Eventually one gets to the Medicine Wheel to fulfill one's life.
- Old Mouse, Arikara
Way up high in the Big Horn Mountains at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, lies the Medicine Wheel, a place that is known as a place of worship, a National Historic Site, and perhaps above all, an archeological mystery.
It is believed that between 1200-1700 A.D. literally hundreds of limestone rocks were placed in the shape of a wheel that measures about 80 feet in diameter. Twenty eight spokes radiate from a central cairn to six smaller cairns around the rim. The mystery is who created this and why?
While no one knows for sure, Native American beliefs and archaeological evidence hint to its possible use as a spiritual site. Many people still come to the Medicine Wheel and Medicine Mountain for inspiration, solitude and meditation
The Medicine Wheel was given protection and nominated to the National Register by local Big Horn Basin communities. The site is protected by federal antiquity laws under the administration of the Forest Service.
There is a sign that reads:
We live, we die, and like the grass and trees, renew ourselves from the soft earth of the grave. Stones crumble and decay, faiths grow old and they are forgotten, but new beliefs are born. The faith of the villages is dust now... but it will grow again... like the trees.