Cooke City-Silver Gate is a census-designated place in Park County, Montana, United States. The population was 140 at the 2000 census. It sits toward the northeast of Yellowstone National Park on a road remaining open during the winter connecting through Tower Junction to Mammoth and north to Livingston, Montana. During the summer the road opens eastward to connect to Red Lodge, Montana via the Beartooth Highway on a scenic route climbing to 10,947 feet in elevation through the Beartooth Mountains and across the Beartooth Plateau. Its chief industry is tourism, which during the winter includes skiing and snowmobiling.
Prior to 1882 Cooke City was simply known as the Miners Camp, or Clarks Fork City. Many of the miners had wanted the name Edelweiss. Jay Cooke Jr. was a Pacific Railroad contractor and the son of an investor in the Northern Pacific Railroad. He was promoting the promise of development and the much needed railroad to this mountain hamlet. As history records, the railroad never came. On Feb.1, 1882 the town was officially deemed Cooke City, Montana Territory in his honor.
Present day Cooke City, Montana boasts of approximately 100 hardy citizens who play host to the winter wonderland sports of snowmobiling, tour skiing and winter photography. The summer season welcomes the three hundred or so summer residents. Cooke City is bordered by Custer, Shoshone and Gallatin National Forests. The many streams and high country lakes are enjoyed by fisherman, campers and hikers. Bear, moose, elk and deer make their home in this pristine landscape.
Surrounded by national forest, wilderness and Yellowstone National Park, the area is an outdoor recreationist’s dream. Perfect Summer and Autumn weather opens up activity opportunities in a 360 degree radius. From Yellowstone National Park access, to Beartooth Highway, to Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, remote Montana vacation destination won’t disappoint.