Don’t Miss The Interesting History Of Wyoming’s Medicine Wheel
History is STRONG in Wyoming. Even if researchers can't agree on the actual time a piece of history has been around.
In the Bighorn's is a site that is really fantastic to see, the Medicine Wheel. An 80' diameter Native American wheel that has 28 different spokes on the wheel that are in a position to guide seasons, sun positions, lunar cycles and other changes in the Earth's orbit.
The location of the wheel is actually fairly easy to find. If you visit, be prepared for a 1.5 mile walk at 9,640 ft (3 miles roundtrip).
Some researchers feel the wheel is between 300 and 3,000 years old. Oral history, that has been passed down for generations, says that the wheel has been used for a long time. Samples from some of the wood and rock that has been studied and dates back to 1760. That's pretty good proof the wheel dates back quite a while.
Depending on where you are on the wheel, when you follow the spokes of the wheel you will be directed to different points on the horizon. The spot has spiritual meaning to many different tribes throughout history and still is a location where ceremonies will be held throughout the year.
The bighorn medicine wheel is not the only sacred spot around the area, with many different sweat lodge sites, altars, plant gathering areas and other sacred ceremonial sites can be found within the area.
There have been up to 150 sacred wheels discovered in Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, and into Canada.
There are rules to visiting the areas according to the National Forest Service
- Be respectful to the area
- Do not interrupt a spiritual ceremony taking place
- Do not take pictures of a ceremony
- Do not disturb prayer offerings tied to the fence or surrounding area
- Follow the paths around the wheel and do not enter the roped off area
- Dogs are not allowed on the path or around the medicine wheel
- Drones are not
Remember this is a sacred site that is still used by many different Native Americans and is an important part of Wyoming's history.