This river begins in the Absaroka (ab-sore-uh-ka) Mountains located 90 miles to the northwest. It runs southeast, then swings north and flows through two mountain ranges before it joins the Yellowstone River at Bighorn, Montana, 180 miles northeast of here. The waters eventually reach the Gulf of Mexico via the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Early explorers arriving at the river, in what is now the state of Montana, named it the Bighorn for the big horn sheep found along it. Other explorers who found the river south of here, named it the Wind River. In time, people realized there was actually only one river with two well established names. To avoid confusion it was decided that the river upstream from a place 1/2 mile to the south would be called the Wind River and the river downstream the Bighorn. This canyon, which cuts across and through the Owl Creek Mountains was named the Wind River Canyon. The Canyon which the river cuts through in the Pryor Mountains on the Wyoming - Montana border about 100 miles to the northeast retained the name Bighorn Canyon. The site where the river changes its name has been known as the Wedding of the Waters, one of the few places where a river changes its name in midstream.