Cooke City Backcountry
Cooke City, Montana
Access to Cooke City can be a challenge in the winter, but the drive through Yellowstone can be stunning during this time of the year. Fortunately, this essential road from Gardiner to town is well maintained for travelers. Regardless, it is highly recommended that visitors have a 4wd/awd vehicle!
For those considering snowmobiling into town from the Chief Joseph, please contact our office.
Cooke City was described by Freeskier Magazine as a "Mecca of Backcountry Skiing", and we couldn't agree more. The season here starts the earliest, ends the latest, and regularly records the highest snowfall totals for the entire region.
Our tours start straight from town, sometimes stepping into our skis at the doorstep. The wide variety of terrain here allows us to choose the aspect, angle, and length of day fit to your goals and the conditions. This is the best winter skiing in the Beartooths and perhaps even in Montana!
Cooke City is nestled in the mountains on hwy 212, just outside of Yellowstone National Park. During the summer, Cooke can be accessed via 3 scenic roads: through Yellowstone and the Lamar Valley, over the epic Beartooth Pass, and up the wild & scenic Chief Joseph Scenic Byway.
In the winter, however, Cooke can only be accessed (by car) from Yellowstone, adding to it's unique and remote setting. Because it is surrounded with national forest & wilderness and it's history of receiving the most snowfall in the region, it is an ideal locale for backcountry skiing/riding. You can expect to see more snowmobiles than cars and mountains of low-density snow piled on top of the cabins.
Like many small mountain towns, Cooke was originally established as a mining town, lending to it's Western feel. Nowadays the mining has come to end, leaving reasonable access to the mountains and a town oriented towards those who appreciate the mountains.