Wild Fires Along The Beartooth Highway

Wild Fires Along The Beartooth Highway

There are few sights as wild, and awe-inspiring as a raging widland fire – traveling at high speed from tree crown to tree crown – burning its way through a high mountain forest.

For eons, fires have burned regularly in the forested areas surrounding the Beartooth All-American Road. These fires have helped to promote vegetative and wildlife diversity, maintain wilderness and wildland areas, and eliminate heavy fuel accumulations on forest Wildfires are more common during years of drought and can spread quickly on days of strong winds.

Wildlifes - Beartooth Highway 1988For many years wildland fires that were started by lightening were undetected and left to burn. In an effort to reduce the amount of damage caused by these fires, a system of lookout towers were established on isolated peaks across the country. The Clay Butte Fire Tower (mile 42.2 from Red Lodge/mile 21.8 from Cooke City) is one of several hundred lookouts throughout the country that has been replaced by more effective fire detection methods. A visit to Clay Butte today requires a mile-or-so drive up a winding gravel road to its location. The fire tower itself has recently been renovated by the Shoshone Forest Service and the view from the top and a close-up inspection the structure make the trip worth the extra time and effort.

Interesting Wildfire Links

Beartooth Highway - Road MapsThe Official Smokey Bear Site
Remember only YOU can prevent wildfires!



Beartooth Highway - On-line Maps

Living With Fire! On-line Game

Living with Fire is an educational game that puts you in the place of a fire manager, based on research and tools developed for real-world fire management. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

United States Forest Service

Wildfire pages for the Custer, Gallatin & Shoshone National Forests include current wildfire conditions along the Beartooth All-American Road corridor.

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.


Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road

Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road is a non-profit 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.  Contributions to the organization ensure on-going support of the beartoothhighway.com website and distribution of the Beartooth Highway RoadReport e-newsletter.