Sunday, September 28, 2014

Driving Montana's Beartooth Highway

The Beartooth Highway

Montana is filled with scenic highways, and Highway 212 that connects Billings with the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park is no exception.

Also known as the Beartooth Highway, the 68-mile stretch is filled with curves, steep ascents and panoramic views that have earned it a designation as a National Scenic Byway All-American Road. Although its designated a scenic highway from Billings south, the scenery is just ho-hum (compared to what will come later) until after Juliet. After that the highway starts its climb through the Absaroka and Beartooth mountains where it soars to more than 10,000 feet high.

Driving the Beartooth is a challenge. It just keeps climbing higher and higher. Just when you think you've reached the summit, you drive round a curve to find the highway climbs ever higher. Because the road soars to high into the sky, it's open only during the summer months when snow isn't n issue.

The Beartooth Highway
Motorists who tackle this highway should make sure their vehicles are in good condition, with good braking power. You'll need this for the descent. Large motorhomes or rigs pulling long trailers may find this road especially challenging. Motorcyclists will love it, however.

I've driven the highway in both directions. Driving south is by far the best direction. Coming down off the summit, you can see how far the road stretches in the distance.

For more photos of the Beartooth highway, please see my Youtube channel slideshow, Driving the Beartooth Highway.