Hippies and hunters and cowboys and climbers—these strange bedfellows mingle in relative harmony in north-central Wyoming’s Ten Sleep, “a little western town with a big western heart.”
Rich in history, this ranching town was the halfway point—or ten “sleeps”—between two major Sioux Indian camps. Surrounded by working sheep and cattle ranches, today’s Ten Sleep, population 260, is a stop-off for travelers en route to Wyoming’s biggest tourist attraction, Yellowstone National Park, and to the nearby Bighorn National Forest.
Ten Sleep sits so close to the Bighorn Mountains that you can’t see them from most places in town—the striking reddish-hued foothills block the view.
But you can’t help noticing Ten Sleep Canyon, which rises into the mountains starting about six miles east of town and has grown in the past couple of decades into one of America’s top summer climbing destinations, with more than 800 bolted routes. If you’ve been considering a trip to Ten Sleep Canyon, or if you’ve never heard of this place (where have you been these past few years?), here’s everything you need to know before you go.