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  • Writer's pictureRobin Black

Exploring the Majestic Beauty of Wild Horses in the Pryor Mountains

A photograph of the iconic stallion Cloud in the Pryor Mountain Horse Range
The iconic stallion Cloud in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range

Imagine traveling to see wild horses in the wild. The Pryor Mountains feral horse herd is one of the most accessible feral horse herds in the United States. Visitors may come to the public lands of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range to enjoy observing these well-known wild horses and are encouraged to do so from a safe distance. 

Comprised of more than 39,000 acres the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range is located in the southeastern portion of Carbon County, Montana, and northern Big Horn County, Wyoming, approximately 50 miles south of Billings, Montana, and 10 miles north of Lovell Wyoming.

The range can be easily accessed via a paved road which parallels Bighorn Canyon, and which provides excellent viewing of the horses. The range can also be accessed from Laurel, Montana, by traveling south on U.S. Route 310 and then taking the Forest Service gravel road to Dryhead Overlook. Some of the range may be accessed via the Crow Indian Reservation. A trespass permit from the Crow Nation is required to cross tribal land or exit a vehicle while on tribal land.

Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center is a public, not-for-profit 501c3 educational institution located in Lovell, Wyoming dedicated to preserving the future of the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains. At the center visitors will learn facts about the breed, such as that their primary bloodlines did descend from Spanish Barbs and the best places to view them. You may arrange for a trip with PryorWild Tours to go to the top of the mountain with an elevation of 8,750 above sea level. Tours are from May 15 through September 30 (email for availability).

Two hikers on top of a mountain

Hiking on the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse range is good, but there are no maintained or marked trails. Because elevations range from 3,850 feet to 8,750 feet above sea level, it's good to be prepared with layers and anticipate weather conditions before hiking to the higher alpine elevations. It's common to experience thunderstorms with lightning in the spring and summer months. The area is high in diversity and plants vary with elevation and precipitation from cold desert shrub to sub-alpine forests and meadows. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Field Guide to the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses 10th Edition 2023.

TripAdvisor has a list of accommodations and restaurants reviews near Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center. The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch rates well on TripAdvisor and is 35.5 miles from Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center.


For a recent look during fall 2023 at the mustangs and what it's like to travel to the Pryor Mountain Horse Range, watch this well-produced video on the YouTube channel @loristravels

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