Henry Mountain Bison Herd By: Brant Repman
The Henry Mountain Bison Herd. Have you ever been to the Henry Mountains? Because they are the last named mountain range in the lower 48, does that not make you draw a thought as to why they are the last named mountain range in the lower 48? They are extremely remote, they are extremely rugged, and they are light years away from civilization. To me, that means simply that they are the place for adventure and exploration, if you are brave enough to face some challenges.
The main UTV trail that accesses the Henry Mountains happens to also be a Scenic Byway called Bull Creek Pass Backcountry Scenic Byway, and it is as scenic as you can imagine. It is 68 miles with a dirt surface, has numerous rough sections, steep grades, and blind curves. The route ascends from the desert floor through badlands and buttes, canyons and cliffs, and into ponderosa and alpine elevations. You’ll see history, big mule deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and, of course, bison.
Explore the Henry Mountains and search for a genetically-pure Yellowstone bison herd!
This isn’t the bison you see as you are driving by a farm in Montana. This is one of the four free-roaming and genetically-pure herds on public lands in North America! The Yellowstone Park Bison herd is the ancestral herd for the Henry Mountains. The bison in the Henry Mountains herd are American Bison of the Plains bison. The bison in Yellowstone may be the only location in the United States where free-ranging bison were never exterminated. As a result, this herd became the foundation for other herds in the US, including the Henry Mountain herd.
The bison in the Henry Mountains were introduced in the mid-1940’s with an original 18 members. They weren’t released into the mountains, but rather in the arid desert of Robbers Roost 50 miles to the northeast. However, the bison didn’t approve of this location, so they migrated by crossing the Dirty Devil River into the Burr Desert, but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, as the bison soon learned, as there isn’t much grass in the desert. In 1963, they migrated again, this time into the lush range of the Henry’s, and flourished as they grew to 80 animals. Today, the herd consists of 300-400 bison, about the limit for the Henry Mountain range.
Explore the historic mining camps left behind in a rugged wilderness.
The Henry Mountains have areas of alpine meadows and grass prairie, providing these beautiful creatures a near optimum environment. On top of that, it is your land, and with all the rich history, ghost town location, gold-mining creeks, old mining camps, and beautiful scenery all the way into Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada, you would be remised to never have seen it, and never went in search of this proud and noble herd.
Summit the highest peak of the Henry Mountains and record your name in a registry book where few have ever dared!
Ticaboo Lodge and North Lake Powell Adventures can provide lodging or camping advice, and steer you in the direction of the bison that you have to see in your lifetime. We offer UTV rentals and guided tours into this remote wilderness that you will find no other place on earth.