Location: Buffalo, Wyoming
Type: County Park
Access: Lake DeSmet, Approximately 8 miles north of Buffalo, I-90 at Exit 51
Coordinates: 44.451597, -106.743348
Elevation: 4,600 Feet
Road Conditions: Pavement and gravel
Phone Coverage: Verizon, 2-4 out of 5
Maximum Stay: 14 days
Fee: $10 per night, $15 per night with electric
Amenities: Vault toilets, picnic areas, picnic tables at some sites, beach area on lake, and two boat ramps
Mikesell-Potts Recreation Area is a county-owned park that provides an affordable camping option at the base of the Bighorn Mountains near Buffalo, Wyoming. As a county park, the area is well maintained. The camping areas surround Lake DeSmet, and the site also includes vault toilets, a beach, and two boat ramps.
The $10 per night camping fee covers any of the 60 standard sites, including some that are lakeside. (The fee is $15 at one of the 8 sites with electric.) Reservations are not accepted, and all sites are available on a first come, first served basis.
This is a nice, but no-frills, county park, and quite a bit less expensive than any other option nearby. There is plenty of free, dispersed camping in the national forests, but those sites require a long drive up into the mountains and almost never have phone coverage.
Take Interstate 90 to exit 51 and then head east toward the lake. Take Monument Road to the north, then turn right on Lake Desmet Road just past Lake Stop Resort.The campsites are located on the south side of the lake.
We stayed at Mikesell-Potts in early May and found it to be a good over-night stop on our way yo WA. Will say the we used an electric site with a large 5th wheel and found the site to be a little off level. Overall a good place to stop.
We have only stayed on the side without electric, but the sites there also range between slightly off-level and useful only as a parking spot for tent camping. Thanks for the tip about the electric side!