Beartooth Highway – Season’s End

Frequently asked question : “When does the Beartooth Highway close for the 2013 travel season?”

Please keep in mind the following historical closing dates are 100% dependent on weather and Mother Nature! Early snows can close the Beartooth Highway earlier than anticipated.

Upper sections of the Beartooth Highway & Beartooth Pass

Historical closing date: Columbus Day – October 14, 2013

The traffic gate at Long Lake, located approximately 14 miles east of the intersection of the Beartooth Highway (US 212) and the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (WY 296) will close on Columbus Day, this year October 14, 2013. As road conditions allow travelers will still be able to visit Beartooth Lake, Top of the World Store, and recreational trails located along the 14 miles section of the road to the closure gate.

Beartooth Highway in to Cooke City, Montana and NE Entrance to Yellowstone

Historical closing date: First week in November

The western section of the Beartooth Highway (US 212) from its intersection with the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (WY 296) traveling in to Cooke City, Montana and the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone Park remains open until the first week in November. Road maintenance and plowing historically ends then first Monday in November. Snowfall will determine how long the section of road will remain passable.

Beartooth Highway east from Red Lodge

The eastern section of the Beartooth Highway just east of Red Lodge Montana will close for the 2013 travel season on October 15, 2013. The closure gate is located approximately 13 miles east of Red Lodge. This closure date corresponds with closure of the Long Lake gate and makes the switchback section of the Beartooth Highway, and upper elevations including Beartooth Pass inaccessible for the winter season.

Historical Beartooth Highway spring opening

Memorial Day Weekend – May 24, 2014

Safe travels! Kim Capron – Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road

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Did You Know?


Beartooth Highway Wyoming & Montana

Whirlpools often form when water rushes through a rough channel.  Water glancing off rocks starts spinning as it is hit by other water rushing by.  Any material caught up in the whirlpool will spin with the water.  In time, spinning sand, pebbles and grave may carve potholes, like the ones seen in the rocks above the bridge.  During the construction of Lake Creek bridge, boulders were removed from the creek’s bed the water channel was changed exposing the potholes.  Watch for them when you visit Lake Creek Falls.

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.