A Wild Road – The Beartooth Highway

A Wild Road – The Beartooth Highway

Heralded as one of the most scenic drives in the United States, the Beartooth Highway, a National Scenic Byways All-American Road, features breathtaking views of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains, and open high alpine plateaus dotted with countless glacial lakes, forested valleys, waterfalls and wildlife.

The Beartooth All-American Road passes through what is known today as the Beartooth Corridor. Surrounded by the Custer, Gallatin, and Shoshone National Forests, traveling parallel to the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, and abutting Yellowstone National Park, the Highway sits in a million-plus acre wilderness. Visitors have the rare opportunity to experience and explore pristine, untouched alpine and montane landscapes, lush forests, and alpine tundra in the space of a few miles. It is one of the highest and most rugged areas in the lower 48 states, with 20 peaks reaching over 12,000 feet in elevation. In the surrounding mountains, glaciers are found on the north flank of nearly every mountain peak over 11,500 feet high. The Road itself is the highest elevation highway in Wyoming (10,947 feet) and Montana (10,350 feet), and is the highest elevation highway in the Northern Rockies.

Recreational opportunities abound in the Beartooth Corridor. Visitors can cross-country or downhill ski in June and July, hike across broad plateaus, and view and photograph wildlife including mountain goats, moose, elk, marmot, mule deer, black bear, grizzly bear, and wolf. Visitors also can take a guided horseback trip, fish for trout in the streams and lakes adjacent to the highway, and camp in the area’s 13 National Forest campgrounds. When the highway is formally closed to automobiles during the winter months, snowmobilers travel roughly the same route and enjoy a spectacular winter wonderland.

The Beartooth Highway provides easy access to Yellowstone National Park at its northeast entrance. Three gateway communities – Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana and Cody, Wyoming put you in the heart of today’s wild wild west. All three communities retain their western heritage then mix it with modern amenities to provide an unparalleled family western vacation.

Use the links on this page to check out more WILD Beartooth Highway information!

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.

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.