Frequently Asked Questions – North District
Where can you use live bait on the river?
At the Afterbay boat launch before you reach the cable.
Are there boat rentals on the lake?
Yes, at the North end, Ok-A-Beh Marina rents pontoon boats that hold 8 to 10 people. The South End gives boat tours.
How do you get to Ok-A- Beh Marina and the boat launch area from the town of Fort Smith?
Drive through the town until you reach a brown National Park sign that reads: Big Horn Lake 10 Miles and turn left. Follow the road all the way to the boat launch area and marina parking lot.
How deep is the lake?
Approximately 500 ft at the deepest points.
Are there restrooms on the lake?
Yes, docks with floating restrooms are located every few miles in the canyon.
What do people fish for in the lake?
Mostly Walleye, different kinds of Trout, Yellow Perch, Small Mouth Bass, Ling, and Catfish.
What are the campsites like on the lake?
They are well maintained sites that contain a fire ring with a grill, along with a picnic table. All Campsites on the lake are boat in only.
How do you get to the Afterbay boat launch Area?
Drive through Fort Smith until the road widens into a right side turning lane. Turn right and follow the road until you cross the Afterbay Dam, take the next right onto a gravel road which leads to the boat launch.
How do you get to the Visitor Center at Yellowtail Dam from Fort Smith?
Drive through the town, keep on the same road. You will pass the Bighorn Canyon NRA Headquarters building on the left. The main road goes uphill a couple miles and will put you right in parking lot for the Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center.
How tall is the dam?
525 feet, 15th largest in the Nation.
Where can you see the Crow Tribe buffalo pasture?
Looking west across the canyon at Four Winds on top of Ok-A- Beh road. Use binoculars.
What is there to do in Fort Smith?
Camp, fish, hike, boat, sightsee, visit the dam.
Where’s a good place to eat in Fort Smith?Local restaurants include Ok-A-Beh Marina, Polly’s Place, Big Horn Trout Shop.
Can you see Fort C.F. Smith?
No. All that remains is the mound that the fort was built on and it is currently on private property.
How's the weather on a typical summer day?
It’s usually sunny with warm temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Occasionally, afternoon thunderstorms roll through, but only last a short while.