Things to Do in Montana
Beartooth Highway
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Spectacular high mountain road with sweeping views is a favorite scenic drive for sightseers.
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  • MNice
    Bloomington, Minnesota2,496 contributions
    A magnificent drive, get going early, east access to Yellowstone
    There is nothing we can say or show you about this unbelievable experience except that you need to allow lots of time especially if you are headed to Yellowstone from Red Lodge (e.g. Billings). This road is very popular with motorcycles as you know and we saw just a few LARGE motor homes on the road as it is very narrow at spots. Here is the problem you will run into. First of all, let us say that we are 2 healthy adults and a dog. We were headed to Yellowstone and left Billings at 9:00 a.m. The food and beverage choices are zero after Red Lodge. You need to have a full tank of gas when leaving Red Lodge. We got gas, just a little to top of the tank in the town at the East Entrance of Yellowstone and it (of course) was super expensive. I was glad to have the gas cause the next fuel place was in the middle of Yellowstone. We made it to Old Faithful hungry (food there is expensive and horrible), used awful toilets twice in 8 hours and exhausted from lack of services. We carry snacks and beverages, but we highly recommend having REAL food with you that you can picnic with. The road within the park to turn south and go “around” to see Old Faithful is closed and you will be forced into lines of cars coming at it from the north. Our takeaway is this; get up super early and get on the road, allow tons of time, gas up when you are about to go on the highway, have good food, plan on few bathrooms. The experience was well worth it. There are lots of hiking opportunities if have the time. The camping looked amazing.
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 26, 2021
  • Jan M
    Mount Dora, Florida72 contributions
    Timing is Everything
    The pass had been closed due to snow just a day before we were planning to drive it, but it opened up just in time. The views were as expected - spectacular. They are building a new bridge in one tight curve so pilot cars guided us through the construction site, going one way at a time. That delayed us about 20 minutes. The pass closed 2 days later due to heavy rains in the area which caused rock slides. I hope the road opens again this summer after they are cleared. We feel very lucky we were able to experience the Pass when we did!
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 14, 2022
  • Mike R
    4 contributions
    Absolutely AWESOME.
    This was the best scenic drive we have EVER taken. Beautiful, scenic, and not for the faint of heart. There was construction which caused a 30 minute delay but that was a small price to pay for this incredible drive. Not long but allow at least 3 hours to stop and enjoy the views. This is a bucket list must do drive.
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 15, 2021
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
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BigMerk
Glasgow, UK2,061 contributions
Sep 2022
We were travelling from Billings to Helena thru Yellowstone and stupidly had not realised that the Cooke City entrance to the park was closed (due to flooding) . But had we known about that we would have diverted and never driven the Beartooth Highway. It’s maybe the most amazing and scenic road that I have ever driven (and we have some great roads and views in Scotland). The climb is huge and it’s mainly on winding roads with serious hairpin bends. Just when you think you have reached the top, there is another uphill just ahead. The views are stunning throughout (if you dare take your eyes off the road). Avoid if scared of heights though - it is a roller-coaster of s ride.
Written October 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BeartoothHighway
1 contribution
Oct 2021 • Couples
As hard as I try, I cannot paint an adequate description of this drive with words. If I were to try, I would say that driving through this area is overwhelming. The landscape is so vast, my brain had a hard time taking it all in. There were times when I came around corners and it would be dizzying - it looked like I was about to drive off of the top of the earth. Miles of mountain tops as far as the eye can see in every direction, drop-offs thousands of feet down below. It was really strange at the top of the road - there were these areas that looked like peaceful, rolling grassy fields, that after a few hundred yards, dropped precipitously thousands of feet below into the valley. Greens, greys, blues, reds, whites, yellows, etc. so many colors and textures. The scale of everything was immense, vast, enormous. The views were breathtaking, terrifying and awesome. If you are scared of heights, the portion between the summit and red lodge Montana is the worst (especially if you are on the passenger’s side!!!!!!!). I would not feel comfortable doing this drive on a day with high wind or any form of precipitation! I did it on a clear sky, warm day and that is about the only time I would like doing it (the section from Cooke city to the top of the world isn’t as bad, but I would never want to do the red lodge portion in bad weather. I know they shut the road down when it snows, but the weather can change fast… take your time and enjoy this awesome experience. It’s more than a drive, it’s a life experience to have and share with others.
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Randy S
Northern Virginia, VA104 contributions
Sep 2020
You see this billed as a must drive experience and I'd have to agree. Approached from Red Lodge, which, after driving it I feel is the best direction to drive in. Got lucky as the smoke from Western fires lifted that day. You climb on switchbacks on a narrow highway which might make some nervous but I found no issues. The road climbs to the summit at 10,950 feet. We passed some snow on the sides of the road even though the temperature never went below 59. The views were beyond incredible and there are ample turnouts. At 9 miles in we stopped around the 9000 foot level at the Vista Creek overlook and walked 800 feet to a railed area with sweeping view and a bunch of chipmunks eating sunflower seeds that had been left for them. At one point several cars were stopped – we pulled off – and there were three mountain goats within 50 yards. Some people ran towards them and the goats did what they are famous for – disappeared down the side of the mountain where those people could not follow. After the summit on the backside going down it was not as scenic and the speed limit picked up. There was an ongoing long term road work with only one lane open at one point that required a 15 minute wait. In summary allow at least a couple of hours to appreciate this drive...more if you are a photographer. Its well worth the trip.
Written October 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rich
alaama78 contributions
May 2021
We took Chief Joseph from Cody and tied into the Beartooth toward Red Lodge. The road had been open a couple days when we did it. There are a couple construction zones on Chief Joseph, and then another one on the Beartooth that warns up to 30 minute delays. Seems they are building a bridge or parking area or something there. Anyway, we timed it pretty good and only waited about 10 minutes. The cars in front had turned off their engines - they had been there a while. Just add 30 minutes to your agenda to account for this.

The road to the summit is incredible, the summit is amazing. You can walk up to the rocky area beyond the summit but be advised, the snow can be 4+ feet deep. Wearing running shoes, or anything unsealed will yield wet socks. The altitude didn't bother us much but we had been at 8,000 feet fairly consistently for several days prior. You can buy oxygen in Cody. The road from the summit to Red Lodge is also a highlight. It's curvy, you see where rock falls trashed the road, and Red Lodge is a treat in itself. Good people are working very hard in the restaurants and stores. Please give them your business.
Written June 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael H
Omaha, NE8 contributions
Jun 2021
Visited Red Lodge and planned to take the Beartooth Pass to YNP. We found the trip less satisfying as the road was closed at Beartooth Lake for 'blasting' and we had to circle back 3 hours, out of our way to get to YNP. I was not as impressed with Beartooth as Trailridge Road in RMNP. There was very little traffic but not worth the gas.
Written June 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ebennett2
Raleigh, NC24 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
We drove the Beartooth highway on a spectacular day. A few wispy clouds and blue skies. It was beyond beautiful- hard to put into words, actually.
Having said that, a word of advice for anyone who is afraid of heights: Think twice before you go. I don’t consider myself to be someone who is especially fearful of heights. But omg…the first leg of the trip from Red Lodge to the Summit was pretty rough for me. My palms were so sweaty they left palm prints on my jeans. Not enjoyable. In retrospect, I wish we had started at Cooke City and turned around at the Top of the World resort. The second leg of the trip from Beartooth lake down to Cooke City was much more manageable and incredibly lovely.
I know some of you will say I’m nuts and just too fearful. Maybe so. But a word to the wise for any other ‘fraidy cats out there! Just do the west side of the route and call it good!
Written September 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

phat_dawg_21
Alpharetta, GA13,073 contributions
Sep 2020
This is a great road for panoramic views and fun driving. Unfortunately, we were in a rental Camry.

We took about three and a half hours to drive from Cooke City to Red Lodge and allowed plenty of time for stops along the way. Beartooth Lake, Long Lake, and Top of the World Store were quick but interesting.

The same can be said for Island Lake Recreation area in the Shoshone National Forrest.

Beartooth Pass Vista point is a must see. We encountered a Mountain Goat or sheep - not sure which.

Rock Creek Vista is a great stop, with restrooms and several viewing areas.

We were warned that it is a scary drive, but we were never uncomfortable. My advice is drive at a pace that is comfortable for you, and be considerate. Pull off if cars line up behind you.
Written October 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Squarebutte125
Laurel, MT22 contributions
Jul 2020
A winding road which climbs quickly in elevation to 10,000 feet at times there is no guard rails which for some is terrifying. There is plenty of room on the road for two vehicles meeting but no time for the drive to be gawking around. Lots of wild flowers can be in abundance in July along with yellow bellied marmots or woodchucks, mountain goats and the occasional fox. Take the time to stop and take photographs it is an experience worth doing and repeating. Stay in Red Lodge, Cooke City or Cody, Wy all which offer unique experiences in their area.
Written July 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CharlesS916
Helena, MT330 contributions
Aug 2020
Beartooth Highway - Montana/Wyoming

This drive should not be taken lightly, novice drivers should be replaced with a more experienced driver. Another caveat is that this is NOT a highway that you should take if you are in a hurry to get somewhere; with this highway the journey is the destination. That being said, this is a bucket-list drive that should be on everyone’s list. Climbing to an altitude of 10,947 feet, the views are spectacular if you are lucky enough to be there when it is clear. If it is cloudy, realize that you will be in those clouds and won’t be able to see much. There are lots of switchbacks and steep, winding roads to keep any driver awake. The views from the pullouts are impressive. The air is thin, walk around for awhile and get short of breath. This is a great drive in either direction, but west to east is scarier.
Written September 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelerO8084
110 contributions
Jun 2020 • Couples
We drove from Red Lodge to Cooke City on our first visit to Yellowstone via the Beartooth Highway. I can not recommend this drive enough!!! The views are simply spectacular! We drove this on June 5 and saw people skiing, snow boarding and on snow mobiles at the summit! I also easily get car sick but did not feel motion sick at all on this drive. If the highway is open you don’t want to miss this!!
Written June 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Beartooth Highway (Montana) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Beartooth Highway