Located on East 2nd Street is the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. The space originally started as an exotic zoo until a concerned group took action and took over the space, founding the Beartooth Nature Center in 1987. Their mission is now to “provide lifelong sanctuary to non-releasable native wildlife and share a message of conservation and education” (yellowstonewildlifesanctuary.org).
The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of wild animals native to Montana. All of these animals are unable to be reintroduced to the wild for various reason–many because of human interference whether they were attempted to be kept as exotic pets or taken out of the wild and acclimated to human interaction. Each animal has a unique story and circumstance.
The staff and volunteers at the sanctuary not only maintain the animals and their habitats, but work to educate the public about these animals and the importance of conservation. The sanctuary runs a variety of camps and other educational activities for the youth and people of all ages.
The areas surrounding the different habitats feature beautiful gardens and grassy areas, and even a designated picnic area for guests. The sanctuary while maybe not the ideal outcome for any wild animal, is realistically the best case scenario for the ones that ended up here. The staff is friendly and the area pretty and well maintained. It is definitely worth the stop to see some beautiful animals and get educated about them in this area located in the gateway to Yellowstone.
Emigrant is made up of basically three main watering holes. The Old Saloon, which is under construction right now. Chico Hot Springs, which is usually filled with tourists who are either coming or going to Yellowstone, and last but not least, there is the Riverside Bar and Grill. From all of the watering holes that I have been to lately, the Riverside Bar and Grill has been the most local feeling place that I have been to thus far. On Friday evening I went in and sat at the bar for a little bit while locals, and maybe a couple of tourists, were mingling, drinking, eating, and going over their weeks with each other. Most of the people that came in seemed like they did a lot of manual labor as their jobs. Lots of them had dirtier and warn clothes and some of them even wore cowboy hats. I got the immediate feeling that this was more of the ranching crew of people that lived in Emigrant.
On the East side of the Yellowstone River, the land is owned and used for ranching. There is a ton of cattle that roams the land. The people inside of the bar and grill seemed like the type of people that were looking after all of the livestock. It is their place to meet up with friends and cool down or warm up after a long day of work in Paradise Valley.