Beartooth Highway Update – 5/31/2013 – 9:00 am

Update from the Montana Department of Transportation

The MT side of Beartooth Pass is OPEN from Red Lodge to Vista Point. Travelers going up the PASS on the MT side will need to turn around at Vista PT and come back down to Red Lodge. The weather at the top of the PASS is High Winds, Snow and Ice, with Blowing & Drifting. The PASS from Red Lodge to Vista Point is Mostly Dry with some Wet Spots. Watch for changing weather on the PASS which could create Icy conditions without forewarning. Travelers trying to reach Cooke City will need to take an alternate route.

The WY side of the Beartooth Pass remains completely CLOSED due to the High Winds, Snow & Ice, and Blowing and Drifting. Both the National Park Service and MT-Dept. of Transportation will be checking both sides of the Pass again tomorrow morning and based on their findings decide whether the PASS needs to remain CLOSED at Vista Pt. to the Stateline on the MT side and completely CLOSED on the WY side.

Update from Yellowstone National Park Service

After a conversation with Yellowstone Park Service this morning the current estimate for re-opening the Wyoming section of the Beartooth Highway at higher elevations is some time Monday.

We’ll keep updates posted as they become available!

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Did You Know?

Fishing Beartooth Highway

The cutthroat is the only true western native trout. Originally wide spread throughout the state, it is now relegated to the higher, cooler, more inaccessible back country lakes and streams. Cutthroats are easily identified by the bright red “cut” on the lower jaw.

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.