Cooke City is a town occupying 10 square miles of land in Montana’s Park County. It is home to a little more than a hundred hardy residents. The town’s population nearly doubles during the summer due to its proximity to the Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance. Cooke City started out as a mining town and through many successes and failures in mining has evolved into a popular destination for visitors interested in snow sports and winter photography. Cooke City is surrounded by the Gallatin, Shoshone and Custer National Forests, making it more appealing to the lover of the great outdoors. The town’s laid-back vibe, postcard-worthy scenery and rich natural wonders make it a mecca for adventurers from all over the United States.
When to Visit
Undoubtedly, Cooke City is a popular summer destination for those who would like to escape the heat. Summer is the peak tourist season and accommodation and services rates are generally higher compared to lean months. You may also plan your visit around special events and festivals to make the most out of your vacation time. The town’s Sweet Corn Festival takes place in mid-April and is marked by snowboarding and back country skiing competitions, food and live music. Joe’s Campfires which runs from July through August features historic presentations, cowboy songs and literature and live entertainment.
There are a good number of accommodations available in Cooke City. It is important to understand that rates are higher during peak seasons (summer) than in lean months (late spring, early fall). Cabins and summer homes can be rented during these periods and it would be a smart idea to book ahead to avoid inconvenience. The Elk Horn Lodge is a popular place to stay with both cabins and guestrooms to accommodate different needs. If you’re planning to explore Yellowstone and the Beartooth Mountains, this is a great base camp. Other excellent base camps for explorations in the area are Cooke City High Country Motel, Big Moose Resort and Cooke City Alpine. Book your Cooke City Hotels with Reservations.com.
Things to Do
Given its location in a heavily forested area, Cooke City is a melting pot of outdoor adventures that lure thousands every year. It is a winter wonderland that caters to all manner of snow sports; cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing are only some of the active pursuits that can be enjoyed in the area. The streams and lakes in the area offer opportunities for boating and fishing. Wildlife watching is also a popular past time and it is not peculiar to see deer, elks and an occasional bear crossing the streets in town. Mile after mile of trails are also available for the avid hiker, biker or horseback rider.
Best Dining Spots
Cooke City offers plenty of places to find good food. The Miner’s Saloon is a favorite stop for explorers in the region. Aside from flavorful pizzas and cocktails and brews, the restaurant offers excellent service and a great atmosphere. The Beartooth Café is a popular place for local delicacies. The Bearclaw Bakery is a favorite spot for breakfast fare and coffee. Other must-try restaurants in town are The Bistro, Prospector and Buns N Beds.