Medicine Lodge State Park
This page contains our personal notes on our visit to Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
On this overcast morning we drove up to Hyattville from our campground in Thermopolis. The air had the feel of rain, but it never let loose. When we arrived at Medicine Lodge State Park we found that the campground there was full, with a lot of ATVs about, buzzing up and down the dirt road. It's a beautiful little location, with colorful cliffs, lots of trees for shade, and a flowing stream running through the area. When we arrived on this day it was 68 degrees outside. Very pleasant, but a bit humid.
There are a few farm buildings that are associated with the park, and a small visitor center near a large parking area near the Medicine Lodge State Archeological Site. There are also restrooms, picnic tables, and drinking water.
The rock art panel is along an obvious sandstone cliff that runs for several hundred feet along the north side of the campground and parking area. There is a nice demonstration in the lawn in front of the panel, showing the time line of the prehistoric occupation of the archaeological site here. The digs have been back filled, so there is no structures to be seen. Just the faded rock art along the sandstone panels.
The sandstone itself is interesting, with lots of Swiss cheese pockets (see the main photo on this page) highlighting its surface. The surface has also been washed over with streams of the red sandstone from the upper levels, making for some interesting natural patterns on the rock face.
See our Medicine Lodge Rock Art page for more details about the petroglyphs and pictographs, as well as many photos.