Northwest College

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Big Horn Basin Map

The Bench

Quick Facts
  • The Bench lies some eight miles north of Powell and rises in excess of 700 feet above the basin floor.
  • At one time it was the floor of the ancient Shoshone River, which flowed through what is now known as the Prior Gap.
  • Teepee rings, left from Native American campsites, still dot the Bench.
  • Elk Basin, at the northern end of the Bench, was one of the largest producing oil fields in the world in the late 1940's.
  • In the late 1970's the Bench was under active consideration for irrigation and homesteading.
  • The town of Elk Basin was a thriving place until the late 1940's, when the houses were moved to Powell. A few trees and a grid of eroding streets are all that remain to mark the site.
The Bench photo
The Bench photo
The Bench photo