The landforms dominating the western horizon are the result of geologic events taking place over 2.7 billion years. The major mountain building episode, which formed the Bighorns, began around 65 million years ago. This uplift resulted in the exposure of rock formations dating to the earliest periods of the earth's history. Extending some 160 miles north-south and 36 miles east-west, extensive glaciations over the last several million years carved the rugged peaks. Cloud Peak, at 13, 175 ft, is the highest point in the range. The "Horn" is south of Buffalo about 40 miles where the front face of the foothills falls off onto the plains. Local stockmen drove sheep and cattle "round the horn" to reach higher summer pastures.
Buffalo and the Bighorn Mountains support great wildlife diversity, with hunting and fishing playing a major role in the area's economy. The sagebrush grasslands of the lower elevations provide habitat for pronghorn, mule deer, and sage grouse. White-tail deer and wild turkeys lurk along wooded stream bottoms and agricultural areas. The area hosts healthy populations of Shiras moose, mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, mountain lion, black bear and blue grouse. Some of the most sought-after moose hunting areas can be found in the Bighorns. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Bud Love Wildlife Habitat Management Area,
just west of Buffalo, provides crucial winter range for around 500 elk and 200 mule deer.