Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA Location: Washakie & Big Horn Counties
Nearest Town: Worland (25 miles)
BLM Acreage: 17,150 acres
Recommended for Wilderness: 18,540 acres (includes 1,390 acres state land)
Access Points & Directions:
The WSA boundaries follow primitive routes to the south, west and east. The northeast boundary follows a primitive road and then follows state property line. The northern boundary is located within 0.5 miles of Fifteen Mile Road.
To reach Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA from the south, take State Hwy 431 out of Worland for about 25 miles. Turn north (right) onto the Murphy Draw Road (BLM Road 1302) and continue for about 7.7 miles. Turn east (right) onto Squaw Teats Road (BLM Road 1301) and go 2.6 miles. Look for a primitive route to the north which you can use to reach Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA in 1.25 miles.
Or, if travelling from Meeteetse, take State Highway 120 south for 9.1 miles. Turn east (left) onto Squaw Teats Road (BLM Road 1301) for 14.25 miles. Look for a primitive route to the north which you can use to reach Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA in 1.25 miles.
To access Bobcat Draw Badlands from the north, from Worland take Fifteen Mile Road (BLM Road 1429). After travelling for approximately 33 miles you will reach the northern border of Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA.
Allowable Uses & Restrictions:
Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA has been closed to all motorized use. Please abide by all posted regulations.
Primitive & Unconfined Recreation:
The Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA, in combination with its size, varied and rugged topography, diversity of landscape and scenic attributes, contains outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined types of recreation.
The badland setting provides outstanding hiking, exploring and “freedom of movement” opportunities. Rock collecting, wildlife viewing, hiking, hunting, horseback riding, non-consumptive wildlife use, photography and geological sightseeing are activities which occur in this WSA. Visitor use is low (about 240 visitor use days per year).
The Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA encompasses 17,150 acres of BLM-administered land and 1,390 acres of state land. The WSA offers special features and scenic beauty which are outstanding. Terrain in the unit is highly unique and variable in land form and color. Located in the Willwood geologic formation, it is famous for a “Devil’s Garden” of arches, goblins, castles and other fantastic or fanciful landforms. The WSA in within the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Management Area. The National Park Service has identified the Gooseberry Badlands and the east ridge of Fifteenmile Creek, located near the WSA, as potential National Natural Landmarks.
The southwestern corner of the WSA is dominated by long, flat-topped grassland ridges or plateaus that extend finger-like between badland breaks and drainages. The most striking feature of the area is the rugged badland terrain separating these ridges from the drainage bottoms. The action of wind and water on layers of soft clay sandstone and ancient volcanic ash interspersed between erosion-resistant rock and shale layers has cut a maze of deep narrow draws, leaving jagged angular ridges. Badland features such as orange, red, tan, gray and white striated cliffs, hoodoos and mushrooms jut up from silted bottoms and eroded pockets throughout the landscape. These badland breaks give way to flat, grassy drainage bottoms near the eastern and northern edges of the area, but even this flatter terrain is interrupted by badland hillocks and erosional features.
The Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA basically appears natural with negligible overall influence of human imprints. The colorful badlands provide a natural setting that entices people to view and explore the many varied shapes carved out of the landscape. Many of the faint evidences of man, such as vehicle trails, fences, livestock reservoirs and cherry-stem roads, are becoming less and less distinct as time and natural processes obliterate them. They do not substantially detract from natural character because of their wide dispersion over the 18,540 acres, the topographic screening and the low impact of the intrusions individually. The presence of numerous wildlife species enhances the area’s naturalness and visitors may encounter antelope, deer, raptors, game birds and small animals.
The Bobcat Draw Badlands offers an outstanding opportunity for solitude. The rugged badland topography throughout most of the area provides screening and a profound sense of seclusion that is enhanced by the remote natural character of the WSA. Visitors are provided ample opportunities to avoid the sights and sounds of other visitors in the stark, rugged badlands and drainages. In areas with a vista, vast expanses surround the viewer and the Absaroka Mountains to the west and the Bighorn Mountains to the east are visible.
The Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA offers special features and scenic beauty which are outstanding. Terrain in the unit is highly unique and variable in land form and color. The study area is located in the Willwood geologic formation famous for its early Eocene period vertebrate fossils. The area’s uniqueness results from the presence of hard erosion-resistant rock layers spaced every few feet between layers of soft erodible material. The colors brightly contrast between different soil and rock layers. There are two culturally significant sites which are believed to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. These sites are important because of their occurrence in a badland-type setting.
The WSA is within the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Management Area. This herd is managed with an average annual objective of 100 adult horses over a five-year period. It is expected that an average of approximately 25 to 30 horses would use the study area on a year-round basis. In addition, the National Park Service has identified the Gooseberry Badlands and the east ridge of Fifteenmile Creek (both located within or near the WSA) as potential National Natural Landmarks. The WSA contains paleontological resources that are of national significance and include fossil of vertebrates (fish, crocodiles and turtles), invertebrates (gastropods, pelecypods and ostracodes), and plant fossils. There are two culturally significant sites, which are believed to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. These sites are important because of their occurrence in a badland-type setting.