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Wyoming > Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites > Medicine Lodge State Archaelogical Site
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Medicine Lodge State Archaelogical Site

Medicine Lodge State Archaelogical Site
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General Information

Description - Archaeology makes Medicine Lodge unique. The Medicine Lodge site has long been known for its Indian petroglyphs and pictographs, but not until 1969 did the full archaeological wealth of the site come to light. In that year, Dr. George Frison, then Wyoming State Archaeologist, began a series of digs that uncovered a human habitation site that had been continuously occupied for over 10,000 years. Medicine Lodge has thus become a key to the interpretation of the archaeology of the entire Big Horn Basin area. The archaeological investigation involved digging through approximately 26 feet of soil and rocky sediments, discovering over 60 cultural levels spanning some 10,000 years of human occupation. This important aspect of the site enables the archaeologists to examine particular life-styles and to study how these styles
changed over time. Some of the material items found during the dig included fire pits, food storage pits, manos and metates (grinding stones) and projectile points.

The information gleaned from the archaeological investigation provides interesting educational and interpretive insight into the life of this area's inhabitants throughout the years.

Attractions - Medicine Lodge State Archaelogical Site, located on the western side of the Big Horn Mountains at the mouth of Medicine Lodge Canyon, features interpretive signs located at the base of the petroglyph cliff and exhibits in the log cabin visitor center. They also explain some of what you see around you at Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site.

Recreation - Activities in the state historic site include viewing of archeological sites and interpretive exhibits.

Climate - As throughout the Rocky Mountains, the climate varies drastically depending on elevation. Summers generally offer warm clear days with cool nights. Afternoon thunderstorms are often a possibility in the summer. In the winter, sunshine, with plenty of snow in the higher elevations, are ideal for winter activities. Harsh weather - including wind, cold, and snow - is possible throughout the winter and even throughout the year, in the highest elevations.

Location - Medicine Lodge State Archaelogical Site, located on the western side of the Big Horn Mountains at the mouth of Medicine Lodge Canyon, at an altitude of approximately 4,800 feet. Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site can be reached by taking WY Highway 31 22 miles east from Manderson. If you come by way of Ten Sleep, WY. turn north onto the lower Nowood Road just west of Ten Sleep and follow it for 23 miles until it hits WY. 31, then turn east and follow it to
Hyattville. Just before going down the hill into the town of Hyattville, turn north onto Cold Springs Road. Follow this asphalt county road for about 4.5 miles until you come to a large yellow and brown sign that says MEDICINE LODGE WILDLIFE HABITAT MGT. AREA AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE. Turn left onto a gravel road at that sign and follow the 1.5 miles right into the site.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Clark (Powell, WY)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Medicine Lodge is a excellent place to visit. We have camped at this location for several seasons. The petroglyphs are abundant and there is much to see and do in this region (hiking, wildlife, fishing, etc.). Summer months make Medicine Lodge Creek quite inviting for swimming. It can get quite hot here during the summer (July/Aug). The camp ground is well maintained and there are bathroom facilities for those who are tent camping. The fee is about $8 per night to camp (with either r/v or tent). Located in a beautiful red rock canyon, filled with cottonwood trees along the creek. It is a favorite of our family!

More Information

Contact Information:
Medicine Lodge State Archaelogical Site, P.O. Box 62 , Hyattville, WY, 82428, Phone: 307-469-2234

Additional Information:
Wyoming Historic Sites -


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