Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
From the top of the Gallatin Absaroka Mountains with views of Yellowstone to the south and the infamous Beartooth Mountains, this route starts from the top of East Peak of Miller Mountain and ends in Cooke City.
Need to Know
Always check in with the Gallatin Avalanche Center in Bozeman before starting. Snowmobiler's always high mark the slopes. Beware of them triggering avalanches above you. Always be sure to dig your snow pits and observe and avoid wind loaded slopes and fresh cornices. Never walk to the edge of cornices and always ski around them especially on warm days when snowballs release. There are several snowcat guided services out of Cooke City. Cafe's, restaurants, bars, lodging and groceries stores are found in Cooke City or Silver Gate.
Your trip begins in Cooke City where I recommend booking a snowcat coach up to Daisy Pass/ Crown Butte area. This is one of the most popular backcountry areas in the Cooke City region. If you are skinning up, paralleling Miller Rd (cut the big switchback of course). The snowcat will take the Daisy Pass Road. Once in the Daisy Pass/Blackwarrior Pass, take the Miller Ridgeline opposite Crown Butte.
Your guide will identify it for you as you are dropped off.
Once at the top of Miller Mountain, you have a choice of open entry points circumnavigating the cornices. It's steep at the top. In years of little snow you'll pick routes through the chutes. In the best of year, the year I skied this route only the largest crags appeared. This area is great for doing laps as did on our way up to the top. Once at the bottom of the snow field just follow Miller Creek Drainage Staying to the right.
Miller Road should be on your right but at times it is rather flat. As you enter the Soda Creek Drainage, Cooke City stands right below you with some great open landscape of burnt lodgepole pine trees. Don't worry about skiing too far the left as you'll meet Daisy Pass Road and just follow along its right side.
History & Background
Crown Butte Gold Mine was set to open in the 1990's but due to its close proximity to Yellowstone NP, the national forest rescinded its permit. Today Cooke City is the snowmobile/ skier capitol of the rockies. Help is just another snowmobiler away.
Shared By: Salvatore Vasapolli