A Drive to Ten Sleep , Wyoming

Buffalo, WY

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)

West Tensleep Lake

After seeing the lake we returned to the highway and headed down the west side of the mountains through beautiful Tensleep Canyon.

What is that opening up in the rocks?

Oh my, an arch!

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.

Red rocks just behind the brewery

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!


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30 Responses to A Drive to Ten Sleep , Wyoming

  1. Larry says:

    Looks like a very pretty area and much greener than I expected.

  2. pmbweaver says:

    I bet that water is a bit chilly.

    Snow….they are still having snow in July. Brrrrr.

  3. montanaclarks says:

    In another life I dated a man who had a ranch in Ten Sleep–loved that area!

  4. Gay says:

    What a nice drive! I love how the town got its name…cool! Did you go to the brewery just to see red rocks one more time?
    We had hail and sleet yesterday as well. Gotta love the mountains!

  5. I remember driving off the mountains a couple of times after hiking and getting heavy rain and hail! Crazy huh!

    • placestheygo says:

      The strong storms make hiking tough in the mountains. We’ve had hail here in Buffalo a couple times, as well. It seems it storms everyday. It sure is crazy:)

  6. Those mountains definitely make their own weather.
    That looks like a remote spot for a brewery.

    • placestheygo says:

      We were saying the same thing about the brewery. There isn’t much around there.
      Boy, the mountains do have their own weather pattern and it seems there are storms ever day.

  7. At least it did not take you ten sleeps before getting to the brewery in the middle of now where.
    It is really scenic here in Wyoming, beautiful!
    We too got rained down while in the mountains.

  8. Sue says:

    That’s a long drive for a beer! A long and very beautiful drive 🙂

  9. Jim and Barb says:

    Crazy hail storm! The ski area looked like a cool place to hike, some allow it and some don’t…..

  10. Jacquie says:

    I just love that there are these little craft breweries everywhere in the US! You haven’t lost your ‘arch’ touch. I wasn’t sure Wyoming was on my ‘go to’ list but you’re bringing it all to life for us – including the crazy names of towns, crazy weather and spectacular scenery! Still following closely…

    • placestheygo says:

      Good to know you are still with us, Jacquie:) You should definitely put Wyoming on your list. There are so many great places to see beyond the Tetons and Yellowstone. And the scenery is amazing!

  11. Sherry says:

    LOL at the arch queen. She finds them everywhere. Gorgeous picture of the lake. What a beautiful spot. That is the most amazing setting for a brewery I’ve ever seen. Good grief, we’re all sweating and you are driving around in ice.

  12. Debbie says:

    Crazy weather for a beer and BBQ

  13. Jodee Gravel says:

    Hindsight is always 20/20. When we were in Worland yesterday we were 25 miles from Ten Sleep. If I’d looked at the map sooner, we could have met you for a brew one of the last couple days 😦 Looks like a pretty drive from “your” side and how exciting to catch some hail in the mountains. Of course you saw an arch – no sheep??

    • placestheygo says:

      Oh, darn, Jodee! So close yet so far! You and Bill would love the drive through the Tensleep Canyon…just spectacular!!! No sheep:( They reintroduced them several years ago but I don’t know who if there are many of them around.

  14. Laurel says:

    So interesting how the town got its name! Looks like a beautiful drive — with a brewery and food truck reward! 🙂

  15. LuAnn says:

    Breweries seem to be popping up all over in MT and WY. There are now 8 in Bozeman. Even though you got rain and hail, it sure beats record high temps in many other places in the country.

  16. geogypsy2u says:

    Wouldn’t you just know it to find a brewery in the middle of beautiful nowhere. Love how mountains make their own weather.

  17. Debbie L says:

    Oh how exciting to learn more about my long lost birth state! Absolutely beautiful pictures.
    So Eastern Kentucky has a little in common with Wyoming. We have Arches on the mountain tops here, too! We tried hiking up to one but a rain storm ran us back down the hill….We’ve had a hard time finding a way to see the fantastic structures nature has created here. It is really a dense forest on top of rocks! Crazy!

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