On Thursday, the Bighorn Lake level was 3,642.5 feet, two-and-a-half feet into the flood pool, and is expected to continue rising over the next two weeks.
Because of the high water, sizable amounts of driftwood and other debris are floating on the lake. Several driftwood rafts containing large trees have formed which can cause serious damage to boat props and lower units.
The high water is also affecting the Black Canyon and Dayboard 9 campgrounds. Those campgrounds are not closed, but sites are starting to go underwater. When the lake reaches 3,646 feet, all sites at Black Canyon will be underwater.
The high water has also temporarily eliminated the accessibility parking on the ramp at Barry’s Landing. The park recommends large trucks and boat trailers back down the ramp to avoid the challenge of turning vehicles around at the end of the launch area. Parts of the Barry’s Island Trail to Medicine Creek will go underwater at lake level 3,646, and the swim beach areas at Ok-A-Beh and Horseshoe Bend Marinas have significantly diminished in size due to the high water.
Boaters may also be aware of new docks stacked at both Barry’s Landing and Horseshoe Bend. Because of contracting issues and safety concerns, the park is waiting to complete the installation and will do so as soon as the issues are resolved, according to a press release from the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
For current lake conditions people may call the Cal S. Taggart Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center at 307-548-5406. Other important boating information is available online at nps.gov/bica/planyourvisit/boating.htm.