The Beartooth Highway has been called "the most beautiful drive in America," by late CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt. It is a section of U.S. Highway 212 between Red Lodge, Montana and Cooke City, Wyoming at the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park. This spectacular drive extends 69 miles through the Beartooth Mountains on the Montana and Wyoming border to the 10,947 ft. high Beartooth Pass. From the east side the approximate elevation rise is from 5,200 ft to 8,000 ft in 12 miles.
The long plateau at the summit is alpine tundra, high above the tree line and covered with tundra wildflowers during June and July. The snow lingers through the summer months and feeds the numerous alpine lakes visible from the overlooks along the highway. Due to heavy snowfall at the top, the pass is usually open only from Memorial Day in late May through Labor Day in September but the weather can become severe even during the summer months.
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Jim W. Parkin