Wild West: America's Great Frontier

The High Country

Series 1 - Episode 2 The High Country



We’re in America’s high country where for most of the year it’s all snow-capped mountains, shaggy goats bracing themselves against icy winds and rivers that are frozen solid. But come summer, the hills briefly explode with lush pastures and new life.

Narrator James Norton breathlessly informs us that, in the spirit of the old gold rush, animals, plants and people must grasp what opportunities they can. So ranchers must drive their cattle to summer grazing (occasionally along busy highways, which is not the romantic image most of us have of cowboys), while bison go head to head in vicious mating battles and grizzly bears gorge on, of all things, succulent moths.


Wildlife in America's mountain regions, including the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada, areas infamous for extremes of temperature from freezing winters to scorching summers. The programme examines the survival strategies employed by animals including black bears, pikas and bison, as well as parasitic plants. Plus, a look at the challenges faced by these region's human inhabitants, including ranchers leading their cattle on 70-mile journeys.

Cast & Crew

Narrator James Norton
Executive Producer Mike Gunton
Producer Ian Gray
Series Producer Patrick Morris