Beartooth Highway: Silver Gate to Red Lodge

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Custer National Forest

Beartooth Highway: Silver Gate to Red Lodge is a 108.3 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Silver Gate, Montana that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for nature trips, road biking, and scenic driving and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 108.3 km Elevation Gain: 1,822 m Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

kid friendly

nature trips

road biking

scenic driving






wild flowers



This is a scenic driving/road biking route. This is not a hiking trail.

scenic driving
3 months ago

if you are not pressed for time, you MUST make this drive.

scenic driving
5 months ago

Probably my favorite drive... ever. And I have driven a lot

Sat Apr 27 2019

This is a magnificent drive, but can be intimidating to some as it steeply climbs to almost 11,000 feet. Plenty of scenic vistas, and a few opportunities for short little hikes. The summit is an impressive view, and the Rock Creek Overlook is not to be missed. The forest service campgrounds a few miles east of Cooke City and Silvergate a wonderful for dispersed, self contained camping (less than $5 a night for us senior pass holders), like the Colter Campground, and opportunities to hike a bit; it's steep terrain & Grizzly habitat, so be prepared.

Sat Dec 29 2018

A must see!

scenic driving
Wed Sep 12 2018

Absolutely the most scenic drive in all of America. You must drive it both directions ... then hike the trails.

scenic driving
Sat Feb 17 2018

This is definitely a 5 star drive. Another one of the many incredibly scenic drives this country has to offer. It has been a long time since I have been on this road, but remember it well even though I was barely a teenager. Starting in Cooke City, we drove from there to Red Lodge in late June. There was still a ton of snow at Beartooth pass, which sits at 10,947'. Lots of switchbacks going up, and then down the other side. We stayed in Red Lodge that night and were told the next morning that it had snowed at the pass the previous night!! The views are what you would expect when climbing that high. So the drive starts in Montana from either direction, crosses into Wyoming and then back into Montana. Coming from Red Lodge, this would be the NE entrance to Yellowstone. This drive is just outside the park. It's known as the Beartooth Scenic Byway. Put it on the list if you haven't been to this part of the country!!

scenic driving
Wed Sep 06 2017

Wow, absolute stunning drive that everyone should experience at least once. Only seen 12 other vehicles in the 60 mile drive. Seemed like we were the only people left in the world at times. Great experience with breath taking views.

scenic driving
Wed Aug 02 2017

Two year ago my friends and I rode motorcycles up through Yellowstone then up over the Beartooth Highway. I had a black bear run against the road in front of me. Pretty exciting time. I look forward to the end of August when I'll be doing it again, but in a car this time. Sharing this beautiful scenery with my wife.

scenic driving
Fri Jul 07 2017

Quite possibly the most beautiful drive in America. Breathtaking views, lots of wildlife. There are multiple camp sites and trails along the way. Most of the drive is in bear country, so make sure you come prepared if you decide to go off on foot.

scenic driving
Wed Jun 28 2017

This is a dramatic and breathtaking route but don't carry on in to Yellowstone. Instead take the beautiful Chief Joseph highway to Cody to complete a perfect day's driving

scenic driving
Mon May 29 2017

Drove opening day on Memorial day Weekend. Did skiing in top

scenic driving
Tue Dec 27 2016

the most beautiful drive in North America

scenic driving
Sun Sep 18 2016

This is one of the best driving routes in America. The views change throughout the drive. There's a waterfall, many many lakes, and you can drive to a higher elevation than you've ever driven before. We've driven the route many times over the summer to get to Yellowstone and it is hands down, the best entrance there is. there are many trails off the highway that you can do day hikes or camp. On one occasion we saw a young grizzly near the road.

Sun Dec 13 2015

We walked about 2 miles after the road closed. The views are amazing but the wind! Hold onto your hat! It was plowed so it was easy. We didn't see any wildlife or tracks. December 13, 2015. It's really nice that you can walk as far as you'd like and still not be at the end.

scenic driving
Mon Aug 03 2015

Unquestionably within the top 10 most beautiful drives in the country! Take my word! You will not be disappointed! August 27th in 2014 is when I did it, and it was snowing at the top! It made national news! Pretty incredible!

scenic driving
Thu Jul 16 2015

The most amazing scenic drives I ever experienced

scenic driving
Tue Aug 19 2014

This is one of my top scenic drives. Many places there were switchbacks so if you need it, take some motion sickness pills before you start. The road just kept going up and when you thought you were at the top it went up more. Fantastic views at several pull off points. Allow extra time to take it all in. @backpackerneil

scenic driving
Sun Aug 17 2014

Excellent scenic drive. Lots of switchbacks with recommended speeds of 25 MPH and sometimes less. Views hard to describe, just plain beautiful. Grand Canyon has been somewhat of a standard in my mind as to natural beautiful scenery... This drive is as close to the Grand Canyon as anything we have experienced in the U.S. The road is a 2 way paved road, climbing to almost 11,000 ft in about 65 miles. The road shoulder is narrow and sometimes non existent. Guard rails are located in places, however if your the driver you need to be alert to on coming traffic and driving while competing with the epic majestic scenery. Remember the oncoming traffic is doing the same thing you are doing... The road is limited to max length vehicles of 40 ft. This is a very scenic drive at the same time an adventure drive too. Lots of look out points to stop and gaze or snap a pic or two.

scenic driving
Fri Jul 25 2014

Un-Freaking Believably Gorgeous! Most beautiful winding, diverse, majestic, magnificent drive of my life.

scenic driving
Mon Jun 16 2014

Loved the variety of terrain. The winding roads hold a lot of pull-offs for viewing and photography. The views are stunning. Skiers were out today as well as families with toboggans. There were wildflowers throughout the lower sections, fabulous waterfalls to see as well as the frozen lakes up above.

scenic driving
Tue Mar 06 2012

Starting at the NE Entrance to Cooke City, we decided to drive the Beartooth Hwy, the most beautiful highway in America per Charles Kuralt. We'd left the Snow Lodge and heard it had snowed up north... snow or no snow, we were going to try it at least as far as we could go. Cooke City was not much of a city, more like a trail stop (lots of character though). We also saw Pilot and Index Mountains, and Beartooth Butte and Lake. Our timing couldnt have been better, as at the Top of the World Store, the ranger was coming in (11AM) telling the shopkeeper that they had just finished clearing snow from the Beartooth. It was a beautiful drive all the way, even starting in the lower elevations, the road made you feel on top of the world with mountains all around. After the Top of the World on sort of a plateau, we turned the corner at Island Lake and saw ahead a winding switchback road through the snow (not scary at all). We passed several gates that are closed in the event snow blocks the hwy. At the top-most point or what is called the West Summit, at mile 44 and 10,947 ft (Wyoming), we came to a chairlift and ski slope (in summer!) with skiers going up and down the mountain. We also could look at Twin Lakes (frozen) 1,000 feet below. Mile 45 10,350 ft is the highest road elevation in Montana (state border). We went past the Wyoming/Montana border to Rock Creek Vista Point at mile 49 and 9,190 feet, which had a beautiful vista from an outcropping at the end of an easy path. We retraced our route back to the top of the Beartooth, where we threw snowballs, and got out and walked across the packed snow, which had drifted 8-10 feet in places just off the road. Im We saw Bears Tooth Peak and Granite Mountain, which at 12,799 ft., is the highest mountain in Montana. We missed the Clay Butte Lookout road due to closure and repairs, a 2 mi. spur with close-ups of Granite Peak and Pilot Index Overlook. Highly recommended!

scenic driving
Sat Aug 27 2011

Stunning views for many miles and several hours of driving. If you ever plan to go into Yellowstone, the NE entrance is, in my opinion, the best possible way as a result of this scenic byway.

Sun May 22 2011

I got the privilege of repairing the Beartooth Highway in 2005. It has to be the most beautiful place I've ever been. The people of Red Lodge are the greatest. It is our most favorite place to vacation and we would like to retire there. Everyone should drive it at least once. You won't regret it.

scenic driving
Sun Nov 07 2010

We traveled this highway in 2007, going to Yellowstone's northeast entrance, the least used entrance, I believe. It was the day after the highway opened for the season, around mid June, and the highway was clear, but the snow on the side of the road was twice as high as our car, in places. This is a spectacular drive.

scenic driving
Sun Oct 24 2010

This road is amazing, IF you are in Yellowstone you start this drive in Cooke city, an old mining town, Then you start climbing the beartooth. On the way there is an old Fire lookout by beartooth lake that you can visit. It is ran by volunteers so there may be times in early and late season it is not open. The road itself goes up to 10,000 ft or so so it opens in mid May.

scenic driving
Tue Oct 05 2010

This highway cuts through some of the oldest exposed rocks on the planet: 3.2 to 3.8 billion years. The scenery is outstanding with prolific wildflowers and dramatic vistas. We saw black bears, pikas, and soaring birds.

11 months ago

Mon May 06 2019

scenic driving
Sat May 27 2017

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