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Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

New York
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89 posts
16 reviews
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Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

If I were to drive from Lake Yellowstone Hotel, up Beartooth Hwy, and stopped at Red Lodge, approx how much time are we talking about. I have actual mileage, but that means nothing depending on how slow a drive it is ,(going in July) and if there are many turnouts, etc. Later in the day I'd like to end up in Cody for the night. Just trying to figure an approximate time line. Thank you, as always, for everyone's advice.

Andrea

Illinois
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1,413 posts
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1. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

I may be wrong but I think doing Red Lodge and Cody in the same day is pretty ambitious. I have been to both towns twice but each trip we did Red Lodge on our way into the park and Cody on the way out.

Our first trip we drove the Beartooth from Red Lodge in thru the NE entrance and stayed at Lake Yellowstone. I think it was 2 1/2-3 hours just to the entrance (11 years ago-memory not so good!). Our trip last year the Beartooth was partially closed due to spring mudslides so we picked up the Chief Joseph for part-equally beautiful and pretty equal time-wise. Not really too much traffic and we do utilize the pull-outs and take our time to enjoy the scenery but if you get behind an RV or somebody scared of the road (which is why my husband drives and not me!) it can be slow going and almost impossible to pass.

Same holds true for the ride to Cody via the East entrance which is very close to Lake Yellowstone Hotel so it really makes more sense for you to go to Cody on your way out.

You would also probably need to add at least 1 1/2 hours from Lake Yellowstone to the NE entrance to pick up the Beartooth.

Also, both Red Lodge and Cody are really worth spending a little time in-both have GREAT shops and restaurants-wonderful towns. Is there any way you could hit one on the way in and one on the way out? Totally worth it if you can swing it.

Hope this helps-I really can't give you exact drive times except I know it's always longer than I anticipate.

West Yellowstone, MT
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2. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

Are you looking to circle east of Yellowstone on your way back to Cody or go back through Yellowstone? That road is not a bad one and only 65 miles. I'd just make sure I had plenty of gas.

If back through Yellowstone, the Sylvan Pass (east entrance) construction continues next year and you should expect nightly closures of the gate (8 PM to 8 AM).

New York
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89 posts
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3. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

OH, you know the planning process...so many changes as you research more & more. The only thing I'd like to keep as is are my park ressies since they are already becoming "picked over" for next summer. Anyway, we are starting with 1 night in Jackson ( early morning tour on 2nd day departs from Jackson), 2 nights Jackson Lake Lodge, 2 nights Old Faithful Inn, 3 nights Yellowstone Lake Hotel Cabins (hotel itself already filled). Then I have 2 nghts left to fill. Original plan A was to go to MT Rushmore area but we're using FF miles and couldn't get a flight out of Rapid City. We are now flying in and out of Jackson, so there's not lots of time to make it over to MT Rushmore. Plan B...since everyone feels Beartooth Hwy shouldn't be missed I figured we'd drive it leaving early, lunching in Red Lodge, continue on to Cody for the night. See a few things in the morning before heading back to Jackson for the night and our flight the next morning. The drive is sort of a loop. Is this an ok plan or does anyone have a plan C? Thanks again!

Minneapolis...
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46 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

http://www.byways.org/browse/byways/2281/

According to the above website you should allow 2-3 hours to drive Beartooth Hwy. Check out the "print-n-go" on the right side of the page, you can print the whole thing or do the customized deal and pick the things you are interested (ie campgrounds, overlooks, turnouts etc.). I did that and checked of all the overlooks and turnouts to have on hand as we drive the Beartooth next week.

I am really looking forward to this drive, heard so many good things and seen so many beautiful photos, I can't wait to see it in person.

New York
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89 posts
16 reviews
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5. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

What a great site!!!! Thank you for sharing it! Everyone is always so helpful here!

Minneapolis...
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46 posts
10 reviews
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6. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

http://www.yellowstone.net/forums/

This is another great site. Trip Advisor and the above site have been of great help to me in planning our trip (we leave this Saturday!!).

There are a lot of seasoned Yellowstone travellers on the yellowstone.net forums who check in often and are really helpful (think Yellowstonefan times 10 - not to discount Yellowstone fan who is wonderful and very helpful, just saying there are even more people like that on the other forum). Plus people post photos on that site - another great way to get excited for your trip by getting some visuals. A lot of great photographers on that site.

example:

www.yellowstone.net/forums/viewtopic.php…

I'll be posting my trip report on both sites (along with some photos on the other) when we return from our trip.

~Leslie

Danville, IL
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21 posts
65 reviews
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7. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

We will be flying into Billings on 9/16/06 and driving the Beartooth that afternoon. I found this phone number that you can call and get a road condition update on the Beartooth

1-800-226-7623 - the road is route 212.

Hope that helps. Have a great trip, I hope we do too. Apparently the smoke from the Montana fires is decreasing visibility somewhat, I hope it's gone by next weekend.

West Yellowstone, MT
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1,646 posts
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8. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

Weds the 6th- there is a 20% chance of afternoon showers predicted over the next couple of days and a cold front moving in. Both should help dissipate the smoke. It mainly sits in the lower valleys during evenings & early mornings.

Atlanta
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72 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

I just returned from YNP and Tetons 9/8 - My husband and I did a very ambitious trip - I would not recommend this unless you had to (like we did) but here are some real times -

We left Canyon Western Cabins at 7 a.m. Tuesday - we had already done the sites to the NE Entrance, so we just had to drive - but we did stop for a few animal sights and got held up about 15 min. with bison on road. We got to Cooke City at 9:25 - started Beartooth and did a fair number of short stops to take photos and enjoy the beauty. Got finished about 12:25 and did a cross over to Belfry (just before going into town of Red Lodge) and connected to WY 120 which lead us to Chief Joseph Hwy 296. Started that about 1:15 - got back to Cooke City at 3:25 - And we still had to drive back through YNP to get to our B & B in Jackson Hole!! We had a major stop for bull moose at Oxbow Bend at Jackson Lake Lodge - it was so close to us - it was worth the delay. So, we go to our B & B approx. 7:38 - I told you it was a long day but we thought it was well worth it - the things we saw, we will never forget. If you are just going to Cody, you will be just fine -

Jacksonville...
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10. Re: Drive time-Beartooth Hwy

I agree that you are trying to do too much. The second time we were there (5 yrs ago) we stayed at the Lake Yellowstone hotel cabins and then in a lodge in the Wapiti Valley for two nights Between E. Yellowstone and Cody. Cody is a cute town and you should go to the museum. Then went up 296 and then eart on 212 on the Chief Joseph Hwy. Unbelievable scenery. Had lunch in Red Lodge another interesting town. We left from Billings that night so that was that, but you could make a circle around. Too much for one day as you will want to stop alot.