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.

Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

Ohio
Level Contributor
33 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

Traveling from Cody over to Old Faithful Inn, should we take the Chief Joseph & Beartooth highway route into Yellowstone at the North entrance so that we get a chance to travel that route? I was planning on entering at the East entrance, but it seems I've heard alot about the scenic drive and am wondering if we should adjust our route? Does that double our drive time though? We will have 1 night at OFI, then 3 nights at Lake Hotel cabins before going down to Jackson Hole. So I'm not sure if we try to do this on the way in, or if we just catch some of the Beartooth Highway on one of our days touring?

Spery, Iowa
Level Contributor
7,145 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

others will chime in, but for me it would depend on your interest. 4 nights is only 3 full days in the park, and depending on your arrival and departures times, a bit more? If you got an early start, you could do that, entering the Northeast gate, going to OF via Lamar and Mammoth (North is Mammoth/Gardiner) and end your day at the Upper Basin/Old Faithful. The next day you could do the basins, ending at Lake, third day, Canyon overnight Lake, forth day whatever you missed or want more of, even up to Mammoth if you didn't have time the first day going in., overnight Lake.

Catch Fishing Bridge, Mud Volcano when you have time, as well as Hayden Valley. You can catch West Thumb on the way to Jackson.

If bad weather, you can skip Beartooth and see how your days fall, but I have never personally taken time from my YNP days for Beartooth. If it fits, fine, if not, we don't see it.

2. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 10 July 2016, 04:25
Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
831 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

For us, the beartooth was a highlight of our trip. Of course, if you take time to drive it you will probably have to take some time away from site seeing within the park. Either way you will be seeing amazing things and will have more to see next time.

We drove both the chief Joseph and the beartooth and each are impressive and different from each other.

Muskoka District...
Level Contributor
228 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

I agree with Pittsburgh. On our last driving trip into YNP we stayed the night before in Billings then left at first light to drive the Beartooth Pass. Oh my gosh! What a drive! Drove into the park via the Lamar Valley and saw hundreds of bison and many right close beside the road (was abit nervewracking). We were staying in Big Sky, Montana so still saw a nice piece of the park that first day before we got into Big Sky. But we have done it before and knew what areas we wanted to see again.

Chicago, Illinois
12 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

My wife and I drove in from Chicago via US-14 from I-90 and returned via US-16 and both were extremely scenic. Our original plan was to drive the Beartooth Hwy/US-212 for our egress but after making the drive down Mt. Washburn from Canyon we both decided that the stress of mountain driving on the Beartooth would inhibit any enjoyment of the scenery. Based on what we saw on both routes and inside the park itself I don't think we really missed out on much.

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
Level Contributor
6,524 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

I may be missing something here, but If you never drove the Beartooth, how do you know what you did or didn't miss out on?

Chicago, Illinois
12 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

I know I missed out on a long, stressful mountain drive, unnecessary when we had already experienced so much beautiful scenery along the way.

Spery, Iowa
Level Contributor
7,145 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

agree with TetonBill- we have been on Beartooth in the past- even camped a night, and I would absolutely say it was worth it when it worked with our schedule. Nothing like it in Yellowstone.

Chicago, Illinois
12 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

While I'll admit that I haven't experienced it personally, based on the pictures and Youtube videos I've seen and comparing them to my own experience on US-14 and US-16 I don't think it would have added much, if anything, to my overall experience at Yellowstone. You are of course entitled to your own opinion.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
20,173 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Chief Joseph & Beartooth Highways

Actually, to me US 14 and 16 are nothing like Beartooth. I don't particularly like heights, but Beartooth does not bother me to drive on except for the switchbacks on the Red Lodge end. Then I just make sure I am driving and keep my eyes on the road. Pictures and videos can not give any real impression of what the Beartooth Highway is like, especially the alpine plateau area at the top. Really, there is nothing like it. It is well above the tree line, so all you can see are alpine meadows surrounded by peaks. (I presume the flower filled areas are alpine meadows...I am not an expert at this terminology!) Looking over the side of the road down to alpine lakes, catching a look at a mountain goat or 2 or 3. Watching crazy snowboarders and skiers the middle of summer. Just wow.

But, to the OP's question...I agree with Ystoner that Beartooth will make it a very long day especially if you plan to do some geysers that first day. The East entrance road, as noted, is quite scenic and with your short time in the park, you will likely find enough to fill your days without trying to fit in Beartooth this time. You can save it for your next visit when you can allow more days! lol

Pam