Scenic USA - Wyoming

Beartooth Mountain Byway

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Beartooth Mountain Pass - Beartooth Mountain Byway, Wyoming

Photo by Mark Nielsen
The Beartooth (photo inset) by Wm. S. Keller

   The Beartooth All-American Highway, following U.S. Route 212, has been proclaimed one of the most scenic drives in the United States. This corridor passes through three national forests, the North Absaroka Wilderness, near 1000 glacial lakes, showcases a series of majestic mountain peaks, and highlights the highway's namesake, a huge granite fang called the Beartooth. This rugged, high altitude byway boasts 20 peaks over 12,000 feet, a large population of wildlife and photographic opportunities in every direction.
   Charles Kuralt described the scenic highway as the most beautiful drive in America. In 1989, it achieved national attention with an official designation as a National Scenic Byway. Beartooth Peak - Beartooth Pass, Wyoming The 68 mile route begins at Red Lodge, Montana, climbs multiple switchbacks as it gains nearly 3000 feet in 12 miles, then it crosses the Wyoming border to Beartooth Pass. Topping out at the pass, nearly 11,000 feet, the byway gradually descends westward into Cooke City, Montana, before heading to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The highway, opening in 1936, remains an amazing feat of engineering and commands top billing as a must see item during any Yellowstone visit. This chilly scenic view takes in the Beartooth Pass area and is a visual reminder that this alpine route passes through some of the most extreme terrain in the world, staying open for only four to five months a year.

     Byway Map


Byway Points of Interest


 

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