Beartooth Highway MT cautions
The Beartooth Highway goes through Cooke City to Red Lodge, MT. It is only a seasonal route at best but is one of the best motorcycling routes in the country.
The Red Lodge region of MT had a wet spring and the Beartooth Highway has many rock slides. Big slides. Keeps having them. Last night's TV news reported it is possible the highway won't be opened all season. The businesses in the area are filing for financial disaster relief.
MT participates in 511, phone access to road information. The Beartooth Highway is US212. Additionally, you can watch the road closures report on the Internet:
26 MAY 2005 MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Page 1 of 1
Report Name: RRSR0035_6I
Road Closed and Emergency Travel Only Report
MT-38 SKALKAHO PASS
CLOSED FOR WINTER
BEARTOOTH HIGHWAY - WYOMING STATE LINE TO VISTA POINT
ROAD CLOSED - SOUTHBOUND
ROAD IS CLOSED DUE TO MUDSLIDES ON THE ROADWAY
BEARTOOTH HIGHWAY - VISTA POINT TO LOWER GATE
ROAD CLOSED - SOUTHBOUND
ROADWAY IS CLOSED DUE TO MUDSLIDES ON THE ROADWAY
Yellowstone NP tourists please take note
There have been record-breaking spring floods and the Beartooth - Cooke City - Red Lodge route has 13 slide areas that have either damaged the roadway or completely obliterated it. It's been on the news here every night for about two weeks now, plus I was in Billings over Memorial Weekend, that's the scheduled opening weekend, and on the news there they showed the folks held at the base, making the best of it by partying anyway.
Sen. Baucus has submitted for emergency disaster funds, they project $20 mil will be required. Of course, you don't get contractors with that significant equipment on a moment's notice, they're usually booked a season or two ahead. They expect to offer a completion incentive to get it reopened by Oct, although, since the route is closed for the winter, why spend the extra tax dollars? That's dumb. The likelihood is it will be open for its regular opening day of May 31, 2006.
The news last night said they are getting ready to send in the crew that will clean it up enough for the repair crew to access it. They made it clear NO ONE gets in, not pedestrians, not bicyclists.
Great slide show of slide areas
The Beartooth Highway (Hwy 212) is closed from the Park Side Campground, approximately 10 miles south of Red Lodge, to the Montana/Wyoming border. The west side of the Beartooth Highway is accessible from Cooke City to the Montana/Wyoming border.