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Best of Wyoming
Thu October 24, 2013
Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site – 45 miles north of Worland
Medicine Lodge is home to a large sandstone cliff that displays hundreds of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs. This rock art is directly associated with the human habitation of this site dating back more than 10,000 years. Information about the archaeological digs and further research of this site can be found in the visitor center and library.
In 1969 Dr. George Frison, then Wyoming State Archaeologist, began a series of investigations that involved digging through 26 feet of soil and rocky sediments at the base of the cliff. He discovered 60 cultural levels spanning some 10,000 years of human occupancy. Also, found during the dig were fire pits, food storage pits, manos and metates, projectile points and a bone pile. This unique find has enabled archaeologists to study lifestyle changes over time and in fact, has provided a key to interpreting the archaeology of the entire Big Horn Basin of Northern Wyoming.
Wildlife is abundant at Medicine Lodge and the tens of thousands of acres of adjoining public land. Elk, deer, moose, and mountain lion all live here as well as an abundance of small mammals and more than 100 species of birds. Medicine Lodge Creek is an outstanding brown trout fishery.
Medicine Lodge serves as a great base camp and trailhead for access to hundreds of miles of trails for horseback riding. Public corrals are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Several developed nature trails offer visitors fun, self-guided activities for all ages. A universally accessible sidewalk follows Medicine Lodge Creek and offers turnouts for access to pools in the stream.