Snakewater, Montana (S/F)

Snakewater is a town in the U.S. state of Montana, presumed to be situated in Teton County. It is known for its proximity to badlands terrain rich Early Cretaceous fossil deposits. Because it is a fictional town, little is currently known about it.


The origin of Snakewater’s name is unknown, but its name implies the presence of a body of water such as a lake or river and snakes inhabiting the area. There are ten species of snake native to the state of Montana; only one, the prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis), is venomous.


Snakewater is located in the U.S. state of Montana, which itself is in the American Northwest along the Canadian border. Snakewater is situated near the badlands in the state’s central region, close enough to reach the city of Choteau via helicopter; this suggests that it is located in Teton County, east of the Rocky Mountains. It may be located near the Cloverly Formation due to the presence of Early Cretaceous fossil remains found in the nearby badlands.


Almost nothing is currently known about the town of Snakewater, as only the nearby badlands have been shown directly. The town is assumed to have some form of lodging that paleontologists on expedition would make use of, most likely an inn or motel.


The earliest American settlements in the state of Montana were established in the 1840s; most of these were fur trading outposts. Snakewater may have been founded as such an outpost at some point in history, but the story of its origin is currently unknown.

Paleontological interest

Snakewater came to be a point of interest for paleontological science during the 20th century, as did many regions of the American Midwest and Northwest. It is located near an Early Cretaceous geological formation containing the fossils of prehistoric life including dinosaurs, approximately the same age as (and possibly included in) the Cloverly Formation.

In 1993, paleontologists Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler worked in the badlands near Snakewater. Their expedition was funded by John Hammond, CEO and President of International Genetic Technologies, Inc., who donated approximately $50,000 per year. Notable finds from the expedition included multiple complete skeletons of “Velociraptorantirrhopus (most likely Deinonychus antirrhopus), which were believed to have died near a prehistoric shoreline in close proximity to each other. This has been used by Dr. Alan Grant to further the idea that deinonychosaurs were social animals which lived and hunted in groups.

On June 7, 1993, one of the aforementioned skeletons was discovered using ground-penetrating sonar techniques. The same day, Hammond arrived to the dig site to invite Dr. Grant to an offshore biological theme park, extending the invitation to Dr. Sattler as well; in exchange for their participation in an endorsement of the park, he would continue to fund their research for a further three years. The scientists accepted the offer, leaving via helicopter for Choteau. The dig site was left to Grant’s colleagues, students, and volunteers for the weekend.

Because of the subsequent incident which occurred involving Drs. Grant and Sattler, it is unknown if InGen provided the continued funding originally promised.

Cultural Significance

Based on the demographics of volunteers at a paleontological dig site near the town, its inhabitants are inferred to be mostly of European descent. This is similar to the overall demographic makeup of the state of Montana. The town’s economy and recreation are unknown, but it is of some scientific importance due to the nearby fossil-bearing rock formations.

Ecological Significance

The relationship of Snakewater to the surrounding environment is, like most aspects of this town, currently unknown. Its name implies that there is a lake, river, or reservoir nearby, and that snakes inhabit the area. The state of Montana has ten native snake species, and bodies of water in Montana house many types of fish, amphibians, and other animals. In the nearby badlands, small plant life can be seen, and birds and insects are abundant. The cries of birds of prey may sometimes be heard in the Snakewater badlands.

Disambiguation Links

Snakewater, Montana (C/N)