell Cal S. Taggart Visitor Center at 9 a.m. to car caravan or can meet to take the van at 8:30 a.m. from Powell at the Center of Training and Development at Northwest College. The NWC van has limited seating. To make arrangements, call Christi Graham at 307-754-6062.

The last Spark ranch tour will be at the Ewing/Snell Ranch on August 10.  

July 10 – Join VIP Mike Bridgeman and VIP Steve Kinney for tours of the Lockhart Ranch.  Tours will start at 10:30 a.m. and go until 1 or 2, depending on the weather. The tour repeats on July 24 at the same time.

Ranger programs

July 12 – Join Ranger Emilie Asay at 7 p.m. at the Horseshoe Bend Amphitheater. Ranger Asay and friends will be leading a cowboy sing along with a special emphasis on songs that are considered American standards.  As a shout out to Caroline Lockhart, the songs will be focused on songs used when herding or driving cattle through the West.  

July 19 – Join Ranger Nathan Anderson at 7 p.m. at the Horseshoe Bend Amphitheater. Anderson will be presenting “Traveling through Bighorn Canyon,” a discussion on the movement of bison, Native Americans, mountain men, miners and ranchers on the Bad Pass Trail and through Big Horn Canyon. 

July 26 – Join Ranger Jenna Schauer at 7 p.m. at the Horseshoe Bend Amphitheater for “Park After Dark -- Nocturnal and Crepuscular Activity at the Canyon.” Ranger Schauer will introduce attendees to what goes bump in the night and the importance of the preservation of night skies.    

Keep an eye on the park’s Facebook page for pop-up geology programs on the South District. For questions about the programs, call the Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center at 548-5406.

Lake conditions

The lake level on June 28 was 3637.76. The driftwood has not been bad but can cause serious damage to boat props and lower units, Fleming said.

Black Canyon and Dayboard 9 campgrounds remain closed. The park staff is working toward opening the campgrounds but don’t have an opening date at this time. The floating restroom at Devil Canyon will remain out for the season for repairs.

Floating restrooms are available at Barry’s Landing and Dryhead. There is no fuel for sale on the lake.