NE Entrance to Yellowstone Park/Cooke City, Montana Opens

The Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park and the western most 17 miles of the Beartooth Highway have opened for the travel season.

Visitors may access the Cooke City/Silver Gate/Colter Pass area and Yellowstone by traveling Wyoming’s spectacular Chief Joseph Scenic Byway ( WY 296) to its intersection with the Beartooth Highway then traveling west  toward Yellowstone Park’s Northeast Entrance.

High elevations of the Beartooth Highway, including Beartooth Pass, remain closed at this time as plows continue to remove winter snow from the road.

The projected opening day for the entire Beartooth Highway is scheduled for May 27, 2016.

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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.