Heart of the Beartooths

Cooke City and Silver Gate are open for business.

The recent flooding events dramatically affected the tiny Yellowstone Gateway communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate. But after three weeks of cleanup, both towns and its businesses are open for the summer season. You can access Cooke City via the Beartooth Highway, which is now open for the summer, or by taking the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway from Clark, WY. Check here for up-to-date road information.

Beartooths Hiker

Morning light on the Beartooth Highway

Currently, the Colter and Soda Butte campgrounds are open for campers with hard sides. According to District Ranger Mike Thom, “We have repaired the flood damage and will open both campgrounds for use through Labor Day.” Soda Butte Campground has fresh potable water available, but Colter Campground water system is still being repaired.  Make sure to take plenty of water with you.

It’s imperative to use the bear-safe food boxes provided at these campgrounds, because this habitat has an active grizzly population. Check out this video for some tips on safe camping in grizzly country. Be sure to keep control of your pets. Loose dogs can attract the attention of bears and draw them to your camp. Feed your dog and then properly store the dog food and bowls in the food-storage boxes.

There are various outdoor-recreation opportunities around Cooke City, including hiking trails, fishing in the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River or alpine lakes, and side-by-side off-road driving, with rentals available at the Super 8 Motel and Big Bear Lodge.

You can also find horseback-accessed day-long and overnight fishing trips to alpine lakes and streams. These waters hold a variety of species, including Yellowstone cutthroat, brook trout, rainbow trout, golden trout, and arctic grayling. These trips will be available starting early July and running throughout the summer from Beartooth Plateau Outfitters, Skyline Guest Ranch, and K Bar Z Guest Ranch

If you’re staying in town, there's live music at the Range Rider Lodge in Silver Gate on Friday evenings.

So, let’s help our Cooke City and Silver Gate businesses recover from the flood. Whether you’re just passing through or making a week-long trip, book an excursion with an outfitter, rent some equipment, and drop a few bucks in town at restaurants, bars, and cabin rentals. Chances are it won’t be the last time you make a visit.

For more information, visit the Cooke City Chamber website.