This week’s focus takes us near Big Timber, Montana – approximately 100 miles outside of Yellowstone National Park and on interstate 90 between Bozeman, Montana, and Billings, Montana. As one of Montana’s few state parks named after the animal namesake it’s working to protect, you’ll find this experience to be as much about the location as the “locals” (or maybe more so).
Located just off the interstate in Southcentral Montana, Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park is the perfect stop on a family road trip.
Greycliff is protected and preserved through the joint efforts of Montana State Parks, The Nature Conservancy, and the Montana Department of Transportation.
Did you know?
Prairie dogs have an important ecological significance. They create habitats that provide prey, shelter, and forage for many animals, including black-footed ferrets, burrowing owls, and mountain plovers.
Planning a stop? You’ll find:
✅ A picnic area conveniently located at the entrance of the park, but remember, do NOT feed the prairie dogs! These are still wild animals whose diet is specifically adapted to natural food NOT human food.
✅ Interpretive displays help visitors to understand prairie dogs and the role they play in our ecosystem.
✅ The landscape makes for beautiful photography.
✅ Wildlife runs abound here, see how many different creatures you can spot!
✅ Plus so much more!
Prairie dogs are very talkative and are known to have at least 11 different calls.
Black-tailed prairie dogs typically dig 15 to 40 burrow entrances per acre, which means in the 98-acre state park, there are between 1,470-3,920 burrow entrances!
These prairie dogs build a complex burrow, which can be up to seven feet deep and 25 feet long, and includes a listening chamber, dry chamber, regular chamber, and toilet, all of which serve different functions.
DID YOU KNOW?
The black-tailed prairie dog is only one of five different species of prairie dogs.
Within the Greycliff colony, the prairie dogs have a “coterie” which is like a prairie dog family.
Each coterie consists of an adult male, three adult females, and their offspring under two years old.
If you’re planning to visit, you’re more likely to see these active creatures on a mild winter or summer day as they tend to hide when it’s too cold or hot.
Let’s get outside!
How Does the Foundation Help State Parks Like Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park?
As Montana State Parks’ only statewide fundraising partner, the Foundation helps to raise awareness, education, and most importantly support boots-on-the-ground improvement projects for users and supporters like you.
As an agency faced with a $22 million maintenance deficit, our work and collaboration help to ensure continued access and solutions currently inside our state park system.
Because in the end, we envision state parks that reflect Montana’s renowned outdoor recreation and heritage for all… forever.