The second annual Bighorn Rush is a continued effort to promote dog-powered and winter sports in the Bighorn Mountains. The Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area, host of the race, is located along Wyoming State Hwy 14 about 10 miles south of Burgess Junction (junction of Hwy 14 and 14A). The trails mostly sit between 8,500 and 9,800 feet above sea level. This is a two-day event, with musher’s racing the same course both days.
All races start and finish at the same location – adjacent to the ski lodge.
- 8-12-dog, 25 mile loop
- 8-dog, 11 mile loop
- 6-dog, 6 mile loop
- 2-4 dog, 2 mile loop (exhibition recreation run)
- 1-2-dog, 2 mile skijor loop
- 100 yard dash for the kiddos
The 25-mile and 11-mile courses include a fair bit of ups and downs – it is called a sled dog challenge for a reason. But along with the elevation changes come incredible vistas and a really great variety of terrain. It is well worth the climbs.
Food will be available for purchase at the race for both spectators and mushers (snacks, lunch, hot/cold drinks, etc.).
The lodging listed below is provided roughly in order of distance from the race site.
There is no on-site lodging at Antelope Butte Ski Area, but mushers are welcome to camp at the site – there is lots of space for musher parking. Electricity is not available to hook up to campers.
There are several lodges within about 10 miles of the ski area – just keep in mind that this is the start of the snowmobile season in the Bighorns, so the lodge parking lots typically are busy with iron dogs. All lodges have on-site restaurants. The lodges are listed below.
- Elk View Inn -- http://www.elkviewinn.com
- Bear Lodge Resort -- http://bearlodgeresort.com
- Arrowhead Lodge - https://www.arrowheadlodgewyoming.com/
Off the east face of the mountain is Dayton, Wyoming (about 45 minutes from the race site). Dayton is the site of the pre-race musher’s meeting the night before the race. Dayton has a few lodging options:
- Shire Valley Cabins -- https://www.facebook.com/ShireValleyCabins/
- Foothills Motel & Campgrounds -- http://www.foothillscampground.com
Five miles east of Dayton sits Ranchester, Wyoming. Ranchester has the following lodging options:
- Western Motel -- http://ranchesterwesternmotel.net
- Lazy R Campground and Cabins - http://lazyrcampground.com/
Dayton and Ranchester are small towns (less than 1,000 people). However, they both have several good restaurants, gas stations, small grocery stores, and bars.
About 15-20 minutes from Ranchester, along I-90 is Sheridan, Wyoming – about an hour from the race site. Sheridan is the closest “large” town and has numerous lodging options as well as any other significant amenity one could need. http://www.sheridanwyoming.org/
Off the west face of the mountain sits the towns of Shell, Wyoming (population less than 100)
- Shell Campground - https://www.facebook.com/ShellCampground/;
...then Greybull, Wyoming. Greybull has several motels and lodging options as well. Shell and Greybull are about 30-45 minute drives from the race site, but are on the opposite side of the mountain from Dayton, where the pre-race meeting will be held.
$65.00 - 8-12-dog 25 mile loop
$55.00 - 8-dog 11 mile loop
$45.00 - 6-dog 6 mile loop
$35.00 - 2-4 dog 2 mile loop (exhibition recreation run)
$35.00 - 2-dog skijor 2 mile loop
$5.00 - 100 yard dash for the kiddos
*Your entry fee includes dinner Friday night at the musher's meeting.
Friday @ 6 p.m. -- pre-race mushers meeting at the Dayton Community Center in Dayton, WY
8 a.m. – check-in
8:30 a.m. - trail meeting
9 a.m. - Races begin, with the longest races first.