Hallelujah. Beartooth Pass is Set to Reopen Tonight at 5 pm (7/22)
One of the most beloved scenic highways in Montana is set to reopen tonight (7/22) at 5 pm. According to a social media post from the Montana Department of Transportation, repair on Beartooth Highway/US 212 is ahead of schedule, thanks to the efforts of Riverside Contracting and MDOT crews.
Beartooth Pass has been closed since June 13.
Shortly after the highway opened for the spring this year, officials were forced to close the road after historic flooding caused extensive damage. The image below (taken by an MDOT drone) a few weeks ago shows an example of how badly portions of the road were washed away.
Dubbed "the most beautiful roadway in America."
Correspondent Charles Kuralt once proclaimed the Beartooth Highway "the most beautiful roadway in America" and we agree.
Must-do's on the Beartooth Highway.
We try to take get over the Pass at least once a year. It's a summertime tradition for my family. Our trip usually goes something like this:
- Feed the kids Dramamine so they don't get carsick.
- Fuel up with snacks in Red Lodge. Remember to get sunflower seeds (see below).
- Stop at the "chipmunk place" turnout to feed the chipmunks sunflower seeds.
- Enjoy the sweeping views from "chipmunk place". Hit the bathroom, and back on the road.
- Stop at the summit to play in the snow and remark about how cold it is in the middle of summer at 10,947 feet above sea level.
- Stop at Top of the World to stretch our legs and browse the gift shop.
- Stop at Beartooth Lake and regret not remembering to bring a fishing pole.
- Continue to Cooke City for late lunch or a huckleberry milkshake.
- Retrace our route back to Red Lodge. Sometimes we'll mix it up and take the Chief Joseph Highway back home to Laurel.
Businesses along the Beartooth Highway have had a rough summer, with the road being closed during their peak tourism season. If you get a chance, spread some love (dollars) on your Beartooth Pass adventure before it all closes up for winter in just a few short months.