In 2002 US Highway 212, often referred to as the Beartooth Highway, was officially designated a National Scenic Byway “All-American Road”. With that official designatin in place the Beartooth All-American Road’s surrounding gateway communities of Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana, and Cody, Wyoming have the opportunity to guide and influence the future of this amazing resource.
The National Scenic Byway program encourages the formation of local organizations to work on long-range promotion, preservation, and partnership projects that affect the health of Byway and All-American roads. Toward that end Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road (FBAAR) was formed in May, 2004. It is a non-profit membership organization established to interpret, showcase & preserve the Beartooth All- American Road as the nation’s premier rooftop scenic experience through the partnerships among gateway communities and agencies. Much of FBAAR’s work is guided by the Corridor Management Plan that was written to secure the All-American Road designation with the National Scenic Byways Program. The Master Interpretive Plan, approved in 2009, sets the direction for communicating through exhibits and public contact programs.
The Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the three gateway communities of Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana, and Cody, Wyoming.
Utilizing funding from National Scenic Byways Grants Progrm Friends of the Beartooth All-American continues to work with the Montana and Wyoming Departments of Transportation, Montana and Wyoming Departments of Tourism, the Custer, Gallatin and Shoshone National Forests, Yellowstone National Park, the Beartooth Highway Steering Committe, Cody, Cooke City and Red Lodge gateway communities and other interested parties on the following activities:
- A comprehensive Beartooth Highway Economic Impact Study
- Communicating conditions along the BAAR including road construction updates, campground and interpretive site construction activities, installation of new interpretive exhibits, and other items of interest to travelers.
- Creating an interactive Beartooth All-American Road map for our website and for distribution to travelers.
- Updating and maintaining accurate gateway community and Beartooth All-American Road information on the National Scenic Byway, Beartooth All American Road, Yellowstone Geotourism, Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies, and other websites that carry information about the Beartooth All-American Road.
- Assisting Cooke City with an interpretive site at their new historic museum and visitor information center.
- Assisting Cody and Red Lodge with interpretive sites at their Chamber Visitor Information Centers.