Yellowstone Discovery: Lamar Valley

Located in the Northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park nestled between Tower Junction (YNP) and the gateway town of Cooke City, MT, travelers will discover The Lamar Valley.

Dubbed as America’s Serengeti – the Lamar Valley is home to dense herds of bison, elk, antelope, Grizzly and Black Bears, wolves and more. Set against the towering and formidable Absaroka (ab-zor-ka or ab-zor-kee) range, this lush valley is cut by the Lamar River.

The Lamar Valley is gorgeous and provides a solitude you won’t find in major tourist stops like Old Faithful (which has its own form of serenity). This rugged, windswept valley feels like a landscape painting – God’s masterpiece on canvas.

The Lamar Valley is arguably the best place in the park to see wildlife – especially wolves and bears. The scenery is magnificent – with jaw-toothed mountains that stay frozen most of the year.

The small yet vibrant gateway towns of Cooke City/Silver Gate are sandwiched completely by national park borders/forest. Cooke City has an average year round population of 100 souls. The Lamar Valley is open to road traffic in the winter specifically so Cooke City can receive fuel, groceries, etc…school children in Cooke City ride the bus to Gardiner every day for classes. Can you imagine taking the bus through Yellowstone daily? Talk about the Magic Schoolbus!

Highlights in the Lamar Valley include:

  • Yellowstone Forever Institute’s Lamar Buffalo Ranch Field Campus – which hosts wildlife seminars/educational programs
  • Soda Butte: the travertine stone of an extinct geyser and also a popular fishing creek
  • Slough Creek is a popular fly-fishing spot and campground

Cooke City/Silver Gate are a great gateway towns – especially if you want to explore the Lamar Valley and drive the famed ‘Beartooth Highway’ that connects Yellowstone to Red Lodge MT. The Beartooth Highway is only open part of the year (May to early October – depending on snowfall)

Next post well be travelling from Tower Fall – south to Mount Washburn in YNP

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