Add Beartooth Highway and Red Lodge, MT?

Old May 31st, 2012, 09:29 PM
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Add Beartooth Highway and Red Lodge, MT?

Currently we have booked 2 nights in Mammoth Hot Springs followed by 4 nights at Signal Mt and then 5 at Old Faithful Lodge. Have heard wonderful things about the Beartooth Highway. In your opinion, should we drive it after leaving Mammoth, stay one night in Red Lodge and drop a night at Signal Mt.?

We've been to YNP and GTNP previously, but not on the highway. Are there any special, short walks/hikes that start along the Beartooth?
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 04:01 AM
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If you are even in the vicinity of the BTHighway you should do it. It is one of the most spectacular drives in the U.S. and Red Lodge is a charming town. I would forego one night at Old Faithful for a night in Red Lodge. Sorry, I am not familiar with hikes in the area but there are tons of books about day hikes in Montana available.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 04:31 AM
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Very definitely you should do it. Take one of the other nights away from in the park and stay at Red Lodge. When is your trip? It may be too snowy/icy to do much hiking. We were there in June and it was like dropping into the artic. It's amazing the difference. Are you spending all the nights in the park or do you have more days scheduled outside the parks? We enjoyed Cody and hanging out in Montana between Yellowstone and Glacier as much as our time in the parks. Years ago I took a ranger led hike to standing petrified trees in Yellowstone. Check into ranger led activities in the parks. Have a great trip!
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 04:34 AM
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This is a tough question, Clousie. You sure have a great trip ahead no matter what choices you make. Adding Beartooth will make for an awful lot of driving, so personally I would stay with your current plan and save that for your next trip.

We have stayed at Signal Mt. twice and just loved the area. We hiked every day and it was always something new. Lots of wildlife viewing (something we did not have on the Beartooth at all).

About four years ago we did a trip to Red Lodge and enjoyed driving the Beartooth Highway and hiking. Here's a small bit of that trip report.
"Day Hikes in the Beartooth Mountains by Stone and Hiking the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness by Schneider. Both books are excellent guides. I would suggest the Schneider guide is the more thorough.
1. Becker Lake-this is a great hike but we would have been better off to save it for day three or four after we had made the altitude adjustment. This hike starts at 9,000+ and left a couple of us pretty winded.
2. Mystic Lake-an excellent hike on some of the best maintained trail areas I have used. There are several points where one is crossing large boulder fields, normally a challenge for me as I have horrible balance. However the trails were so well maintained even I did them without a problem. "

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 06:02 AM
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When are you traveling? Snow closed it on June 19, 2011. We had to drive around.

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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 12:18 PM
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The road was closed for a few days last week after a late May storm, But is open now. Like HTTY I had to drive around a few years ago in mid-June thanks to a late storm and there was a storm that left snow, but didn't close the road in early July a couple of years later. Be prepared, you never know when a storm will blanket the area.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 02:13 PM
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We'll be there in August so hope it should be okay as far as snow goes. Heard that the highway just opened yesterday, which I guess is later than usual. Except for the first two days of our trip being spent in Park City, we'll have either 10 or 11 days in the parks depending on our decision on Red Lodge. Traveling with 6 other people and right now they seem to want to go to Red Lodge after I broached the topic.

To help avoid the morning sun in our eyes, should we leave say late morning from Mammoth? Would that still give us time to take our time and at least a short walk or two on our way to Red Lodge?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 03:09 AM
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I absolutely agree that you should take 1 night from OF, stay in Red Lodge 1 night & do the BTH. While we haven't done it yet, from everything we've read, the drive is spectacular and it would be a shame to be so close and miss it. We'll be going thru Red Lodge & doing the BT this year.
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Old Jun 4th, 2012, 07:21 AM
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Any good food suggestions?
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 12:55 PM
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We are staying in the Beartooths for 3 nights in August. There are 3-4 really short, neat waterfall hikes in the Silver Gate/Cooke City area. Our other hikes will be near Absarokee/Fishtail/Red Lodge. They will be longer, 6-7 miles. The hiking book that was mentioned is great, but I found my information on There's a map with little buttons to put your mouse on with lengths and descriptions. Helped me tremendously! As far as eating, Cooke City has some great places. Buns and Beds has AMAZING cheesecake. I also saw lots of recommendations for the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe, MT but that might be out of your way. Hope this helps! Oh..I would get an early start from Mammoth! It will take you a long time to get out of the park 1 1/2 hrs or so and the beartooth will also be time consuming.
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