Welcome to the Absarokee and Fishtail Montana Picture Tour
Good for you, you decided to “break away from the herd” and ride south on Highway 78 from Columbus, Montana. As you follow the narrow two lane road south you will be impressed by the picturesque farms, ranches and the majestic Beartooth Mountains on the southern horizon.
This lively little town of twelve hundred residents and has one of the most unique Cobblestone School building in Montana. Located on the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Willow street, the ninety-five-year-old building made of river rock is now used as a community center. Way to Go Absarokee!
Shrinking Crow Reservation
Three miles south of Absarokee, Montana you see a monument marking the site of the Absaroka Agency Fort. The Crow Tribe’s first reservation, established in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, stretched across more than 35 million acres from Gardiner, Montana to Hysham. In 1869, Fort Parker, the reservation’s headquarters, was built northeast of Livingston along Mission Creek. In 1875, the Crow reservation was drastically reduced to 8 million acres and the reservation’s headquarters moved to this spot along the Rosebud River. This second Crow Agency existed on this spot for nine years, from 1875 to 1884. by 1884 the tribe was moved to its present location at Crow Agency, nearly 60 miles southeast of Billings. Today, the size the Crow Reservation is approximately 2.2 million acres.
Let’s see ALL the towns
Once you pass Absarokee, Montana you have a choice to make, continue south on Highway 78 to Roscoe and Red Lodge, Montana or jump on State Route 419 to see the town of Fishtail. Let’s see ALL the towns.
Don’t be fooled by the name “Fishtail,” this area has millions of trout but you really have to work for them. The East Rosebud is a screaming fast, boulder filled, trout stream similar to the Boulder River near Big Timber, Montana or Rock Creek near Missoula, Montana. Your nymph will spend more time flying through the air than in the water, as you flip the fly from one promising pocket of water to the next.
No the town didn’t derive its name from an abundance of trout, Fishtail got it’s name from a geological formation near Dean that resembles a fish’s tail. Still you can’t beat a visit to the Fishtail General Store (below). The building is like an old fashioned wild west general store with squeaky and slightly uneven wood flooring and walls full of old west decor. Once you finished looking, you can find groceries, a great deli, delicious pizza and a coffee shop, everything you need to keep exploring Montana.
While in the Fishtail area, see if you can explore nearby Tippet Rise. Set on a 10,260-acre working sheep and cattle ranch, Tippet Rise hosts classical chamber music and recitals and exhibits large-scale, outdoor sculptures. Read all about this spectacular new Arts Center at the foot of the Beartooth Mountains.