Absaroka Range

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Absaroka Range
Absaroka range2.jpg
Absaroka range as seen from west of Livingston, Montana
Highest point
Peak Francs Peak
Elevation 13,153 ft (4,009 m)
Coordinates 43°57′41″N 109°19′51″W / 43.96139°N 109.33083°W / 43.96139; -109.33083Coordinates: 43°57′41″N 109°19′51″W / 43.96139°N 109.33083°W / 43.96139; -109.33083
Wpdms nasa topo absaroka range.jpg
Absaroka Range is shown highlighted in pink on a map of the western United States
Country United States
States Montana and Wyoming
Parent range Rocky Mountains
Borders on Beartooth Mountains
Wind River Range

The Absaroka Range (/əbˈsɔərkə/ or local /əbˈsɔərki/ is a sub-range of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. The range stretches about 150 mi (240 km) across the Montana-Wyoming border, and 75 miles at its widest, forming the eastern boundary of Yellowstone National Park along Paradise Valley (Montana), and the western side of the Bighorn Basin. The range borders the Beartooth Mountains to the north and the Wind River Range to the south. The northern edge of the range rests along I-90 and Livingston, Montana. The highest peak in the range is Francs Peak, located in Wyoming at 13,153 ft (4,009 m). There are 46 other peaks over 12,000 ft (3,700 m).

Geologically, the section of the range in Wyoming consists of volcanic breccia, whereas there is a transition to granite and gneiss bedrock further north of the state line.[1]

During his travels to what later became Yellowstone National Park, John Colter traveled along the foot of the Absaroka range, and that he was the first white man to do so.[2] Gustavus Cheyney Doane and Nathaniel P. Langford also became two early explorers of the Absaroka Range when they climbed the summit of Colter Peak in 1870.[3]

The range is named after the Absaroka Indians.[4] The name is derived from the Hidatsa name for the Crow people; it means "children of the large-beaked bird."[5] (In contrast, the Crow name, Awaxaawe Báaxxioo, means "Pointed Mountains [Like Sand Castles].")[citation needed]

The range is drained by the Yellowstone River and various tributaries, including the Bighorn River.

Most of the range lies within protected lands including Yellowstone Park, the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, North Absaroka Wilderness, Teton Wilderness, and Washakie Wilderness, spanning the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Custer National Forest, Gallatin National Forest, and Shoshone National Forest.

U.S. Highway 212 from Billings, Montana to Yellowstone climbs over Beartooth Pass 10,947 ft (3,337 m) in the neighboring Beartooth Mountains before winding through the Absarokas to the northeast gate of Yellowstone National Park. It is only open during the summer. U.S Route 14/16/20 follows the Shoshone River from Cody through the range to the eastern gate of the park.

USS Absaroka was named after this mountain range.

Images of the Absaroka Range
Pilot and Index peaks in the Absaroka Mountains 
Western face of Absarokas from Paradise Valley (Montana) 
Northwest expanse of Absarokas as viewed from 15,000 feet (4,600 m) over Livingston, Montana 
The mountains in August 19, 1988, smoky thanks to the Yellowstone fires of 1988

See also[edit]