WHMA / WHMA / Sunlight Basin


Public Access Area Open: May 1 - Dec 15 THIS AREA OPENS TO ALL HUMAN PRESENCE AT 8:00AM MAY 1.
Exceptions: Open year-round to foot access for fishing along Sunlight Creek.
Recreation Opportunities: Fishing, Hunting, Camping, Hiking, Trapping
Amenities: Comfort Station
Restrictions: Dec. 16 - April 30
Additional Restrictions: 14 day camping limit.
Total Acres: 1410.3

Sunlight Wildlife Habitat Management Area is about 40 miles northwest of Cody. Between 1960 and 1965, 1,414 acres along Sunlight Trail and Painter creeks were purchased to preserve the area for wildlife habitat, public use and access to adjacent U.S. Forest Service lands.
The land comprises sagebrush grasslands, some conifers, grassland and irrigated meadows. Approximately 900 head of elk use this area between November and May. Mule deer also feed here and their numbers vary from 25 to 100. Moose can be spotted along the riparian areas of Sunlight Creek. Bighorn sheep use the steep, rocky edges of the area in winter and early spring. Black bears and mountain lions occasionally pass through the area.
In addition, blue and ruffed grouse, mourning doves, coyotes, songbirds and some duck species spend time here. Sunlight Creek supports a fishery for cutthroat, rainbow and brook trout. Cutthroat trout are stocked by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

A note of caution for visitors to this area: Grizzly bears may frequent the two campgrounds. Precautions must be taken to prevent encounters with the bears. Food should never be kept in tents. Cooking areas and stored food should be at least 100 yards from the sleeping area. Never bury garbage, and be aware of all posted grizzly habitat signs and regulations in the areas where you spend time.

Please visit our bear wise page for more information on recreating in bear country -
Camping limit is 14 days.
Sunlight is closed north of Sunlight Creek each year from December 16 through April 30; however, Sunlight Creek is open all year to foot access for fishing.


For questions about this Public Access Area, please contact:
Cody Regional Office

2820 State Highway 120
Cody, WY 82414
ph: (307) 527-7125
Visit our Region Page

Last Updated: 6/28/2019
*Some boundary areas are missing and will be updated as soon as possible.
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