Western section of Beartooth Opens May 10

Yellowstone National Park has reported that the western section of the Beartooth Highway between Cooke City, Montana and the Junction of WYO 296 – the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway – will open on Friday, May 10, 2013, weather permitting.

Visitors traveling to and from Red Lodge, Montana to Yellowstone National Park

Beginning May 10, 2013 visitors can access the western 17 miles of the Beartooth Highway, Cooke City, Montana, and the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  From Red Lodge, Montana travel east on MT-308 to Belfry, Montana, turn south on MT-72 (turning into WY-120 at the Montana/Wyoming border, turn right onto WY-296, the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and travel approximately 46 miles to the intersection of WY-296 and US-212 – The Beartooth Highway!  Follow the Beartooth Highway west into Cooke City, Montana then into Yellowstone National Park.  While travelers won’t have access to the upper sections of the Beartooth Highway and Beartooth Pass, this route will take travelers through some of the most scenic areas in the world.  So do it all!  Visit Red Lodge, Montana, see Cooke City, Montana and enter Yellowstone Park through the Northeast Entrance!

Visitors traveling to and from Cody, Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park

Beginning May 10, 2013 visitors may want to choose a scenic and wild route into Yellowstone National Park via the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and the Beartooth Highway.  Travel north from Cody, Wyoming on WY-120 for approximately 17 miles, then turn onto WY-296, the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.  Travel approximately 46 miles to the intersection of WY-296 and US-212 – The Beartooth Highway!  Follow the Beartooth Highway west into Cooke City, Montana then into Yellowstone National Park.  While travelers won’t have access to the upper sections of the Beartooth Highway and Beartooth Pass, this route will take travelers through some of the most scenic areas in the world.  So do it all!  Visit Cody, Wyoming, see Cooke City, Montana and enter Yellowstone Park through the Northeast Entrance!

Read the entire Yellowstone National Park Press Release here.

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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.