Choteau Montana

Elevation: 3,799 Population: 1,878 County: Teton

The Rocky Mountains soar near the town of Choteau, rising almost perpendicularly out of the northern plains. Choteau is the gateway to this spectacular stretch of mountains known as the Rocky Mountain Front. From Choteau, the Lewis and Clark National Forest adjoins the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex which sprawls over 1.5 million acres on both sides of the Continental Divide and contains the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48. "The Bob" offers unlimited opportunities to hike, camp, backpack, fish, or ride through its interior. In addition to the "Bob" and the Lewis and Clark National Forest, the Nature Conservancy's Pine Butte Swamp and Ear Mountain Wildlife Management Area lie west of town.

Twelve miles west of Choteau is Egg Mountain, the world's most significant Cretaceous period paleontological dig. It was the first site in North America to yield dinosaur egg fragments, nests, and babies, and revolutionized our understanding of dinosaur social interactions. At Choteau's Old Trail Museum, part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, visitors can learn about Egg Mountain and view fossils and casts of fossils recovered from the site. Also on display is a life size Maiasaura, Montana's State Fossil. The museum also features exhibits about the area and town, which is one of the oldest in Montana. While in Choteau, enjoy ice cream from the museum store, wander the tree-lined streets, shop at the many downtown stores and relax on the courthouse lawn (Choteau is the county seat of Teton County, not to be confused with nearby Chouteau County).

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