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Cooke City Area Recreation – Wildlife Watching

Visitors to the Cooke City area have the opportunity to witness one of the most spectacular wildlife shows in the world!

During the spring, thousands of elk, bison, and pronghorn migrate through the Lamar Valley, just a few miles west of Cooke City, on their way to their summer habitat. Associated with this migration are predators. From overlooks along the Lamar, coyotes, wolves, fox, and black and grizzly bears can be seen searching for weak or young animals for food or simply chasing the herds for the fun of it!

From Highway 212 between Colter Pass and Silver Gate, moose are commonly observed along Soda Butte Creek eating new growth on the abundant supply of willows. Between Cooke City and Silver Gate, Mount Republic Chapel of Peace is a great place to observe moose in the surrounding meadows. Lucky observers may be seen watching delightedly as a baby moose in May struggles to stand and walk on long, wobbly legs or a bull rubs the velvet off his majestic antlers in late August.

As summer progresses, one only has to take the county road to Daisy or Lulu passes, to see bighorn sheep or mountain goats grazing in the meadows and steep slopes of Henderson or Miller mountains.

Of course, one doesn't have to venture out of town to have a memorable wildlife experience. Almost all locals have their favorite wildlife story whether it is the grizzly on the back porch, the moose staring in the living room window, the billy goat that simply walked up the driveway heading toward Mineral Mountain, the fox and her kits romping under the building, or a bison walking down the centerline of main street! Stick around long enough and you'll have your own story to tell.