Embark on a High-Elevation Adventure: Beartooth Highway

Beartooth Highway is a 67 mile stretch of US Highway 212 with breathtaking views of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains, in Wyoming and Montana, climbing to an astounding 10,964 feet above sea level. It's one of the highest roads of Wyoming.

Beartooth Highway

Is the Beartooth Highway paved?

The road, part of U.S. Route 212, is totally paved tracing the border between Montana and Wyoming in the Beartooth Mountains. It’s a winding and high mountain road with lots of photo spots which winds its way through southwest Montana and northwest Wyoming and leads into Yellowstone National Park at its northeast entrance.

How long is Beartooth Highway?

Running along the border of Montana and Wyoming, the road is 107km (67 miles) long from Red Lodge (the county seat of Carbon County, Montana) to Cooke City (in Park County, Montana).

How hard is it to drive Beartooth Highway?

The road is pretty defiant. It traces a series of turns and steep switchbacks and tops out at 3.342m (10,964ft) above the sea level. It has awesome corners and low traffic.

How long does it take to ride the Beartooth Highway?

To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 3 and 4 hours. However, due its beauty and sweeping views, you may want to allow half a day to enjoy the route. It is a very popular road and offers many opportunities for recreation. Over the years, Beartooth Highway has become a go-to for road-tripping motorcyclists and adventurous cyclists.

When was Beartooth Highway built?

The Beartooth Highway was opened to traffic on June 14, 1936.

Is Beartooth Highway worth the drive?

The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don’t forget your camera! Part of the National Scenic Byways All-American Road, this scenic drive has been called "the most beautiful drive in America”. With 10,000 mountain lakes, 20 peaks reaching over 12,000 feet in elevation, and 12 national forest campgrounds, the Beartooth Highway is one of the most scenic drives in the United States. Along the way you’ll witness the rare transition of lush forest ecosystem to alpine tundra in just a few miles. 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. It is an easy access to Yellowstone National Park at its northeast entrance. It has visitors from around the world.

Is the Beartooth Highway open?

The road tops out at 3.342m (10,964ft) above the sea level by Beartooth Pass. Because of heavy snowfall at the top, the pass is usually open each year only from mid May through mid October. Snowstorms can happen even in summers, and strong winds and severe thunderstorms can be usual. This section of U.S. Route 212 is the highest elevation highway in Wyoming (10,964 feet) and Montana (10,350 feet), and is the highest elevation highway in the Northern Rockies. In the surrounding mountains, glaciers are found on the north flank of nearly every mountain peak over 11,500 feet high. The weather conditions at the Beartooth Highway can be harsh, because it crosses some extreme parts of the country and surrounded by 20 mountain peaks that reach over 12,000 feet. But summertime temperatures can range from the 70s on sunny days to below freezing during sudden snowstorms.