Beartooth Highway will Open by Memorial Day Weekend

Snowplow crews started clearing Beartooth Pass in mid-April. The scenic road from Red Lodge, MT leads to Yellowstone's northeast entrance through Cooke City.
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Beartooth Pass near Beartooth Highway

Beartooth Pass near Beartooth Highway

Beartooth Highway (U.S. Hwy 212) is on schedule to open by Memorial Day weekend.

The Beartooth Highway is an All-American Road that has been called "the most beautiful drive in America," by late CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt. This 68-mile stretch of road winds its way from Red Lodge to Cooke City Montana and leads into Yellowstone National Park at its Northeast Entrance.

Beartooth Highway traces a series of steep zigzags and switchbacks to the 10,947-ft Beartooth Pass. This section of the highway gets depths of up to 26-ft of snow which is why it is generally only open from mid-May through mid-October. When the road is closed, residents of Cooke City and Silver Gate use Yellowstone roads and exit the North Park Entrance as the only way to leave town by car.

Because of the high altitudes, snowstorms can occur even in the middle of the summer and the pass is also known for strong winds and severe thunderstorms. Drivers should plan on a driving time of at least two hours for the 69-mile long trip from Red Lodge to Cooke City.

Snowplow crews started clearing Beartooth Pass in mid-April. The DOT clears the highway to the Montana/Wyoming state line while the National Park Service plows the highway, back into Montana and into the park. It generally takes an entire month to clear the highway each spring.

More Information about Springtime in Yellowstone including Road Openings

More Information About the Beartooth Highway at beartoothhighway.com

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Beartooth Highway section of US Route 212. Photo by Lpangelrob [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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