Beartooth Highway goes to the top of the world, then a little higher
There are many ways to enjoy riding your motorcycle. Speed, curves and twists, scenery, etc. I even enjoy a lonely western U.S. Interstate early in the morning when I have the road mostly to myself. Beartooth Highway manages to balance incredible scenery with challenging and fun twists interspersed with short straightaways to shift through the gears a little bit.
Take Highway 212 out of Red Lodge heading west and follow it through the mountains to Cooke City, Montana. The road goes through Wyoming on the southern end. The road is in great condition for 95 percent of the ride. There are some slightly rough areas about 40 miles in…unless you drive from Cooke City – then just reverse this.
The Beartooth Highway immerses you directly into the middle of the purple mountains majesty. Photos and video don’t do it justice. The towering behemoths rising above you outside of Red Lodge is awe-inspiring. And then you slowly wind your way above them. You see vehicles driving on roads high above you as you turn on switchbacks. Then you get to the top and see patches of snow and stunning valleys and canyons below. But then you go higher until you suddenly wind up on a stretch of road that looks like eastern Montana. The temperature has dropped significantly, but the unfolding scenery seems to make it insignificant. Then you descend through switchbacks outlined with rocky formations and back into the forest. Incredible.
The Bottom Line
This is a must ride. It is not as challenging as riding up Pike’s Peak and it is not as steep feeling as the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. This is a comfortable and challenging ride. It is amazing scenery along with a really nicely laid out road. Awesome.
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