Gardiner Montana

Gardiner Montana

bighorn sheep ram Gardiner MontanaGardiner Montana is located in Southwest Montana, at the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Running through Gardiner is the Yellowstone River, a wonder of nature in its beauty. Founded in 1880, Gardiner became a center of activity for visitors to the region, serving as the original, and only year-round entrance to the park. Surrounding forests will invite you to explore, and the town itself is a great place to stay and use as a hub for your getaway. Sandwiched between the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness to the North, the Gallatin Wilderness to the West and the world's first and most famous park - Yellowstone - to the South, seasonal activities abound, with a focus on the outdoors.

The name Gardiner derives from Johnson Gardner, a fur trapper who operated in the area in 1830-31. He named the lush headwaters valley of today's Gardiner River, Gardiner's Hole. Originally, named Gardiner's Fork, the river took on Gardiner's name although prospectors and explorers who visited the area later in the century were unaware of the trapper Johnson Gardiner In 1870.

fly fishermen drift boat barnWhen the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871 passed through the Gardiner area they encountered two men, named J.C. McCartney and H. R. Horr that had laid claim to 320 acres and established a ranch and bath house on the Mammoth terraces near Liberty Cap. These entrepreneurs eventually established a primitive hotel at Mammoth and were not evicted from the area until many years after the park was established. McCartney also went by the name Jim Gardiner and received messages, consignments, and such destined for guests of his hotel addressed to: Jim on the Gardiner. On February 9, 1880, a territorial post office was established just outside the park boundary and the beginning of Gardiner, Montana took place.

In 1883, the Northern Pacific Railway completed the extension of their Park Branch Line from Livingston, Montana to Cinnabar north of Gardiner. In 1903, the line was extended to Gardiner. Railroad service to Gardiner was discontinued in 1948.

Elk regularly roam around town, and Pronghorn can often be spotted in the hills and meadows near Gardiner. Listen carefully and you are apt to hear Coyotes in the foothills in the evening. Black Bear and Grizzly Bear inhabit Yellowstone and the surrounding area. In the winter, Bald Eagles and Osprey abound on the Yellowstone River; while Bighorn Sheep come down to graze within view. The more cautious Moose may be seen on occasion in the canyon above town, alongside the ever present Deer and Bison.

hunters on horsbackSummertime in Gardiner focuses on the outdoors, with activities such as fishing, whitewater rafting, hunting, and pack trips. In the winter, Gardiner and the surrounding areas are blanketed in snow to offer you the adventures of snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and lots more.

Gardiner has survived a rough and tumble existence of gold rushes, the railroad and even destructive fires. A tough little frontier town, it fed and sheltered miners entertained the early soldiers who operated Yellowstone Park, and learned to host the pioneer visitor.

As of the census of 2000, there were 851 people, 435 households, and 210 families residing in Gardiner. The population density was 224.9 people per square mile. There were 497 housing units at an average density of 131.3 per square mile. Gardiner reported 435 households out of which 22.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.5% were non-families. 43.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. T Gardiner’s average household size was, 1.96 and the average family size was 2.73. The median income for a household in the CDP was $30,125, and the median income for a family was $46,071. Males had a median income of $30,240 versus $17,614 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $17,810. About 3.4% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.


Two Wolves, Lamar ValleyNorth Yellowstone’s Winter Road • By Daryl L. Hunter
Winter in Yellowstone is truly a wonderful thing to experience, its deep snows, bitter cold, abundant wildlife and stark beauty can imprint memories that can last a lifetime...........................Access to Yellowstone in winter is the problem, it has become illegal to take a private snowmobile into Yellowstone and very few of us have snow coaches of our own or are capable of marathon ski expeditions too access Yellowstone’s winter wonders, but it is not as inaccessible as many think.........................Mountain above Gardner MontanaThe snowmobiling destination resort of Cooke City and Silver Gate Montana need groceries regularly to keep its citizens alive so Yellowstone Park maintains winter access to these communities. US-212 can be accessed through Yellowstone’s north entrance in Gardner Montana, so Yellowstone visitors can access a smidgen of Yellowstone’s treasures in winter by car.--------------------------> more

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