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WOOLFY
Were going to do the Beartooth Hwy the first part of June this year. And I'm looking for some feed back on what the road might be like that time of year if anyone has done it that time of year.
kcmoedoe
Awsome drive. However, don't plan on taking any kind of trailer or big rig. Roads are incredibly steep and there are many switchbacks. The road only opens over Memorial Day weekend and may very well still be snowpacked in early June. Winter doesn't completely give up on the Beartooths until August. There is always some controversy regarding snow removal on the highway. Ultimately, responsiblility has fallen to the Park Service out of Yellowstone. That being said, the Beartooth Highway is kind of their last priority, since it is not within the park boundary. Montana does a good job keeping their parts of the road open, but Wyoming often balks at the costs since the road only cuts across a corner of Wyoming and serves no population in Wyoming. There is ongoing construction of the Highway in Cooke City, and usually some repairs on the higher elevations are necessary each year. All that being said, you will not find a more scenic drive anywhere. Plan to take all day, dress in layers since it can be either hot or cold, and have the time of your life.
Jerry S.
kcmoedoe:

Very informative post. I did a little additional research and found (on the NPS website for YNP) that last summer Beartooth Highway did not open for good until June 16th. According to the NPS archive news release, the road was closed more often than open after its' intitial Memorial Day weekend opening. As can happen in this area, there were several snows in early June heavy enough to close the road more than once.

WOOLFY:

I just wanted to make sure that you realize that there are no guarantees that the road will be open on any particular day early in June. Hopefully, you will be on a flexible enough schedule that won't be screwed up by a day or two holed up in Red Lodge waiting for the road to open. I ran into that problem in June about 10 years age when they closed Trail Ridge Road (the road through Rocky Mountain NP) for 2 days. My advice: Keeping checking with the park every day the week before your planned arrival.

Innkeeper
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Feb 14 2009, 01:34 AM) *

kcmoedoe:

Very informative post. I did a little additional research and found (on the NPS website for YNP) that last summer Beartooth Highway did not open for good until June 16th. According to the NPS archive news release, the road was closed more often than open after its' intitial Memorial Day weekend opening. As can happen in this area, there were several snows in early June heavy enough to close the road more than once.

WOOLFY:

I just wanted to make sure that you realize that there are no guarantees that the road will be open on any particular day early in June. Hopefully, you will be on a flexible enough schedule that won't be screwed up by a day or two holed up in Red Lodge waiting for the road to open. I ran into that problem in June about 10 years age when they closed Trail Ridge Road (the road through Rocky Mountain NP) for 2 days. My advice: Keeping checking with the park every day the week before your planned arrival.


In 1988 I inadvertently ended up on this highway thinking it looked like a shortcut on the map. I had a Suburban 350 V8 and a 33' Fleetwood Wilderness travel trailer. I did make it over the pass, but had vehicles backed up and some incredibly tight switchbacks. Unfortunately I was down to less than 5 miles per hour as I started chugging (vapor locking?), but I couldn't turn back. Once starting up, you are committed. Learned the hard way, hope others can learn from my experience.
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