Absaroka range as seen from west of Livingston, Montana
|Elevation||13,153 ft (4,009 m)|
|States||Montana and Wyoming|
|Parent range||Rocky Mountains|
|Borders on||Beartooth Mountains
Wind River Range
The Absaroka Range (// or local // 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).
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. 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.
The range is named after the Absaroka Indians. The name is derived from the Hidatsa name for the Crow people; it means "children of the large-beaked bird." (In contrast, the Crow name, Awaxaawe Báaxxioo, means "Pointed Mountains [Like Sand Castles].")
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|
- Mountains and mountain ranges of Yellowstone National Park
- List of mountain ranges in Montana
- List of mountain ranges in Wyoming
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. p. 22.
- Montana Place Names: From Alzada To Zortman, Montana Historical Society Press, 2009, p. 2 ISBN 978-0975919613
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