Cooke City, Montana

Elevation: 7600 FT

Population: 142

County: Park

Only 140 people call Cooke City home, but together with its sister village of Silver Gate, travelers and locals find stunning, remote wilderness and plenty of recreation opportunities all year long in the surrounding Custer Gallatin National Forest. Cooke City might be small, but it's a big spot for world-class snowmobiling. Miles of backcountry make for a snow enthusiast's dream. In the warmer seasons, hike, fish and explore the area by horseback, and when you're ready to head into the park, grab a latte and a pastry at the Bearclaw Bakery and set out on the All-American Beartooth Highway for the drive of a lifetime.

Every road, trail and path in Montana is scenic, but exploring Yellowstone National Park by way of "the most scenic drive in America" is icing on the cake, to say the least. From the tiny outpost of Cooke City–complete with an authentic general store and saloon–traverse the winding Beartooth Highway into the park through the Absaroka and Beartooth mountains. You'll find yourself in the famous Lamar Valley (dubbed the "America's Serengeti") for epic wildlife watching.

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