The Crazy Mountains, often called the Crazies, are a mountain range in the northern Rocky Mountains in the U.S. state of Montana. Spanning a distance of 40 miles (64 km), the Crazy Mountains are located between the Musselshell and Yellowstone rivers. The highest peak is Crazy Peak at 11,214 feet (3,418 m). Rising over 7,000 feet (2,130 m) above the Great plains to the east, the Crazies dominate their surroundings and are plainly visible just north of Interstate 90.
Also Called Awaxaawippiia by the Apsaalooke (Crow) Indians, the Crazy Mountains, are an igneous formation from over 50 million years ago. For the Apsaalooke, they are the most sacred and revered mountains on the northern Great Plains. The Apsaalooke’s enemies would not follow them into the mountains. Because of their great spiritual power, Awaxaawippiia continues to be an important vision quest site for the tribe. Faed Chief Plenty Coups had a vision there in 1857 in which, he said, the end of the plains Indian way-of-life was shown to him.
Below Is a Crow Painting by Martin Grelle <Horse Hunters>
There are several stories about how the mountains got their current name. The most popular story goes that a woman traveling across the plains with a wagon train went insane after her family was slaughtered, so they were dubbed “The Crazy Woman Mountains” a name which was eventually shortened. Perhaps the mountains were named, as others have claimed, because of their crazy appearance. The Crazy Mountains were an important landmark for Bozeman Trail emigrants in the Yellowstone Valley. This district was great cow and sheep country in the days of the open range, and there are still a number of large ranches in this vicinity, though now under fence.
<Below are images of the Crazies at various points of incline.>
The History of these mountains are simply amazing, and chilling in tales from the people who live in the area. Regardless how we look at them, these peaks most certainly have a place in history. If you ever find yourself on Rt.90, pull over and feel the power that these Crazies actually give off for yourself…