10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2012 – #10 Cooke City, Mont.: Pop. 75 On the doorstep to Yellowstone, a gem in the rough
We logged 368,000 votes in our seventh annual contest to choose the best hometown escapes in America. This year’s twist? A nail-biter of a finish that crashed our website (temporarily, of course!) and resulted in our first-ever tie for first place.
#10 Cooke City, Mont.: Pop. 75
On the doorstep to Yellowstone, a gem in the rough
Names on the map tell it all. To the north sits Froze-to-Death Lake. Off to the east stretches Hellroaring Plateau. Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, 18 miles southwest, sounds tranquil enough, but it’s home to one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears and wolves in the Lower 48. "This is the last place I know in the West that’s still the West," says Troy Wilson, owner of the 1886 Cooke City Store, founded during the town’s brief stint as a gold-mining settlement (101 Main St., http://www.cookecitystore.com, hiking maps from $6).
By Nicholas DeRenzo, Robin Macklin, Rachel Mosely, Ryan Murphy, Marc Peyser, Valerie Rains, and Debra Weiner
(Many thanks to Linda Kindrick
Montana Community Finance Corporation http://www.mtcommunityfinance.org/ for sharing this.)
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