Bridger & Fromberg, MT – US 310

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After driving for miles up US 310, coming out of Wyoming, I was ready to find any excuse to stop and explore.  The road is flat and boring, all the way from Lovell, Wyoming to Interstate 90 at Laurel, Montana.  But, there are a couple of small towns along the way that are worth at least a momentary break.

The town of Bridger honors Jim Bridger, a mountain man who explored the Rocky Mountains, starting in 1822.  Bridger worked with fir trappers, and later, served as a guide for wagon trains and federal troops.  He also helped discover some of the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, along with John Colter.  You’ll find a statue honoring Bridger in the middle of town.

North of Bridger, the road runs alongside farmland, with some small hills in the distance.  It’s all lit beautifully by the setting sun, near the end of the day.

Fromberg

Fromberg is a mix of several things.  It’s part wide-spot-in-the-road, part authentic western town, and part ghost town.  Its tiny business district is along River Street, just off US 310.  A few businesses are hanging on, including the Cowboy Bar/Gift Shop/Museum, that appeared to be open during my quick visit.

A few of the town’s old ghost signs have been restored, and judging by the flowers, Fromberg’s residents still have a lot of pride in their community.

You don’t have to go far, though, before you see the “ghost town” side of Fromberg.  Clarks Fork National Bank has a nice mural on the front, but it looks like its doors haven’t been opened in quite a while.

The old Fromberg Garage is also abandoned at the side of the main highway.

Across the street, Fromberg’s old train station now serves as the Clarks Fork Valley Museum. There isn’t much else on the east side of the highway.

Keep heading north on US 310.  The intersection with US 212 is about 10 miles north of Fromberg, and Interstate 90 is about 11 miles further.  We will once again travel US 212 on Day 9, as we head towards Yellowstone National Park via the extraordinary Beartooth Highway.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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