In Sheridan County, we find that the snow offers many outdoor recreation opportunities that are not possible during the summer months. Pick up this itinerary, take a trip to Sheridan County, and don’t forget to bundle up.
Day One Morning
Base camping for the first day in Sheridan is a good idea to make sure you can pick up those last minute essentials before starting out your trip. However, do not hesitate to find the hidden gems that are the towns of Dayton, Ranchester, Big Horn, or Story.
To Start the morning on the right foot, visit one of our many restaurants and cafes to fuel up before traversing the winter wonderland. The chicken fried steak and eggs or breakfast burrito at the Silver Spur Cafe will satiate even the hungriest of appetites. If a lighter breakfast with a touch of caffeine is something you’re after, a stop at Java Moon will do the trick. They have eats ranging from customizable oats all the way to their breakfast sandwiches made from scratch. After breakfast has been served, explore the many local outfitting shops downtown and pick up those last minute items you will need to hit the snow. These shops include Sheridan Bicycle Company, Sports Stop/Adventure Sports Equipment Company, Foot of the Bighorns, Fly Shop of the Bighorns, WYLD Adventures, and Sled WYO.
With Sheridan Bicycle Company you can buy the fat bike you have been wanting for a while and hit the same trails that Nordic skiers tend to enjoy. At The Sports Stop and Adventure Sports Equipment Company, you can get your hands on anything you need to tackle the winter weather. Foot of the Bighorns can help you find the shoes, boots, and other outdoor footwear to handle the terrain in Sheridan County. Going to Fly Shop of the Bighorns in the winter time will supply you with all the latest fly fishing gear and determination you will need for braving the open water in the winter season. WYLD Adventures has apparel for all ages as well as camping gear to start your adventure in style. For the snowmobile enthusiast, book a backcountry or scenic trip through Sled WYO. They have trail options for those who are well versed in snowmobiling or for those who have never touched one a day in their life. Sled Wyo will be guiding you on some of the Bighorn National Forest’s most epic and untrammeled snow. Rental options are available and book early for trips to guarantee your spot.
With all the needed essentials in hand, make the drive northwest of Sheridan towards the towns of Ranchester and Dayton. These towns are the gateway along the US14 Highway to the truly epic views and recreation of the Bighorn Mountains. Before hitting the high elevations of the Bighorn Mountains, consider making a stop at the Tongue River Canyon, which makes for an excellent hike and fishing spot. Staying at the trailhead does not do the Canyon justice, so make sure to get out there and get active. After exploring the high canyon walls, pristine fishing holes, and trail of the Tongue River Canyon, make your way through Dayton and up the mountain. When the opportunity arises to pull off the road, take it. The views of the frozen landscape are visible for miles and worth the stop.
If you brought your skis, snowshoes, or fat bike with you, make sure to stop in at Cutler Hill or Sibley Lake. Signage for both will be present along the roadside with trail maps posted at each location. There is a warming hut on the Sibley Lake trail to help you thaw out between trails.
Day One Afternoon
After working up an appetite playing in the snow, make sure to stop at any 3 of the lodges for some mouth watering food and beverage options. Arrowhead lodge on US14 is known for their smoked pulled pork nachos that are worth the drive alone. Dip into Bear Lodge Resort on US14A for some wings and burgers that are hard to beat. Or find yourself at the Coppermine Restaurant in Elk View Inn for a meatball sub that will keep you coming back for more.
When you have finished your meal, brush off the skis for a day of play at Antelope Butte Ski Area. With their 23 runs and 1,000 feet vertical rise Antelope Butte does not disappoint. Ski for a half or full day and come back to the lodge to warm up as you please.
Day One Evening
After a long day in the Bighorn mountains, you have earned yourself a tasty brew at Black Tooth Brewing or Luminous Brewhouse. Black Tooth offers a wide variety of beer from their 307 Lager to their Hot Streak IPA. You really can’t go wrong with any selection of beer here. Luminous brewhouse will take you through some flavor notes of Black Mountain Coffee Stout, Roasted Pueblo Chili Ale, and Stratus Orange Wheat to name a few. Stop at one or both of these locations to taste the iconic brews that Sheridan County has to offer.
Finally, it is time to grab some well deserved dinner. Whether you are looking for something casual or more upscale, Sheridan has all your bases covered. Stop in at The Warehouse Gastropub for a pizza or even a baked manicotti that is sure to capitalize on your time in Sheridan County. Reward yourself for your efforts and get a steak or ribs at Wyoming Rib and Chop House.
Day Two Morning
Before taking on the town for the day check out the current offerings at The WYO Theatre to see what show is playing tonight. If cooking classes are where you want to find yourself, the offerings at Cottonwood Kitchen or Verdello are a surefire way to beat the cold. For the Artist, a class at The Paint Post or Red Bison Studio is where you will want to be. For the history buff, check out our article on One day In History of museums in Sheridan County to get an idea of where you want to go. As always, check the calendars of these businesses to find out current offerings as well as the Community Calendar for special events in town.
If you are headed back out to adventure the Bighorn Mountains, try something new at Innominate Coffeehouse and Bakery In Ranchester. With freshly brewed coffee, and from scratch baked goods or breakfast fixings you are sure to be prepared to take on the day. For the folks that want to explore and play in the town of Sheridan mosey on into the Cowboy Cafe for a hearty breakfast or wake up to the caffeinated offerings at Hygge Hearth Coffee and Bakery.
For the shops that you missed on your first exploration of the downtown area, this would make a great time to check them out. If you are here just before the holidays or want some ideas on what these stores offer check out the 2023 Sheridan Gift Guide or the Shopping selection online.
Day Two Afternoon
After you have shopped, and reserved your spot in a class it is time for lunch. Sheridan County is home to nearly 100 places to dine and drink letting you have plenty of options. For something casual, stop in at the Pony Grill & Bar for some burgers and some of the best fried pickles around. For some delicious deli style sandwiches and other home grown products try out Sackett’s Market for some great eats in an inviting atmosphere.
After lunch, going on a walk down Sheridan Pathways is a perfect way to burn off those extra calories. These paved pathways are roughly 20 miles of well-maintained trails that run through town. Sheridan Pathways connects you to some of Sheridan’s gems such as public parks, The Historic Downtown, and Sheridan College. No matter how you decide to traverse them (fat bike, jog, or walking your dog), these trails are free and clear of snow year round.
Day Two Evening
While your time here in Sheridan County has been packed full with things to do, you are not quite done yet. The evening of arts is here to keep you busy at WYO Theater, The Paint Post, or Red Bison Studio. With any of these locations you are sure to have an evening of fun while staying out of the cold.
To celebrate the time you have spent here in Sheridan County, why not treat yourself to a meal at the Wagon Box in Story, Wyoming. With mouthwatering favorites like their prime rib, or chicken piccata you will not be disappointed. Another great option is The Just LeDoux It Saloon and Steak Out in Bighorn, Wyoming. Their menu gives you choices of surf and turf, rack of lamb, and everything in between.
With a jam packed two days in Sheridan County, consider staying an extra day or coming back soon to try anything you missed. Either way, Sheridan is the place to be for all of your snow packed, wild west needs.
Piper Steinmetz | January 16, 2024