The Black Hills, named after the dark green carpets of pines that cover the hills, are a geological wonder. Covering some 125 miles north to south and 65 miles east to west, the Hills rise 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the red valley floor. Below you are Salt and Beaver creeks where the bur oak grows. Above the valley floor, ponderosa pine and aspen groves cling to the limestone cliffs, clay soil and red sandstone.
History, geology and wildlife are alive and well in the Salt Creek Valley. The Sioux believed the Great Spirit lived in these hills. Pioneers come here to mine for coal and oil. Small towns like nearby Cambria, sprang up as fast as they were deserted. Tales of gunfights, stage robberies and gambling are kept alive by those who never left.
White-tailed deer roam through the pines and aspen. Wild turkeys scratch through leaves and needles along the creek bottoms, in search of acorns and seeds. Brought here from New Mexico in 1948, turkeys are now the most widespread game bird in northeastern Wyoming. These shy, elusive birds don't let humans get too close. At night, they roost in treetops and return to the ground at daybreak to forage. Watch closely and you could see one of these magnificent birds.