The Bobcat Draw Badlands Wilderness Study Area is located less than 40 miles from Worland, WY. The 17,150 acres of pristine land is administered by the Bureau of Land Management, whereas 1,390 acres are state-owned.
The appeal of the Wilderness Study Area is due to its unique topography that is spellbinding and captivating. Multiple hues of purple, red, blue and orange cover the landscape. The distinctive appearance of the terrain is due to the variety of landforms, sediments, and minerals found in the area.
The Wilderness Study Area belongs to the Willwood geological formation and is famously called “Devil’s garden” for its almost alien-like rock formation that resembles medieval castles and goblins. Rock spires, eroded rock mushrooms, mud caves, and beautiful rock arches cover the landscape.
Due to its rare landforms, Wilderness Study Areas Gooseberry Badlands and the nearby east ridge of Fifteenmile Creek have been classified as potential National Natural landmarks by the National Park Service. The scenic and fairyland-ish charm of the Bobcat Draw Badland Wilderness Area makes it a popular spot amongst photographers. The fact that it receives few visitors makes it even more appealing for those wanting seclusion and unique nature shots rarely seen.
The dimensions, the rugged topography, unique landscape, and diverse landforms of the Wilderness Study Area provide unique opportunities for primitive recreation. Visitors enjoy rockhounding, hunting, hiking, photography, and horseback riding opportunities besides exploring the diverse wildlife and unique landscape of the region.
If you are approaching Bobcat Draw Badlands Wilderness Study Area from the south then take State Highway 431 from Worland, Wyoming, and drive for about 25 miles. Take a right onto BLM Road 1302 and continue for the next eight miles, or you can also take a right onto BLM Road 1301 and drive for another three miles. You’ll find a primitive dirt road to the north and that will take you to your destination.
If you’re coming from Meeteetse, WY, take State Highway 120 and drive south for about nine miles and then take a left onto BLM Road 1301 and look for that primitive dirt road to the north. That dirt road would have to be driven upon for over a mile before you arrive at your destination.
To the south, west, and east of the WSA are primitive roads. The only developed road is the Fifteen Mile Road that is located at the northern boundary of the Wilderness Study Area.
Be it Bobcat Draw Badlands Wilderness Study Area or any wilderness, reaching it requires excellent navigational skills and a high-clearance vehicle or a four-wheel drive. Additionally, spare tires and gas are basic precautions. Visitors should also be prepared for adverse weather and harsh road conditions.
Those who are unused to primitive camping can find a developed campground just a half-hour drive away. This private campground boasts 39 RV sites and a large grassy area for tents. Electric hookup of 20/30/50 amp is provided and most sites are pull-thru.
Showers, tree shades, Wi-Fi, horseshoe pits, dump stations, and gravel sites are provided for at the campground. The maximum RV length accommodated at this campground is 60-feet. The management welcomes pets at the campground.
Bobcat Draw Badlands Wilderness Study Area offers a chance for visitors to experience primitive camping in its beautiful and mesmerizing surroundings. There are no facilities available, and the campers rely solely on their survival skills and how much they came prepared.
Campers can stay for up to 14 days. Camping can be extended by relocating to a new campsite after 14 days. Live vegetation should not be used for fires. Pets are welcome to stay with their owners as long as they are in control and behaved. Adhere to the seven leave-no-trace principles at all times.
There aren’t any developed or manmade trails in the Wilderness Study Area, yet hikers still explore and discover the unique landscapes via their own routes. The snow-capped peaks of the Absaroka Range make an excellent landmark for navigation. Keep an eye on them as you make their way through the undergrowth of natural vegetation to find your bearings. Take necessary precautions when hiking in this remote and seldom-visited landscape.
There are several historic traces of human civilization found in the Wilderness Study Area, even though the land appears very natural and entirely untouched by human imprints. It only makes exploring these prehistoric traces of life even more fun.
If you pay attention during your exploration, you’ll find faint traces of vehicle trails, cherry-stem roads, and livestock reservoirs. However, with each passing year, evidence of these remains becomes less and less visible.
Wherever you go in the Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA, unique sights greet you. The entire southwestern portion is dwarfed by long and flat grassland ridges and plateaus that extend their finger-like tops towards the skies. Then there’s the sight of these ridges being separated by rugged badland terrain.
Another popular sightseeing spot that greets visitors is that of the maze-like narrow draws and angular ridges left by volcanic ash, that over the centuries, have dispersed in shale layers and erosion-resistant rocks.
Natural and historic sights offered by the Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA is one of the main reasons why visitors make their way to this far-away land in Wyoming. Capturing this unique and somewhat little-known piece of wilderness land from the early Eocene Epoch makes for a picture just as rare. The contrast of multiple colored rocks and landform appearances brings photography to life and leads to some striking art for your wall or social media feeds.
This Wilderness Study Area provides an excellent opportunity for picnicking, especially to those who wish to enjoy their picnics in complete and utter solitude. A picnic at Bobcat Draw Badlands WSA is unlike picnicking anywhere else since few places offer such a profound sense of remoteness and beauty. You can also pick a spot for your picnic where you can enjoy the vast vistas of the Absaroka Mountains and the Bighorn Mountains.
The unique topography and landscape of the Bobcat Draw Wilderness Study Area is a habitat for numerous wildlife and plenty of flora that heighten the beauty of the land. Be prepared to encounter game birds, birds of prey, deer, antelope, and different species of small mammals.
Remember as always to keep your distance from wild animals and never feed them.