Early last week we drove across the Bighorn Mountains from east to west to visit the little town of Ten Sleep, a drive of about 65 miles. There is not much to see in Ten Sleep but the drive across the mountains is quite beautiful. One of our stops along the way was to check out Meadowlark Ski Resort sitting next to Meadowlark Lake.
We also took a side trip of about ten miles up a well maintained dirt road for a visit to West Tensleep Lake. (note the town is Ten Sleep, the lake is Tensleep)
After seeing the lake we returned to the highway and headed down the west side of the mountains through beautiful Tensleep Canyon.
We arrived in Ten Sleep (pop. 260), blinked twice, and found ourselves on the other side of town. Ten Sleep was an Indian rest stop, so called because it was 10 days’ travel, or “10 sleeps,” from Fort Laramie (southeast), Yellowstone National Park (west-northwest), and the Indian Agency on the Stillwater River in Montana (northwest). Just west of town we found our destination, the Ten Sleep Brewing Company.
The brewery is located just west of town about a quarter mile north of the main highway. It sits in a refurbished barn at the base of some red rocks.
The brewery doesn’t serve food but there is a BBQ food truck parked next to their outdoor seating area. We split a sandwich while enjoying a glass of their Pack Saddle Porter.
Driving back up through Tensleep Canyon on the return trip we found the views to be even more beautiful.
As we drove up through the canyon we came to this plaque located next to a scenic overlook.
The monument is located on the peak marked with an arrow in the photo below. It is very difficult to spot without binoculars or a zoom lens.
About half way back to Buffalo the sky began to darken and the temperature dropped into the mid 50s (it was 91 in Ten Sleep). Rain began to fall, soon turning to hail. We stopped in a pullout during the heaviest downpour and enjoyed a nice rainbow when the sun peaked between the clouds.
As we started back down the highway the road looked like it would in the winter.
Driving about ten more miles down into Buffalo we found sunny skies with warm temperatures and no sign of rain. Love those mountains!