Wildflowers west of Buffalo in Bighorn Mtns. - Wikipedia Commons
The Big Horn Mountains -- to the
west -- dominate the skyline of this town, which is
situated near the junction of Interstate Highways
25 and 90. It was one of the first settlements in
northern Wyoming, incorporated in 1884. It's now a
good spot to stay when beginning the scenic drive
over the Big Horn Mountains. Buffalo is an
agricultural community with a good selection of
motels and campgrounds from which to
The land around Buffalo saw perhaps more Indian
wars than any other part of the United States. Fort
Phil Kearney, situated 17 miles north of Buffalo off
Highway 87, was built to protect the Bozeman Trail and
was constantly in conflict with the Sioux, Arapahoe and
It was besieged frequently by Chief Red Cloud and his
warriors before the trail and the fort were closed in
1868. Indians promptly burned the fort and regained
supremacy over the land -- for a while. Fort McKinney was
originally built near old Fort Reno and was
re-established on a site on Clear Creek, near Buffalo.
The property is now the Veterans' Home of Wyoming, a home
for senior citizens.
All of this Indian vs cavalry conflict is commemorated
in the Jim Gatchell Museum in Buffalo. The museum
contains more than 10,000 artifacts of that era: of the
Union soldiers, the Indian tribes of this vast wilderness
and the early pioneers who settled the area.
The area has more than a few guest ranches with mainly
cabin accom-modations ranging from rustic to deluxe.
Riding is the primary recreation.
One of the largest is Paradise Guest Ranch, (13 miles west of town on
Highway 16 (307-684-7876). There's a history here with 100 years of experience in hosting and entertaining visitors to its working ranch. This is a family-oriented ranch, with western excitement for kids and adults. There are 18 luxurious log cabins containing
fireplaces and kitchens with family meals served in the
lodge dining room. The facility is equipped with a hot
tub and fishing is nearby..
A much smaller and more intimate ranch is the Rafter Y Ranch, (307-683-2258) on the slope of the Big Horn
Mountains 18 miles northwest of Buffalo in Banner. Again, there are
log cabins and buffet meals are served in the lodge.
Paradise Guest Ranch
Where to Eat
Bozeman Trail Steak House
675 East Hart Street, Buffalo, 307-684-5555
This popular Buffalo restaurant has a western motif and
serves American cuisine, including its namesake steaks. It is also
suitable for family dining and is located west of I-25.
The Occidental Saloon
10 North Main Street, Buffalo, 307-684-0451
This is definitely a period place, the period & place being the old wild west of the pioneer days. In the early days it served as a gambling hall with high stakes pioker and games lasting for days. It's a bar first and foremost, and they serve food including bison burgers. Thursdays is Bluegrass jam night, and a band plays on Friday and Saturday nights. Its somewhat shady beginnings brought on certain strains of violence from time to time, There are 23 original bullet holes in the ceiling. The place is more peaceful now.