The Pryor Mountains

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Bridger 59715,Red Lodge Area

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Location: At Bridger Rest Area on U.S. 310 The Pryor Mountains to the east cover roughly 300,000 acres. Once entirely Crow Indian territory, now only the north end of the range is on the Crow Reservation. The south end is in the Custer National Forest. The range is bound on the east by Bighorn Reservoir and on the south by the Pryor Mountain National Wild Horse Range. The mountains came by their name indirectly from Pryor Creek, which Captain William Clark named for Lewis and Clark Expedition member Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor. The Pryors hold many intriguing features, including ice caves, sinks, and caverns, and archeological finds, such as Clovis Points indicating human occupation as long as 10,000 years ago. In the south end of the range, remains of log and frame houses and barns attest to the homesteads staked after the passage of the Forest Homestead Act in 1906. Most of the settlers came from this area. Though they cultivated some crops, for many homesteading was a pretense for mountain grazing on adjacent forest and reservation ranges. One forest ranger observed that some claimants had applied for places where it would be impossible to winter over, though to hear them talk one would

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