Wyoming, Big Horn County pursue mapping for Backcounty Discovery Routes



The Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation manager Christopher Floyd brought an opportunity regarding Backcounty Discovery Routes (BDR) to the attention of the Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (BBORC) at a recent meeting. The proposed route includes a portion of Big Horn County. 

BDR is a non-profit organization that creates off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. They have introduced a new route with free GPS tracks for the community every year since 2010.

Floyd noted that BDR has maps for the surrounding states of Idaho, Colorado and Utah but nothing for Wyoming. He feels this is a great economic development opportunity for Wyoming and Big Horn County. 

BDR created a proposed route in Wyoming that will go through seven counties. In Big Horn County the route will go through Hyattville. The route will take riders to Burgess Junction, then through Sheridan County and on to Montana. The average ride is eight to nine days. 

Floyd put together a Zoom call earlier this month. On the call were chamber/town/tourism representatives from Big Horn, Natrona, Albany, Carbon, Washakie and Sheridan counties, as well as BDR staff and business owners including one from Greybull. 

“With a little bit of fundraising, we can literally put Wyoming on the map for thousands of high-end, long-distance-adventure, motorcycle-riding enthusiasts.  Right now, we are missing out on potentially millions of dollars of direct spending by these riders inside of our borders.  They’re choosing other states like Idaho, Utah, and Colorado instead,” said Floyd. 

The cost to add Wyoming is $15,000. Those on the call expressed that between the seven counties and some funds from Outdoor Recreation, the $15,000 isn’t an impossible number to raise. 

Included in the $15,000 is a professionally produced, waterproof map, a feature length film with a DVD downloaded on the web site, a dedicated page that features local lodging, food options, discovery points and a dedicated Facebook page. 

Floyd noted, “These riders have to stop for fuel, food, supplies, and lodging virtually every day and the route will take more than a week to complete.  The BDR will provide a lot in the way of adventure for the riders, but also a lot in the way of spending in communities along the way.  These riders tend to be middle aged and they travel on bikes that can cost more than $20,000, so they have disposable income to spend here before they head home.”

Riders often want to do loops to see various sites. In Big Horn County one of the loops discussed was Burgess Junction to Lovell via U.S. Highway 14A then back to Burgess on U.S. 14. Another loop discussed was Hyattville to Shell to Greybull to Basin and then back to Hyattville. 

Each county involved will continue with the process with the Outdoor Rec office, with hopes of completion in 2023. To find out for about BDR, the web site is https://ridebdr.com/idbdr/