Cooke City, Montana boasts approximately 100 hardy citizens who play host to the winter wonderland sports of snowmobiling, tour skiing and winter photography. The summer season welcomes three hundred or so summer residents. This rustic “old west” town atmosphere, which traces back to their mining roots, is just part of what attracts visitors from all over. Custer, Shoshone and Gallatin National Forests border Cooke City. Fisherman, campers and hikers enjoy the many streams and high country lakes of this beautiful area. Bear, moose, elk and deer make their home in this pristine landscape.
Just minutes outside of the Northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Cooke City is a great place to make your “base camp” for all your park adventures. Uniquely located at the intersection of several of North America’s major geologic and tectonic features, there is plenty to explore.
Getting to Cooke City can be an adventure unto itself! Very few locations offer scenic choices a traveler must make when choosing how to get to Cooke City. There are three choices, the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (WY 296), the Beartooth All American Road (US 212), and the Northeast Entrance Road of Yellowstone National Park. When traveling to Cooke City from the northeast, one can enjoy the stunning Beartooth Mountain Range with alpine elevations of 12,000 ft. To the east is the beautiful Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. Four miles west is the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park. In addition, the ancient Bannock Indian Trail is in close proximity. Old miner’s cabins and the remains of hopeful mining claims sit silent on the northern mountain range. There is certainly no wrong choice to be made; gorgeous sights to see surround this beautiful area. Although it’s important to remember that when choosing how to get to Cooke City, the first thing one must consider, is what time of year are you traveling?
The Northeast entrance road is open year-round and offers the only wheeled vehicle access to Cooke City in the winter and is the only road maintained during the winter in Yellowstone National Park. To get to the Northeast Entrance Road in the winter, take Exit 333 on I-90 in Livingston and go south on US 89. Gardiner is 53 miles.
Once at the North Entrance Gate, pay your toll and proceed 5 miles to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. The road from Mammoth to Tower is 18 miles long and during the winter is frequented by elk and bison.
At Tower proceed 33 miles to the Northeast Entrance. These 33 miles take a person through the Lamar Valley and the winter range of bison and elk. This stretch of road is also the premier wolf watching area of Yellowstone. After reaching the Northeast Gate, Silver Gate is just ahead, with Cooke City and the end of the highway, 4 miles beyond Silver Gate.
205 main Street
Cooke City, MT
Open 7 days a week
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
May 29-September 18