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Carbon County

Carbon County is a county in the state of Montana. As of the 2010 US census, the population was 10,078 and estimated at 10,696 as of 2017. The county seat is Red Lodge and Carbon County is a part of the Billings, Montana Metropolitan Statistical area.

According to the US Census Bureau

The county has a total area of 2,062 square miles, of which 2049 square miles is land and 13 square miles is water. Carbon County was named for the rich coal deposits found in the area. It was organized on March 4, 1895 from portions of Park and Yellowstone counties.

More than sixty federally designated historic sites are located in Carbon County, including Petroglyph Canyon, one of the state’s most important rock sites. In 1915, the first commercial oil well in the state was established in Elk Basin. Granite Peak is Montana’s highest mountain and is found in Carbon County’s Bear Tooth Mountain range.

The Beartooth Highway, one of the “most spectacular alpine highways” links Red Lodge, MT to Cooke City, MT. The Pryor Mountains, home of wild mustangs, are in the east of the county along with the Big Horn River. The Clark’s Fork River, which runs through Bridger, is a tributary of the Yellowstone River, flowing southeast through Montana and Wyoming.

This river carves a path from the Beartooth Mountains in the north to the Absaroka Range and is famous for it’s recreational opportunities and breath-taking views.

Red Lodge

A quaint, historic, mountain town is nestled against the Beartooth’s and is the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Red Lodge is a place of extraordinary beauty and wherever you turn you find, genuine warmth, welcoming, and western style hospitality.

Tucked into a mountain valley between the mountains and the plains, Red Lodge boasts a unique community that blends a love for the great outdoors with a strong spirit of hospitality and friendliness.

You could say Red Lodge is a beautiful 60 mile drive from anywhere-the business center of Billings, MT is just 60 miles north, the western rodeo town of Cody, WY is a one hour drive south, and by either of two mountainous routes, the world renown outdoor playground Yellowstone National Park is approximately 60 miles to the south-west.


Tourism is the obvious economy of Red Lodge fueled by access to Yellowstone National Park by way of the celebrated Beartooth Pass during the summer and skiing on Red Lodge Mountain in the winter.

However, as county seat and home to substantial hospital and school systems, Red Lodge has a year around economy that attracts families and young people alike.

Skijoring, Christmas parades featuring horse-drawn wagons, rodeos, hiking, fishing, white water rafting, and bike tours over Beartooth Pass are just a few more reasons to love living and playing in south-central Montana!