Flash Dam-West Fork Interpretive Site

Bighorn National Forest, Near Dayton, Wyoming

Flash Dam-West Fork Interpretive Site does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


Flash Dam-West Fork Interpretive Site is one of many interpretive sites on the forest.

Floods and Flumes

Transportation was a major cost in the production of railroad ties on the Bighorns.  To reduce cost, companies had their ties stacked along nearby creeks.  They built “splash dams” such as this upstream.  When sufficient ties were stock piled, they opened the gates and flushed them downstream.  Creeks carried the ties to small ponds where they could be fed into a system of flumes and loaded into trucks.  The flumes, raised wooded B shaped structures, mainly used in the early 1900’s, then carried the ties with the help of water, down the mountain to mills and sorting yards for processing.  Truck transportation replaces the majority of flumes by the 1930’s.  In some cases, the sawmills were located on the Forest.