Medicine Lodge

State Archeological Site - Wyoming

Medicine Lodge State Archeological Site interprets the Medicine Lodge Creek Site, a prehistoric Native American archeological site near Hyattville, Wyoming. The site is at the base of a steep limestone outcropping near the point where the dry and running portions of Medicine Lodge Creek join. The site includes petroglyphs and pictographs on the rock face. Excavations starting in the 1970s have found twelve levels of habitation in 10.5 feet of stratum, ranging from historic times to 8300 years before the present.

maps

Visitor Map of Medicine Lodge State Archelological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.Medicine Lodge - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Medicine Lodge State Archelological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.

Map of Surface Management Status / 1:100,000-Scale Topographic Map of Worland in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Worland - 100K Topo Map 2007

Map of Surface Management Status / 1:100,000-Scale Topographic Map of Worland in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Bighorn Snowmobile Trails in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, & Trails (WYSP).Bighorn - Snowmobile Trails 2021

Map of Bighorn Snowmobile Trails in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, & Trails (WYSP).

Map of Bighorn Off-Road Vehicle Trails (ORV) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, & Trails (WYSP).Bighorn - ORV Trails 2021

Map of Bighorn Off-Road Vehicle Trails (ORV) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, & Trails (WYSP).

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Bighorn National Forest (NF) in Wyoming. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Bighorn MVUM - 2021

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Bighorn National Forest (NF) in Wyoming. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Worland Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wyoming Public Land - Worland

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Worland Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

brochures

Brochure of Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.Medicine Lodge - Brochure

Brochure of Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.

Campground Map of Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.Medicine Lodge - Campground

Campground Map of Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.

Map and Brochure of Deer Path at Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.Medicine Lodge - Deer Path

Map and Brochure of Deer Path at Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.

Rock Art Trail at Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.Medicine Lodge - Rock Art Trail

Rock Art Trail at Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site (SAS) in Wyoming. Published by Wyoming State Parks.

Medicine Lodge SAS https://wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/places-to-go/medicine-lodge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_Lodge_State_Archeological_Site Medicine Lodge State Archeological Site interprets the Medicine Lodge Creek Site, a prehistoric Native American archeological site near Hyattville, Wyoming. The site is at the base of a steep limestone outcropping near the point where the dry and running portions of Medicine Lodge Creek join. The site includes petroglyphs and pictographs on the rock face. Excavations starting in the 1970s have found twelve levels of habitation in 10.5 feet of stratum, ranging from historic times to 8300 years before the present.
WYOPARKS.STATE.WY.US WYOPARKS.STATE.WY.US SITE FEES & PERMITS No Daily Use Fee required. Overnight Camping Fees must be paid each day, per vehicle. Individual campsite reservations can be made by calling 800-996-7275 or by going online to www.wyo-park.com SITE RULES A complete list of rules and regulations is available at the park office. • Camping is permitted only in designated campsites and is restricted to one camping unit (tent, travel trailer or motor vehicle designed for camping) plus two licensed vehicles. • Camping is permitted for a maximum of 14 consecutive days. Valid camping permits are required per vehicle. • Glass beverage containers are prohibited outside of camping units. • Digging or leveling of ground is prohibited. • Fires are permitted in provided fire pits/grills and must be extinguished before leaving. • Discharging firearms or other projectile devices is prohibited within the park. • All pets must be on a leash. • Quiet shall be maintained from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. • The destruction, injury, defacement, removal or disturbance in any manner of any soil, rock or mineral formation, artifact, historic or prehistoric feature is strictly prohibited. THINGS TO DO AND SEE More than 10,000 years of rich cultural history thrives at Medicine Lodge amongst the endless outdoor recreation opportunities. Wildlife viewing and opportunities for adventure are amongst the best in the state. Discover why people have been returning here for 10,000 years. Come slow down and relax, or speed up and explore. Trails: Hiking, biking, horseback, & ATV trails; we’ve got it covered. Medicine Lodge is the ultimate trailhead for exploring your favorite type of trail. Enjoy access to hundreds of miles of both non-motorized and multi-use trails. Public horse corrals are first-come, first-serve. Fishing: Whether you favor traditional tackle or fly gear, Medicine Lodge offers miles of prime angling access. Brown trout are abundant in Medicine Lodge Creek and nearby streams produce both rainbows and brook trout. Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site is administered by the Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails; Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 3/16 Archaeological Discovery: View hundreds of prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs along a 700 foot long sandstone cliff. Archaeological digs have revealed 10,000 years of human occupation at the site. Artifacts are on display in the visitor center. Exploration: From cactus to alpine lakes, explore the five distinct vegetative zones within a 12-mile radius. Nearby dinosaur tracks, disappearing streams, tipi-rings, rock arches and abundant wildlife await your adventurous spirit. LOCATION Medicine Lodge is located on the western slope of the Big Horn Mountains in northern Wyoming. Take Highway 16/20 to Manderson and turn onto State Route 31. Travel 21 miles to Cold Springs Road, then County Road 52 and follow the signs to the park. From Tensleep, take the lower Nowood road to Hyattville, and then follow Cold Springs Road to County road 52. SPECIAL EVENTS The Medicine Lodge Group Area can be reserved year-round for group camping, picnics, family reunions, and other special events. Guided archaeological tours of the site occur regularly throughout the summer. For reservations, or more information call park headquarters: (307) 469-2234 HISTORY The area which is now Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site has been continuously occupied for more than 10,000 years. Homesteaded in 1881 by Byron F. Wickwire, Medicine Lodge was originally a working cattle ranch. The ranch was purchased in 1972 by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department which created the 12,000 acre Medicine Lodge Wildlife Habitat Area. In 1973, a portion of the habitat management area was developed into Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site where cultural history and recreational access continues today. Lower Campground Reserve Site #1 IRRIGATION DITCH Interpretive displays in our Visitor Center and along Petroglyph Cliff offer a glimpse into the lives of some of North America’s earliest inhabitants as well as more recent Native American occupations. 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 enabled archaeologists to examine particular lifestyles and study how they changed over time. Artifacts uncovered during the digs included fire pits, food storage pits, manos and metates (grinding stones), projectile points, and other stone tools. Trade beads and pottery sherds indicating Crow occupation were also found. In 1969, Dr. George Frison, then Wyoming State Archaeologist, began a series of digs that uncovered a human habitation site that had been continuously occupied for more than 10,000 years. Thus, Medicine Lodge has become a key to the archaeological interpretation of the entire Big Horn B
Plants: A living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses. They typically grow in a permanent site, absorb water and inorganic substances through their roots, and synthesize nutrients in their leaves by photosynthesis using the green pigment chlorophyll. Insects and Arachnids: Insects have three segments to their bodies and have six legs. Some have one or two pairs of wings. Spiders only have two body segments but have eight legs and are predatory. Birds: A warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrate distinguished by the possession of a beak, feathers, and wings typically used for flight. Medicine Lodge is home to over 100 different species of birds like the blue heron and Sandhill Crane. Reptiles: A cold-blooded vertebrate of a class that includes snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles, and tortoises. They are distinguished by having a dry scaly skin, and typically laying soft-shelled eggs on land. Mammals: A warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young. Geology: The science that deals with the earth's physical structure and substance, its history, and the processes that act on it. Vegetation Zones: Plant communities assembled into regional patterns by the area’s physiography, geological parent material and history. Fire/ Fire Management: Fires are a crucial part of nature that help reduce and control pathogens/insects, create or maintain habitats, spur germination, and open holes in the forest canopy to allow smaller plants light for growth. Management of fires is important because if unchecked it can lead to fires and have devastating effects. Stop! Look! Listen! The Deer Path We encourage you to experience the Stop! Look! Listen! stops on this trail using all of your senses. Take a minute to stop and make note of how you feel, what you see, and what you hear. You might be surprised! Other Things To See & Do: Nature Trail: Take this self-guided wildlife walking trail through the park and along the creek. Brochures are in the mailbox near the petroglyph cliff. Rock Art Trail: This short walk in front of the cliff has a rock art guide and gets you up close to the petroglyphs. Natural History Cabin: This little cabin is packed with plant and animal displays. Elk Management Cabin: Get “hands-on” with elk antlers and discover more about the Medicine Lodge Wildlife Habitat Management Area. Bear Trail: 1/4 mile offshoot of the Nature Trail that starts off steep but levels out. Archaeology Visitor Center: This log cabin across from the barn holds artifact displays and the cultural history of Medicine Lodge. Frison Library: Stop in at the red barn and browse the collection of books for all ages, including more on the history of Medicine Lodge Creek site and the archaeological dig. Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site was once part of a working cattle ranch homesteaded in 1881. In 1973, Match the numbers on the signs to the ranch was purchased by the Wyo- the numbers in this brochure for in- ming Game and Fish Department and formation about the natural diver- became the 12,000 acre Medicine Lodge Wildlife Habitat Management sity along The Deer Path. Area (WHMA). Several different agencies coordinate to ensure the lands within the WHMA are managed appropriately for multi-use, but primarily for wildlife habitat and winter range. This hiking trail follows actual deer paths that are rugged and steep in some areas. We suggest you take your time and rest often as you encounter nature while enjoying the breathtaking view. 1. Great Horned Owl - Owls are mostly nocturnal and can be spotted year-round near the big red barn just after dark. Great Horned owls nest in trees such as this large cottonwood and in caves along the cliffs. They prey on mice, rabbits, snakes, and other small mammals. Listen carefully, and you may hear the screeching call of the juvenile great horned owl after dark. 2. Cottontail Rabbit - Cottontail rabbits are most active in the early morning or late afternoon. They eat grass and other plants including cactus and sometimes re-ingest their own feces to extract more nutrients. Cottontails are a favorite meal of the great horned owl and bobcat. 3. Bats - Bats are the only mammal that truly flies! Five of the sixteen species of bats found in Wyoming are common here and can be seen swooping over the fields at night as they gobble up insects. Return here at dusk or visit one of our bat houses to watch their aerial acrobatics. 4. Wyoming Sage Brush - Wyoming has more Sage Brush than any other state as it covers greater than 50% of its land area. It plays a crucial role in providing food and habitat for much of Wyoming’s wildlife. For the sage grouse and pronghorn antelope, sage brush makes up over 95% of their winter diet. 5. Utah Juniper - Utah Juniper is an evergreen that grows in dry rocky soi
Look, But Don’t Peck Don’t add graffiti or deface images at rock art sites. Even if others have been thoughtless enough to add their names, initials, or a message to the rock art, please don’t condone their actions by adding your own. Rock Art Trail 10 MARKER 9 8 3 4 Trail Marker Locations RGESS JlNKS BUD AN RTlN SPEED MA l2 JUNE -l9l9- 5 MARKER 10 6 numerous superimposed images; both pecked and incised. There are three female anthropomorphs with horned headdresses. Notice the strange concentric eyes on several of the figures. Can you find the beaver in the lower left area of this panel? 7 Form: Anthropomorphs, zoomorphs, geometric Description: This panel is extremely complex with Rock art and the landscapes in which they occur are extremely fragile. Once damaged, these cultural resources are irreparably lost. To many Native Americans, rock art sites are sacred places. To others, they are a visible reminder of people who visited a place long before us. For all people, it is important to respect, preserve, and protect these stories pecked and painted in stone for future generations. 9 Our Cultural History It’s Illegal Remember, defacing public archaeological sites is illegal. The defacing of rock art sites is not unlike placing graffiti on public buildings, sculptures, churches, gravestones, or other sacred structures and objects. 1 is visible on this section of the cliff. Horses were introduced into Wyoming during the late 1500s. This panel includes several historic initials and names. We conserve and protect the older names but remove those made after 1973 as funding allows. Removing vandalism from the cliff face is extremely expensive and may lead to fines and additional fees imposed on people found vandalizing the site. 2 Form: Anthropomorphs, zoomorphs, geometrics, graffiti Description: A painted (pictograph) of a horseman Medicine Lodge is well known for its quantity and quality of petroglyphs and pictographs. Rock art numbering in the hundreds are spread out over a 750-foot long sandstone cliff. As you walk along the cliff face, look for the numbered trail markers (1-10). This brochure provides information about petroglyphs and pictographs seen at each marker. Additional information is available at the visitor center. MARKER 1 MARKER 3 MARKER 5 MARKER 7 (2) (4) (3) (3) (1) (1) (2) (6) (5) Form: Anthropomorphs, zoomorphs Description: The shields covering the shield-bearing warriors’ bodies (left) indicate they are pedestrian warriors. The larger figure on the right has tear streaks coming from her eyes. Female warriors like these are only found at a few sites. She is either holding a dart or has been shot by one. The large zoomorph on the right lacks features that allow positive identification. What do you think the large animal on the right could be? MARKER 2 Form: Anthropomorphs, zoomorphs Description: Some people believe the zoomorph on the left represents a pronghorn antelope. What do you think? Note the shield-bearing warrior with weapon and distinct shield pattern. Some shield patterns are associated with warrior societies allowing a specific cultural group to be identified. The shape of his head and ears are similar to those attributed to the Crow (Apsaalooke) Tribe. His body and weapon are accentuated with black pigment. Natural erosion makes other nearby shield-bearing warriors difficult to see. MARKER 4 Form: Anthropomorphs, zoomorphs, geometric Description: The row of figures (1) are interpreted as dancers or a procession. One theory is it represents a procession that is part of a Crow Tobacco Society ceremony. The shield-bearing warrior (2) is holding a banner staff. Some banner staffs have pennants made of feathers, representing honors an individual or group had won. The shield of the next warrior (3), referred to as an x-ray shield figure, is transparent. Zoomorphs include an ermine, otter, or feline (4), grizzly bear (5), and bison (6). The far right figure is a shield-bearing warrior superimposed over an earlier figure. MARKER 6 Form: Anthropomorphs, zoomorphs, geometric Description: The large figure is an anthropomorph wearing a bison horn headdress. Several darts or arrows are shown in his body. Look for the bear claws extending to the left of the figure. Zoomorphs on this panel include a grizzly bear depicted with its characteristic shoulder hump (1) and a bighorn sheep (2). Several shield warriors are visible to the upper right. Recent research discovered that at solar noon shadows align with the vertical and horizontal lines on figure (3), marking the half-way point between summer solstice and fall equinox. MARKER 8 (1) (4) Form: Geometric designs, graffiti Description: In addition to the faint prehistoric black pictographs in this area, we see music-related images from the early historic era. These images help us understand the people who lived in this isolated area; because of this we don’t consider them to be vandalism. The more rec

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