The Bighorn National Forest offers some of the best outdoor recreation in the country, with hundreds of miles of marked trails for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling; plus campgrounds, fishing streams, and fantastic wildlife-viewing opportunities. For maps and advice, contact the forest headquarters and Tongue Ranger District office, 2013 Eastside 2nd St. (tel. 307/674-2600; www.fs.fed.us/r2/bighorn).
In town, there is an excellent trail network dubbed community walkways. Pick up a map at the visitor center at I-90, exit 23.
For advice on local hot spots for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, and the like, plus topographical maps, check with Big Horn Mountain Sports, 334 N. Main St. (tel. 307/672-6866; www.bighornmountainsports.com). This extremely well-stocked sporting-goods store sells equipment and supplies, and also rents practically anything you might need for fly-fishing, backpacking, camping, snowshoeing, downhill and cross-country skiing, and snowboarding. Next door is Back Country Bicycles, a full-service mountain-bike facility (tel. 307/672-2453), with sales, repairs, and rentals. Big Horn Mountain Sports also coordinates fly-fishing classes and guided trips.
Ron Spahn of Spahn's Big Horn Mountain Bed and Breakfast (tel. 307/674-8150) offers daylong tours of the area, with a focus on the off-the-beaten-path sites that are representative of the "real West," looking at Indian history and modern social problems, mining and environmental issues, outlaw hide-outs, wildlife, and the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains. Ron drives customers in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and offers a field lunch and an engaging, educated perspective. His tours run $95 per person with a $325 minimum.
The scenic drive, the Bighorn Mountain Loop, can easily be undertaken with Sheridan as the starting or ending point, or as both.
The Tongue River is the Bighorns' blue-ribbon stream. There are browns, rainbows, and brook trout up to 20 inches. Inquire at the Wyoming Game and Fish Visitors Center, 700 Valley View Dr. (tel. 307/672-7418), for local catch limits and licenses. For equipment needs, advice, and guided trips, contact the Fly Shop of the Big Horns, 227 N. Main St. (tel. 800/253-5866; www.troutangler.com).
Dubbing itself the Golf Capital of Wyoming, Sheridan offers several excellent courses with views of the Bighorn Mountains, including one of the state's best, the Powder Horn, 6 miles south of Sheridan in Big Horn (tel. 307/672-5323; www.thepowderhorn.com). The semi-private course includes 27 beautiful holes that mix Scottish-style golf with plenty of wide-open fairways and target golf. Greens fees for 18 holes run $64 to $84 plus $15 per seat for a cart. There are also the 18-hole Sheridan Country Club, west of Sheridan at 1992 W. 5th St. (tel. 307/674-8135; www.sheridancountryclub.com), with greens fees of $30, plus $16 per seat for carts; and the 18-hole Kendrick Golf Club on Big Goose Road (tel. 307/674-8148), charging $28 for 18 holes, plus $12 per seat for carts. In Buffalo, the Buffalo Golf Club, 550 W. Hart (tel. 307/684-5266; www.buffalowygolf.com), is a hilly 18-hole public course with greens fees of $28 for 18 holes, $24 for a cart.
Sand Turn in the Bighorn Mountains west of Sheridan is a hang-gliding mecca in the summer. There are fly-ins in late May and over Labor Day weekend; spectators are welcome. Call Sheridan Travel and Tourism (tel. 888/596-6787) for additional information.
In the winter, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are all popular activities in the Sheridan area. The 218-mile Bighorn Mountains Trail System is a perpetually top-rated snowmobiling area, with the nearest trail head just 15 miles southwest of Sheridan. Call Sheridan Travel and Tourism (tel. 888/596-6787) for additional information.