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Beartooth Pass

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Carlsbad, California
posts: 119
reviews: 14
Beartooth Pass

Does Beartooth Pass always close immediately after Labor Day, or does it depend upon the weather?

When Beartooth Pass closes, does the Beartooth Scenic Highway also close?

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,631
reviews: 14
1. Re: Beartooth Pass

The Beartooth Pass and the Beartooth Scenic Highway are one and the same thing.

They stay open as long as they can. I have been up on October 3, and I believe it can be open for a few weeks afterward. It could close any day, so make a backup plan. One backup route is Laurel to Fort Rockvale to Bridger to Belfry to Cody, then in the east gate of the park.

Billings, Montana
posts: 3,100
reviews: 1
2. Re: Beartooth Pass

This year Beartooth Pass officially closes on October 9, 2012 at 8 am. The section that closes that day is from Long Lake (Wyoming side) to the Montana Sate Line. Yellowstone National Park is responsible for plowing that section and it is just not a priority for them to keep it plowed that late in the season.

That being said, the pass can close temporarily at anytime due to snow/icy conditions. Two years ago it was closed a couple of days over Labor Day weekend. It can also be closed for the season earlier than the posted closure date and has on many occassions.

Deb

Billings, Montana
posts: 3,100
reviews: 1
3. Re: Beartooth Pass

Piggy-backing on ainwa's backup plan.......instead of going all the way to Cody and in through the east entrance you can turn on the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (about 16 miles north of Cody). The CJ Highway is about 45 miles and goes through a very scenic mountain pass. It is kept open all year. At the end of the highway there will be a junction with the Beartooth Highway. You will be able to turn right and go until the gate at Long Lake. You will still be able to see some beautiful scenery (Beartooth Lake, Top of the World Store, Island Lake) but will not be able to drive on the actual pass.

You will turn left and go west to Cooke City and the northeast entrance. This will allow you to drive through Lamar Valley. Note: the road from Tower to Canyon will be closed (normally closed on October 9 but this year it will be closed Sept 22 due to major road construction) so you will have to continue on to Mammoth and then south to get to other destinations inside Yellowstone.

PS....you can still drive up the switchback on the Red Lodge side to the Rock Vista viewing area for awhile after the October 9th date. Besides the gate at the bottom of the switchbacks there is a gate just past the viewing area. If the gates are open you will be able to drive to the Montana state line where the gate will be closed on October 9th. There are many years where you can still drive this section of the Beartooth Highway. The views are very nice on this section.

Deb

Edited: 8:40 am, August 03, 2012
Carlsbad, California
posts: 119
reviews: 14
4. Re: Beartooth Pass

Thanks to all of you for your responses. I am all set now.

Saint Louis...
posts: 3
5. Re: Beartooth Pass

Anyone know of inexpensive accommodations in Red Lodge this September?

MT
posts: 248
reviews: 2
6. Re: Beartooth Pass

The Yodeler is pretty inexpensive if I remember correctly.

Wicklow, Ireland
posts: 13
7. Re: Beartooth Pass

when will the beartooth pass open this year what date

Stillwater...
posts: 631
reviews: 8
8. Re: Beartooth Pass

The "official" date is May 27th, but weather is always a factor.

http://www.beartoothhighway.com/

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,631
reviews: 14
9. Re: Beartooth Pass

It is outside the park so isn't affected by sequester shenanigans.

Billings, Montana
posts: 3,100
reviews: 1
10. Re: Beartooth Pass

ainwa posted "It is outside the park so isn't affected by sequester shenanigans"

Actually, the Beartooth Pass is affected by the sequester. Yellowstone National Park plows the Wyoming side of the pass. They plow the roads inside Yellowstone Park and then start plowing at the Long Lake gate up to the Montana state border at the top of the pass. This year's sequester has pushed back the opening of Beartooth Pass to a scheduled date of June 14th. For awhile, the park was talking about an even later date.

Deb