Where will you be as one of the greatest scenic Highway’s opens for the 2023 Summer season? You should be in Cooke City, Montana. Don’t miss our “unofficial” opening of the Summer Season in Cooke City as we celebrate with lots of fun.
As it winds its way from the northeastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park thru Cooke City to Red Lodge, the Highway traverses an impressive range of ecosystems – from lush lodge pole pine forests to alpine tundra. At the highway’s summit, travelers find themselves in a sky-high world of glacial cirques, clear alpine lakes, and snow that lingers through the summer months. With 20 peaks over 12,000 feet in elevation (including Granite Peak, Montana’s highest at 12,799 feet), the Beartooth Mountains lie within the 943,377-acre Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Grizzly and black bears make their home here, as do elk, deer, moose, bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goats, mountain lions and bobcats. With over 950 alpine lakes and hundreds of miles of trails, these mountains offer ample opportunities for recreation – much of it accessible from the Beartooth Highway.
Construction of the highway began in 1932 and was completed June 14, 1936. Since then, the Beartooth Highway has often been referred to as one of the most beautiful mountain drives in America. Driving south from Red Lodge, MT, the highway enters the Custer Gallatin National forest and climbs the switchbacks to the Montana/Wyoming state line. Make sure you stop at Vista Point for incredible views of the main canyon of Rock Creek. At the state line, visitors enter the Shoshone National Forest. Climb to Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet and pass many lakes and scenic pullouts. The road brings you back to Montana, where you again enter the Custer Gallatin National Forest, just before the town of Cooke City, MT.