Places We Protect

Tensleep Preserve


Trees framed by steep mountain cliffs.
Tensleep Preserve Canyon Creek Canyon Creek slices through the southwestern flanks of the Bighorn Mountains on The Nature Conservancy's Tensleep Preserve. © Jody Daline/TNC

A research and educational preserve located in the heart of Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains.



The heart of Tensleep Preserve is a 12-mile stretch of Canyon Creek, slicing deeply through the southwestern flanks of the Bighorn Mountains. Ancient pictographs and Native American gathering sites reveal a long history between people and the land. The ecological richness that first attracted people here continues to attract visitors to the preserve, which is open to the public.

You can discover the magic of the Bighorn Mountain foothills while visiting Tensleep and using the Conservancy's learning center for mealtime and classes. Explore the local geology, examine western flowers, watch for wildlife, visit ancient pictograph sites and soak in expansive views of spectacular canyon country. The preserve's tent camp provides an opportunity to enjoy the preserve's unique and remote landscapes of majestic ponderosa pine woodlands, lush cottonwood forests nestled in the bottom of deep canyons, open meadows with expansive views and spectacular canyon overlooks.

The preserve is also home to manager Trey Davis and his wife Ellie Martin, who are raising their daughter Livea close to nature and teaching her to enjoy and care for the preserve's environment.

Why the Conservancy Selected this Site

This region is changing, as more people move to and travel to this region. With the influx of people comes new development and roads, which threatens to fragment the region, disturb natural plant communities, block wildlife migration corridors, and suppress natural fire processes. Tensleep offered the Conservancy an opportunity to preserve and protect a critical piece of natural land within this landscape.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

The preserve is open to the public from May through mid October. The learning center and trail system offers a rare opportunity to enjoy the ecological wonders of the Bighorns region.


Tensleep Preserve
1095B Road 56 (mailing address)
101 Rome Hill Rd. (physical address)
Tensleep, WY 82442
Phone: (307) 366-2671
Trey Davis, Wyoming Land Management Supervisor


Limited Access

Please call for directions and information on visiting Tensleep Preserve.


9,000 acres

Explore our work in Wyoming


A rugged collection of canyons, uplands and forests, the preserve is home to eight plant communities and more than 120 bird species, as well as mountain lion, black bear, elk, beaver and the remarkable spotted bat. Several rare plants—some found only in the Bighorns—also inhabit this unique landscape.


This wild, rugged landscape is home to many animals, including mule deer, elk, and pronghorn antelope. Black bears, mountain lions and coyotes live here, as do many species of bats and raptors.

How to Prepare for Your Visit

Tensleep Preserve’s learning center, tent camp and trail system offer a unique experience to groups of all kinds. Access to Tensleep Preserve is open to all from May to October—but limited to protect its unique features. Please contact us to learn more and call before you visit: (307) 366-2671