The mountains meet the plains in Sweet Grass
County. Bigger than the State of Rhode Island, the county is
1,846 square miles - 449 of which are public lands. The eastern
and northern parts of the county are devoted to agriculture,
mostly the raising of cattle and sheep. Some farming of crops
that require little moisture is also done.
The county reaches into the Crazy
Mountains on the north and west. There are several
theories of how the mountains got their name. All date back to
indian lore. Although in close proximity to the Rockies, the
Crazies are not a part of that chain. To the south lies the Absaroka
Range. The Gallatin National Forest and
Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness act as a boundary
between the county and Yellowstone National Park.
Two rivers trisect the county. The Yellowstone
River runs east and west. The Boulder River
flows from its source in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness and
joins the Yellowstone just east of Big Timber.
Seven creeks lend their names to areas of
Sweet Grass County. Big Timber Creek, Otter Creek
and Sweet Grass Creek come out of the Crazies
and flow into the Yellowstone from the north. Upper Deer
Creek, Lower Deer Creek, Bridger Creek and Work
Creek start in the Absarokas and flow into the
Yellowstone from the south.
Sweet Grass County has a population of about
3,500. Sixteen hundred live in Big Timber.