Beartooth Highway Opens May 23, 2014

Beartooth Highway Opens May 23, 2014

The entire Beartooth Highway including Beartooth Pass will open Friday, May 23, 2014. Traffic gates will open at 9:00 am at both ends of the Highway.

Travelers will be able to drive the entire 68 miles of the Highway from Red Lodge to Cooke City, Montana.

The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (WY 296) is also open for travel and provides access to the Beartooth Highway and the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

There is always the potential for snow and icy road conditions at high elevations of the Beartooth Highway this time of year, especially as spring/summer weather moves through the area. Travelers are encouraged to drive with caution and travel slowly. Cell phone service is very limited along the Beartooth Highway so a check of weather and road conditions should be made prior to travel.

Road information will be posted to the beartoothhighway.com website as it becomes available. Travelers may also call the following for updates:

Cody, Wyoming Visitor Center: 307-587-2777
Cooke City, Montana Visitor Center: 406-838-2495
Red Lodge, Montana Visitor Center: 406-446-1718
Yellowstone Park Road Report: 307-344-2117

Safe travels everyone – and enjoy the Beartooth Highway – Montana and Wyoming’s National Scenic Byways All-American Road.

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Did You Know?

Clay Butte Lookout - Beartooth Highway

The Clay Butte Lookout was built in 1942 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and was used as a fire lookout. It was staffed until the 1960s, when aircraft proved a better tool for fire detection. Today, because of its popular scenic vantage point and proximity to the Beartooth Highway, Clay Butte is used as a visitor information site. It was remodeled in 1962 and has been staffed since 1975 by volunteers. The focus of Clay Butte today is to give visitors a glimpse of how fire lookouts functioned 60 years ago. Sightseers driving the scenic byway stop to obtain information or take in the view, which includes wildlife, botanical areas, the effects of the Clover-Mist wildfire of 1988, and the geology of ancient seas that once covered the Beartooth Plateau.

Cooke City Montana - Beartooth Highway

The Cooke City cemetery is located only a short distance from town, adjacent to the Gallatin National Forest Service Campground. Within the plot lie the remains of many who cherished the hope for the future of Cooke City, including one of its founders, Horn Miller.   When lumber for coffins were needed, men of the community simply used parts of uninhabited buildings to construct the boxes.