Camping, Hiking and Traveling in Montana
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Hike Index
H=Hike   C=Camp   V=Visit     S=Ski

Livingston Area
  Elephanthead Mtn. H

Paradise Valley
  S. Fk. Deep Creek H
  Pine Creek H,C
  George Lake H
  Passage Creek Falls H
  Crow Mountain H

Big Timber Area
  Boulder River H,C,V
  Natural Bridge Falls H,C,V
  Big Timber Creek Falls  H,C,V
  West Boulder Meadows H,C
  Twin Lakes  H,C
  Prairie Dog State.Park   V

Bozeman Area
Chestnut Mountain H
  Goose Creek H,S
  Mystic Lake H
  Lava Lake H

Central Montana
  Little Belt Mountains H,C,V,S
  Castle Mountains H,C
  Central MT Railroading V
  Cooney Reservoir C,V
  Crystal Lake H,C,V
  Judith Mountains V
  Judith Gap Wind Farm V
  Moccasin Mountains V

The Yellowstone River
  Upper Yellowstone Floating
  Yankee Jim Canyon

Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness
  Anvil Lake H,C
  Beartooth Lake H,C,V
  Beartooth Highway V
  Island Lake H,C,V

Western Montana
  Painted Rocks Rec Area V,C
  Salmon Lake State Park V,C
  Warm Spring Ponds  V

Camping Index
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Water Supplies

Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park

    Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park is one of the smallest and least noticeable parks in the Montana state park system. It is located right next to Interstate 90 but few travelers are ever likely to notice the park. The park is only 98 acres in total and offers few amenities. The park really only has one thing ? Prairie Dogs! Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park is home to a colony of black tailed prairie dogs that are easy to spot and fun to watch.

It?s hard to imagine that a park could be easier to find than this one. It is right off Interstate 90 right at Exit 377, the Greycliff exit. The state park is well signed and easy to find. It is on the south side of the highway and just east of the exit on the frontage road. The directions make it sound more complicated than it is.

Prairie dogs at Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park in Montana     Black tail prairie dogs are the main feature of  Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park. This is a great place to observe these very interesting creatures.

There is not much at the park. A couple of interpretive signs and a few picnic tables are the only amenities. There are no restrooms ? not even outhouses ? and no water. This is a day use only site so no camping is allowed. The park is all open ground with no trees so plan on full sun whenever you visit. The entire site is open for hiking and exploring but you will probably find that the best way to view the prairie dogs is by finding a good spot to just be still and watch.

Prairie dog watching is the only activity at the park but it is a great way to spend some time. There are 5 different species of prairie dogs and Prairie Dog State Park is home to black tailed prairie dogs. Prairie dogs were once abundant across the western United States but populations have plummeted as prairie dogs are considered to be pests by many and large scale extermination campaigns were historically conducted to try and wipe them out. Today prairie dogs are recognized as a keystone species that is incredibly important to the ecology of many western habitats.

In the late 1960s Edward Boehm, a Livingston, MT wildlife photographer, realized that prairie dogs were vanishing and new highway construction threatened the Greycliff colony. In 1969, according to the Montana Standard ?Prairie dog champion Edward Boehm, Livingston, is waging a one-man crusade to save a prairie dog village threatened by interstate highway construction near Greycliff, southeast of Big Timber. Boehm wants the dog village designated a state park or wildlife refuge and has entered petitions to the state.? Ultimately, the state paid heed and the site was set aside to protect the prairie dogs.  We all owe a debt to unsung heroes like Edward Boehm who did so much to leave a legacy for us all.

Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park    This is what the habitat is like at at Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park. This open sagebrush grassland is excellent habitat for the prairie dogs. The park is right next to Interstate 90 but the traffic zooming by is ignored by the prairie dogs.  

Be sure to bring binoculars to the park and plan to spend some time watching these social creatures. You will notice that there are a number of family groups inhabiting their own homes that combine to make the town. Watch carefully and you will see lots of interesting interactions between various sexes, ages and families. Be sure to listen too. Prairie dogs are said to have as many as 11 different calls or sounds that they use to communicate. They have a complex series of warning sounds and have different calls for each type of predator.

Prairie dogs spend much of their time below ground and their tunnels can reach up to 14 feet in length. They typically have separate rooms for sleeping, bathroom, a listening room and several other rooms. The bare tunnel entrances are easy to spot and the dogs will often be found close to the tunnel mouth.

Greycliff Prairie Dog State Park is a great place to stop and stretch your legs if you are traveling on I90. Although the prairie dog town on this hundred acre park is tiny compared to the hundred mile ling town in Texas, this is a great place to get a close up view of the fascinating world of the prairie dog.

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