We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
27 posts
Save Topic
Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

HI,

I'll be in YNP and GTNP from 9/6 to 9/14. My question is about driving the Beartooth HW. I really don't want to miss it. I thought I had my itinerary set until I started considering a reverse route

Based on my lodging, I can either drive it before I enter YNP or after I exit YNP. Could you please help me decide? Which option do you you prefer? Thanks!

OPTION 1

(PRO: If Beartooth is closed, I can try to drive partway on other days. CONS: I'm not in the park on my first night. Can't be in Lamar Valley early morning or early evening.)

9/6: Arrive Bozeman around 11a.m. Drive to Red Lodge. Stay in Red Lodge.

9/7: DRIVE ON BEARTOOTH - Red Lodge to Lamar Valley to Canyon area. Stay at Canyon Lodge.

9/8-9/13: YNP and GTNP

9/14: Check out of OFI. Exit out the North gate. Stay in Bozeman.

9/15: Go home. Flight is around noon.

OPTION 2

(PROS: More time in the park, full moon at OF, visit Lamar in the evening. CON: Beartooth drive too close to departure. If anything happens on the HW I might miss my flight. If it's closed, there are no other opportunities to drive it even to the viewpoint and back.)

9/6 Arrive Bozeman around 11a.m. Drive to OF. Stay in OFI.

9/7-9/12: YNP and GTNP.

9/13: Check out of Canyon or Lake lodging. Visit Lamar Valley. Stay in Cooke City.

9/14: DRIVE ON BEARTOOTH - Cooke City to Red Lodge to Bozeman. Stay in Bozeman.

9/15: Go home. Flight is around noon.

Thanks in advance! Really looking forward to your reply.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
17,741 posts
413 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

If your flight is at noon from Bozeman, there's no reason to really stay in Bozeman the night before. Old Faithful to Bozeman airport is easily under two hours. Red Lodge to Bozeman 2.5 hours. Either schedule works fine, but I wouldn't give up a night in the park to be close to the airport for a noon flight. Also, we feel that Red Lodge is a VERY interesting place to stay and likely will be your favorite overnight stop of the trip. Great old character and lots of good restaurants and bars. If you did the plan A and spent your first night in Red Lodge, then headed up Beartooth at dawn, you would have an outstanding experience. No reason you can't be in Lamar Valley by 9 am if you leave early.

Here's a bit of what you'll see. Have fun.

www.flickr.com/photos/tkellyphoto/4988997134/

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
811 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

I'd like to second the praise for red lodge. We just returned from our trip and absolutely loved red lodge. It was a really nice place to spend a night and we had a great dinner at bogarts, then drinks at Natali's. it's a really fun little town. If you're looking for a hotel, I can't say enough good things about The Yodeler.

San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
27 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

Thanks so much for your feedback! I've decided to check out Red Lodge and stay there my first night. I called The Yodeler today and was able to get a reservation.

TumbleweedandCactus, thanks for the link. I hope the weather cooperates so I can see that majestic Beartooth view. About staying in Bozeman my last night, I hear you but it'll be less stressful to stay near the airport the night before a noon flight. If my flight was later in the day, I'll definitely stay in-park. I'll make sure to maximize my stay inside YNP before I head out.

Thanks again!

Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
2,758 posts
259 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

Hope you don’t mind me piggybacking on your thread, but my query is similar. We will be going from Old Faithful to Cody and want the most scenic drive, I am wondering if we should stay on Beartooth as far as Red Lodge, have lunch in Red Lodge and then approach Cody from MT72/WY120? Or go the shorter route which would be Beartooth on to Chief Joseph Highway?

I don’t really mind the time or distance taken, we just want the most scenic option.

Many thanks!

Spery, Iowa
Level Contributor
6,801 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

I like Chief Joseph- beautiful in its own way, then you get both. A picnic on the Beartooth is a good lunch idea.

Saint Paul...
Level Contributor
204 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

Also piggybacking. Does anyone know the weather condition and road conditions through Beartooth Pass right now? I've looked at the road and weather reports online but would love some first-hand insight. Thanks!

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
811 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

We drove it just a few days ago and it was very cold at the high elevations with a good deal of snow along the road. There was no snow at all on the road to make driving conditions dangerous. Having snow still on the ground (around some lakes, etc.) added to the beauty and made for some excellent pictures. While at the very top, it started to snow lightly but it did not stick at all on the road. Also, it was completely cloudy and grey when we went through silver gate but once up on the beartooth we had beautiful blue skies, at least until the snow started haha.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
811 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

Also, make sure to take warm enough clothes if you plan to get out and walk around/ explore/ take pictures at the highest parts if the road. We were still cold in layers of : tshirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, fleece, and a winter hat!! And we are accustomed to very cold weather where we live.

San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
27 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

ncmc,

Many recommend doing both Beartooth and Chief Joseph. I've read that some drive up to the top or a certain viewpoint of Beartooth (Rock View?) and then turn around so they can go on Chief Joseph to Cody. They don't go to Red Lodge.

Are you returning to YNP after Cody? If so, you could do one of the scenic highways one day and another the next day.

Have fun!

Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
2,758 posts
259 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Pls help with Beartooth driving itinerary this Sept.

Hi thbergs, thanks for that. I think we will take your advice and do Beartooth and Chief Joseph. A picnic lunch sounds like a great plan, I much prefer that to a stuffy restaurant!

Terracentric, unfortunately we will not be returning to YNP from Cody, we will be going back down towards Denver airport and home :( So I am praying we get good weather that day! Having a closer look at the map, would Beartooth Pass be a good spot to go to and then return and do Chief Joseph?