Red Butte WSA Location: Big Horn County
Nearest Town: Worland (15 miles)
BLM Acreage: 11,350 acres
Recommended for Wilderness: 0 acres
Access Points & Directions:
Red Butte WSA is located 12 miles northwest of Worland, Wyoming, and directly southeast of Sheep Mountain WSA, in the Fifteenmile Creek drainage. A variety of access points is available.
From the north, take Wyoming State Highway 30 (which leads west out of Basin or north/south through Burlington) to County Lane 42½, and go south on Dorsey Creek Road for approximately 13 miles. Head east on a two-track road for approximately 1.5 miles. Also from the north, access is from either from the east using US Highway 16-20 and turning southwest via Five Mile Road (BLM Road 1101), and head south-southwest for approximately 12 miles.
From Worland or from Manderson/Basin, access County Road 433 (West River Road) from US Highway 16-20, or north out of Worland, Wyoming from US Highway 16-20; Wyoming State Highway 789, to Ten Mile Road (BLM Road 1428). Head northwest for approximately 17 miles. Also from Worland, you can take 15-Mile Road west for approximately 20 miles to Dorsey Creek Road. Go north for approximately 4 miles, then head east on a two-track for approximately 1.5 miles. Or, head west out of Worland on 15-Mile Road for approximately 19 miles, and turn northeast onto Ten Mile Road for approximately 1 mile.
From the south, access Gooseberry Highway (Wyoming State Highway 431) to Platte Pipeline Road. Head north approximately 15 miles to Fifteen Mile Road. Take Fifteen Mile Road for approximately 4.5 miles to the junction with the Dorsey Creek Road. Either head north on Dorsey Creek Road or take Ten Mile Road. 4-wheel drive is strongly recommended for these two-track routes.
Allowable Uses & Restrictions:
Red Butte WSA has been closed to all motorized use. Please abide by all posted regulations.
Primitive & Unconfined Recreation:
The varied terrain of the Red Butte WSA provides a resource base for a variety of primitive recreation opportunities such as geologic sightseeing, photography, backpacking, hiking and horseback riding. Visitors hiking or exploring the area on horseback can enjoy the vivid colors and interesting erosional features.
Visitor use is low (approximately 120 visitor use days per year) because of the area’s remoteness and harsh weather.
The Red Butte WSA encompasses 11,350 acres of BLM-administered land. The WSA contains bare, rugged badlands created by peaks and ridges broken by irregular, sharply cut drainages. The WSA has old seismograph trails and vehicle trails running throughout the area, five miles of fence line extending through the eastern half and 12 reservoirs scattered throughout the WSA. Of particular interest are the vivid colors and interesting features.
The study area consists of rugged, colorful badland ridges and peaks broken by irregular, sharply cut drainages. Red Butte dominates this central terrain at an elevation of 5,185 feet. The northeastern portion of the WSA exhibits less rugged badlands intermixed with a series of small, bench-like terraces overlooking Fivemile Creek. This area exhibits a moderately dense cover of sagebrush-grass vegetation in contrast with the bare, red-hued badland ridges. In the western portion, the badlands open up to broad, shallow drainages and flat-to-rolling plains.
The Red Butte WSA retains minimal natural character because of cumulative impacts from intrusions such as old seismograph trails and vehicle trails throughout the area, five miles of fence line extending through the eastern half and 12 reservoirs scattered throughout the WSA. The wide dispersal of intrusions detracts somewhat from the natural character of the WSA considering the relatively small size and the lack of an absolute pristine character.
The Red Butte WSA offers an opportunity for solitude, which is enhanced by the badland topography and the isolated character and provides an opportunity to avoid the presence of others. The winding drainages and steep ridges provide screening in the core of the unit. Opportunities for solitude are not dependent on the WSA or rated as exceptional for the immediate area or the region because the area is not highly unique or diverse, or exceptionally large.
The Red Butte WSA contains supplemental values such as geological and paleontological values and includes specimens of an extremely rare arctogonoid (ancestral mammal to the modern hoofed animals).