Scenic Driving In The Beartooth Region

Scenic Driving In The Beartooth Region

In and around Yellowstone Country

The Beartooth All-American Road and the surrounding Yellowstone region is home to a large number of scenic byways, and national trails. While in the area visitors can plan driving adventures that will introduce some of the most historic and culturally diverse areas in the United States.

Hooking up from the Beartooth Highway

The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway – Wyoming 296

The most famous of the Beartooth Highway’s adjoining scenic byways is the historic Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. Designated by Wyoming as a state byway in 2000, the Chief Joseph followed as he and his band of followers fled toward the Canadian border. Today Wyoming 296 provides visitors access to the Beartooth Highway from the south, and intersect approximately midway between the western and eastern most points of the Road.

Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway – US Highway 14-16-20

US Highway 14-16-20, the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, follows the North Fork of the Shoshone River through the scenic Wapiti Valley to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The route is known for its abundant wildlife, astonishing rock formations, and recreational opportunities. By following this byway into Yellowstone National Park drivers can continue to the Park’s northeast entrance and directly onto the Beartooth Highway. This route also gives visitors an opportunity to visit the tiny mountain communities of Cooke City, Silver Gate, and Colter Pass, Montana, as well as a direct route over the entire Beartooth Highway and into Red Lodge Montana.

Download FBAAR Area Scenic Drives Brochure here

Montana Scenic Loop

Heading north from the Beartooth Highway and into Montana’s “big sky country” drivers can hook up with the Montana Scenic Loop. The 400-mile loop takes visitors through 4 National Forests 15 of Montana’s rural communities, and to Glacier National Park. More information can be found on the Montana Scenic Loop web site.

Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Rocky Mountains

Wyoming & Montana Scenic DrivingFor dedicated byway travelers a new on-line byways resource introduces the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Rock Mountains. This website will help you learn about the region’s four All-American Roads, 19 national parks, and the scenic byways and historic trails connecting them. Retrace the rugged path of Lewis & Clark through Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

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.

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.