Explore Sheridan

Mileage : 200 Miles
Time : 3 Hours 45 Minutes

Wyoming is a state renowned for its rugged landscapes, vast expanses of wilderness, and iconic landmarks such as Devils Tower. While many travelers rush to see these famous sights, there’s a whole other world waiting to be discovered along the back roads that wind through the heart of the Cowboy State. One such journey leads from the majestic Devils Tower to the charming town of Sheridan, offering travelers a glimpse into the untamed beauty and rich history of Wyoming.

Devils Tower: A Natural Wonder

Devils TowerOur journey begins at Devils Tower, a geological marvel that rises dramatically from the surrounding plains. Sacred to Native American tribes and a magnet for rock climbers and nature enthusiasts, Devils Tower is a sight to behold. As you circle the tower, marvel at its sheer walls and the intricate patterns etched into its surface by centuries of erosion. Named the United States’ first National Monument in 1906, President Theodore Rosevelt helped preserve the 1,300 acre site that continues to thrill visitors today.

Hitting the Back Roads

Spotted Horse BarThere’s plenty of beauty to capture on the road between Devils Tower and Gillette, including the rugged Black Hills of Wyoming, the quaint Pine Ridge Community Church, and the charming community of Moorcroft. 

For those who don’t mind taking the time, the graded dirt road from leading to Oshoto then north towards Rocky Point, can connect you to the Thunder Basin National Grassland near Weston, Wyoming off state route 59. The grassland offers a plethora of recreational activities like bird watching, ORV (off road vehicle) trail riding 50” inches or less, as well as dispersed camping along the way. Take the time to research the area to plan out your camping experience. Following state route 59 from Weston towards highway 14/16 will run about 25 miles. Continuing north west for about 30 miles will take you to the town of Spotted Horse where you can find the Spotted Horse Bar a fan favorite to visitors and locals alike. Grab a beer, and a burger at the place proudly boasting the “coldest beer in town”.

In crossing county lines the town of Leiter will be your first greeting to Sheridan County along highway 14/16. Leiter, Wyoming has a historical legacy tied to the late 19th-century gold rush and mining boom. Established in the late 1800s, the town flourished briefly as a mining community, drawing prospectors in search of precious metals. However, as the mining industry declined, Leiter gradually declined in population (current population is 3).The Town of Leiter was once a famous stopping point amongst travelers. It is famous for Joe’s Place, a local stopping point for beer and some short respite in the early 1930s to the late 1960s. Cabins constructed by Joe Trollan, the man himself, were built here to give travelers much needed time to recharge before continuing out on the open road.


Clearmont JailThe next town along your travels is Clearmont, Wyoming. The town was once one of northern Wyoming’s busiest communities. Before the 1963 construction of the Interstate 90 bypass (connecting Gillette to Buffalo) Clearmont’s Black to Yellow Highway (US Highway 14) was the preferred route for travelers making the journey between the Black Hills and Yellowstone National Park. The community boasted two grocery stores, a lumber yard, restaurants, seven gas stations, and plenty of attractions to keep the traveling public occupied on the trip from Gillette to Sheridan. Times have changed, but there’s still plenty of history to explore in and around Clearmont. Before Clearmont became a town in 1892, there was the town of Huson, complete with a cemetery, post office and local press. Huson ceased to exist in November 1892, just six months after its post office was established because the owners of the Burlington and Missouri Railroad Co. didn’t like a bend in the track and chose instead Clearmont as the location for its new station. A fire in the 1920s destroyed a row of buildings that included the Rock Hotel and Saloon, a meat market, and a popular confectionery store. 

The town today serves as a reminder of days gone by but has always been a tight knit community that comes together to celebrate what makes it special. A family friendly event that is available to the public is Clearmont Day. An annual event that has been around for over 100 years, Clearmont Day consists of a slew of  events like the fun run ranging from a one mile to 10k runs, vendors in the park, soap box race, kids zone, duck race, as well as live music and a barbecue to round out the experience. Taking place towards the end of June annually, you can guarantee that you will have a new found love for Clearmont, Wyoming. 


Ucross FoundationBefore you tackle the final leg of your trip towards Sheridan, consider stopping in Ucross, Wyoming, home of the Ucross Foundation. The Ucross Foundation is a 20,000 acre ranch with an artist in residency program that has been around since 1983. Step inside the historic Big Red Barn to see fine art exhibits open to the public at no charge. The displays you will see are eclectic, refined, and beautiful. Further along, you’ll find The Park at Ucross, “representing the Ucross Foundation’s ongoing efforts to honor and preserve this extraordinary corner of the American West.” Fun fact; the chapel here is modeled after The Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo in New Zealand, a location that Ucross Foundation founder Raymond Plank had an affinity for. Ucross offers a special gift to its artists in residency which is uninterrupted time. Since the foundation was put in place, over 2,700 artists have spent their time at Ucross. Some of which being Pulitzer Prize winning writers such as Annie Proulx and Doug Wright. 

The ranch is situated on the high plains of Sheridan County encompassed by the beauty of the Bighorn Mountains. The center of attention for visitors to the Ucross ranch is the gallery on the ranch. They showcase three exhibits per year along with workshops, artist talks at no cost to those who come here. If you decide to stay at Ucross The Ranch at Ucross associated with the foundation has all of your bases covered with amenities like a gift shop, dining, a pool, and five cozy rooms styles to choose from. Views from the rooms make you feel like you are in the wild west with horses grazing, sage covered hills and pastures as far as the eye can see. Before you leave, grab a coffee and a pastry at the cafe on site, hand crafted by an artist in residency chef for a cap on the journey towards Sheridan.

Final Thoughts

Our journey concludes in the picturesque town of Sheridan, nestled at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains. Sheridan exudes old-west charm, with its historic downtown area lined with brick buildings housing quaint shops, galleries, and eateries. Take a stroll down Main Street, explore the local art scene, or savor a hearty meal at one of the town’s cozy restaurants.

The back roads between Devils Tower and Sheridan offer travelers a chance to experience the true essence of Wyoming. From the towering majesty of Devils Tower to the sweeping vistas of the open plains, this journey is a testament to the untamed beauty and rugged spirit of the Cowboy State. So, the next time you find yourself in Wyoming, veer off the beaten path and embark on an adventure along the back roads. You never know what hidden treasures you might discover along the way.

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