Bear Lodge Mountains Wyoming

June 10, 2024
Bear Lodge - Wyoming

The town of Sundance was named for nearby Sundance Mountain where the Lakota and their allies held a religious ceremony each summer. Festivities lasted several weeks and centered around a four-day period in which young men fasted, prayed, blew whistles made of eagle bones, waited for visions, and danced around a ceremonial altar pole adorned with an eagle nest and a buffalo skull. The sun dance was an important communal and religious event, and forms of it are still practiced by some Plains Indian groups.

Nestled in the western part of the Black Hills, Sundance was established in 1879. Population in 2000 was 1161. Primarily an agricultural community, the population is increasing due to the mineral boom in nearby Campbell County. Its scenic beauty, low taxes, schools and hospital make this a sought-after area in which to live.

Sundance is also the town where Harry Longabaugh received his outlaw title of the Sundance Kid. He was convicted of horse theft and served out his term in the local county jail, since the state penitentiary was full. The county museum has some interesting memorabilia highlighting the celebrated outlaw's career.

About The Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains

The Black Hills form a unique landmass, sometimes called a “forested island in a grassland seas.” Viewed from the plains, the Hills appear black because of their heavy covering of ponderosa pine. An eagle-eye view of western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming shows a teardrop-shaped “island in the plains, ” well separated from the Rocky Mountains to the west. The Bear Lodge Mountains occupy the northwest third of the teardrop, and at their northwestern edge rises Devils Tower—Mato Tipila, or Bear Lodge.

Ancient uplift formed this geologic dome of crystalline granites and basalts, and subsequent erosion around its central core exposed rings of sandstones, shales, limestones and conglomerates. Caves lace the ground beneath the Hills-passageways for spirits and stories, creation myths and sacred chants. Here too is gold.

Geologically distinctive, the Black Hills embrace a unique biological diversity. They gather bits of eastern deciduous forests like the bur oak; ponderosa pine from the west; birches from the boreal forests of Canada; yuccas from the southwest; the many grasses of the surrounding prairie; as well as ancient native ferns, mosses, and orchids.
Like the plants drawn to these hills, so have the animals left their footprints in the varied habitats- mule deer and whitetails, pronghorns, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions, beavers and otters, blue herons, eagles and crows, Canada geese. And the buffalo-bone and flesh, sinew and spirit of Indian culture.

The Cabins at Bear River Lodge
The Cabins at Bear River Lodge
Rare Element Resources: Bear Lodge REE Gold Project
Rare Element Resources: Bear Lodge REE Gold Project
5 Bedroom Cabin - Bear River Lodge, Utah
5 Bedroom Cabin - Bear River Lodge, Utah
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