Big Horn Mountains - Meadowlark Lake - Wilderness Ranch
abundant area wildlife...
Wildlife is everywhere you look in the Big Horn Mountains. Deer, Moose and Elk, Black Bear, wild turkey and the occasional Mountain Lion (I've never seen one and probably never will), just to name a few. We saw deer mostly (Mule and Whitetail), and lots of Pronghorn Antelope. They shied away from coming in too close to our camp because we always had at least one very vocal dog with us, but we saw them daily going to and from the lake. Moose were less common and tended to stay hidden better. Three or four times when I spotted a moose it was only for the briefest second before it slipped back into the trees. I'm sure I missed more than I spotted. Moose can hide right in front of your eyes.
Our campsite each time we went was not one of the 32 developed campgrounds the Big Horn National Forest offers visitors to the park. The site we used was basically a small clearing in the pine trees some forty odd feet off the road. Vehicles had pulled into this clearing often enough to make a hard packed road leading into it. Once you got back inside the main camp area you were virtually invisible to anyone passing by in a vehicle. They'd see our truck, but not us, and that's the way I preferred it.
This is the Wilderness Ranch. It was off-season every time we went and the lodge was empty except for the maintenance people and other workmen. They were cutting trees on both sides of the ski-lift trail near the top of High Park peak and we could hear the chainsaws halfway across the lake. Every day this old 1940's flatbed truck would crawl up the side of the mountain going about five miles an hour. A few hours later it would crawl back down at the same speed carrying cut up sections of timber that were then stacked in piles next to the lodge.
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