Beartooth Highway All American Road – MT


  • DesignationAll-American Road (2002)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesNatural, Scenic
  • LocationMT, WY
  • Length30 of 68 total miles
Byway Visitor Information
Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road
Statewide Byway Partners
Montana Department of Transportation
Visit Montana
Beartooth Highway snakes through Rock Creek Canyon on a perfect summer day as it begins the ascent to Beartooth Plateau.
Travel Montana Photo


Welcome to the Beartooth Highway- a National Scenic Byways All-American Road. This 68 mile byway winds through southwest Montana and Northwest Wyoming and leads into Yellowstone National Park at its Northeast Entrance. Since opening to automobile travel in 1937, the Beartooth Highway has welcomed visitors worldwide- introducing them to one of the most diverse ecosystems accessible by auto in the United States.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

Heralded as one of the most scenic drives in the United States, the Beartooth Highway, a National Scenic Byways All-American Road, features breathtaking views of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains, and open high alpine plateaus dotted with countless glacial lakes, forested valleys, waterfalls and wildlife. The Beartooth All-American Road passes through what is known today as the Beartooth Corridor. Surrounded by the Custer, Gallatin, and Shoshone National Forests, traveling parallel to the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, and abutting Yellowstone National Park, the Highway sits in a million-plus acre wilderness. Visitors have the rare opportunity to experience and explore pristine, untouched alpine and montane landscapes, lush forests, and alpine tundra in the space of a few miles. It is one of the highest and most rugged areas in the lower 48 states, with 20 peaks reaching over 12,000 feet in elevation. In the surrounding mountains, glaciers are found on the north flank of nearly every mountain peak over 11,500 feet high. The Road itself is the highest elevation highway in Wyoming (10,947 feet) and Montana (10,350 feet), and is the highest elevation highway in the Northern Rockies.

Recreational opportunities abound in the Beartooth Corridor. Visitors can cross-country or downhill ski in June and July, hike across broad plateaus, and view and photograph wildlife including mountain goats, moose, elk, marmot, mule deer, black bear, grizzly bear, and wolf. Visitors also can take a guided horseback trip, fish for trout in the streams and lakes adjacent to the highway, and camp in the area’s 13 National Forest campgrounds. When the highway is formally closed to automobiles during the winter months, snowmobilers travel roughly the same route and enjoy a spectacular winter wonderland. The Beartooth Highway provides easy access to Yellowstone National Park at its northeast entrance. Three gateway communities – Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana and Cody, Wyoming put you in the heart of today’s wild wild west. All three communities retain their western heritage then mix it with modern amenities to provide an unparalleled family western vacation.

Driving Directions

Although the distance from Red Lodge, Montana to the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is only 68 miles, highway switchbacks and other slow speed driving adds to drive time. The byway beings in Red Lodge and follows Highway 212 as it dips into Wyoming and then back into Montana where the byway ends at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

Points of Interest

  • Rock Creek Vista Point Rest Area & Interpretive Trail

    Elev 9190′. This wayside is twenty-one miles from Red Lodge. Vista Point provides breathtaking views of Rock Creek Canyon and Hell roaring Plateau. The short trail to the overlook is wheelchair accessible.

  • Clark’s Fork Overlook

    Elev 8,000′. This pullout offers closer views of the Clark’s Fork River Valley. In late summer, patches of brilliant yellow aspen trees contrast with the background of dark mountains in the distance.

  • Beartooth Highway Orientation Site

    Elev 7,500′. At the west end of the Beartooth All-American Road you will find a wealth of information about the Beartooth Mountains, early area mining history and the Cooke City / Silver Gate area.

  • Crazy Creek Cascade

    Elev 7,329′. A short hike upstream presents a mass of water tumbling over rocks giving a cascade appearance rather that a falls. A generous parking area makes stopping at this site easy.

  • Clark’s Fork Trailhead and Picnic Area

    Elev 7,900′. Just as the Beartooth All-American Road travels back into Montana there is a mile-long stretch of recreation facilities including hiking and horseback-riding trailheads, Chief Joseph Campground and a Nez Percé Interpretive Site. This stretch of the highway is a great place to stop for a picnic, a hike or a history lesson!

  • Beartooth Highway Orientation Site

    Elev 7,500′. At the west end of the Beartooth All-American Road you will find a wealth of information about the Beartooth Mountains, early area mining history and the Cooke City / Silver Gate area.


  • Camping in Crazy Creek

    Starting in Cooke City, drive 11 miles west to the Crazy Creek trailhead. Set up camp at the campgrounds before heading out for the day. Walk through the forest to quickly reach the base of the falls and continue up the trail. About a half mile from the parking lot go off trail to the nearby rock shelf where you can see beautiful views of the Absaroka Mountain Range. Another half mile brings you to the top of the falls. Enjoy a picnic lunch, relax on the huge slabs, and swim in the small pools. Return to camp before nightfall. Be certain to watch out for and take food precautions with bears.

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