One of Grant Creek’s earliest residents became a figure of Montana history and went on to national prominence. Jeanette Rankin, born on her family’s Grant Creek Ranch on June 11, 1880, was the first of John and Olive Rankin’s seven children. She was also the first woman elected to the United States Congress in 1916 at a time when many American women were still fighting for the right to vote. Just two years before her election, Jeanette led the women’s suffrage movement in Montana and helped secure women’s voting rights for the state. In Congress, Rankin’s famous first vote, with 50 other Congressmen, was in opposition to entering World War I. To learn more about this early Grant Creek neighbor and famous Montanan, read on here.
The heart and history of elk habitat conservation also lives in Grant Creek. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation grew from the minds of four men in Troy, Montana, who simply could not imagine or abide a land without elk and elk hunting. The notion that started in the trailer of a hunting camp in 1984 has grown to one of the nation’s preeminent conservation organizations. At one time elk lived throughout North America, but as early as the 1700s, their populations began to dwindle as settlement encroached on their habitat. The Elk Foundation is working to restore that legacy by buying and soliciting the donation of land in elk migration corridors to ensure the proliferation of these noble North American creatures and other wildlife species. Visitors to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s headquarters on Grant Creek Road in Missoula can totally immerse themselves in Elk Country at the visitors’ center and walk throughout the 22 acres owned by the foundation, free of charge.
Since 1973, Snowbowl has helped make alpine ski jumping history with its Snowbowl Cup Gelande Championship. The event, held annually the last weekend in February, brings alpine ski jumpers from around the Rocky Mountain West to compete. Spectators from around the region come to watch this gravity defying competition that boasts the only natural approach and landing in the sport and largest purse in the circuit. With camping chairs and sunglasses hundreds turn out annually for this celebration. You’ll know the competition is over when an unknown jumper makes his descent and takes flight over the crowd wearing nothing but his birthday suit – yet another Gelande tradition. Learn more and watch some clothed jumps here.