Beartooth Highway prepped for summer travel

Maintaining – or even just driving – the Beartooth Highway is not for the faint of heart.

The 68-mile road winds and climbs to a summit of 10,947 feet as it connects Yellowstone National Park's northeast entrance with Red Lodge, Montana.

Designated an All-American Road in the National Scenic Byways program, the scenic drive is the highest elevation highway in the Northern Rockies. It provides dramatic views, outdoor recreation opportunities and unparalleled wildlife watching. Due to snow, the road is typically closed from October through April or May. 

Friday, May 29, the Wyoming section was given the all-clear for summer travel, joining the Montana side in opening for the season. 

Opening the road for summer is a huge undertaking, as shown in the attached drone video from the Montana Department of Transportation. The video was taken on April 21. The department fully cleared the Montana side by May 22 only to have to temporarily close it again for the following couple of days due to blizzard-like conditions at the summit, which deposited new snow. 

Because of the high elevations on the mountain pass, travelers should check current weather and road conditions. Crews make every effort to keep the road plowed and open, however unpredictable weather conditions may cause temporary closures throughout the summer, according to Montana Department of Transportation officials. 

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