Billngs to Cooke City via Beartooth Hwy

May 22nd, 2009, 08:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 12
Billngs to Cooke City via Beartooth Hwy

In early August, we are visting Yellowstone area. We are landing in Billings at 12:25 pm and the plan is to drive via the BH to Cooke City, where we'll stay that evening. After we land, I need to get the rental car and I'd like to stop and get a few groceries. I'd also like to stop for lunch in Red Lodge.

Figuring from landing to the end of lunch might take us to 3 pm or maybe later, do you think there is enough time to get down the Beartooth Highway and to Cooke City comfortably? The BH is one of my must-sees on this trip and I don't want to have to rush through it. Thanks!
susielf is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 442
Sunset is at 8:44 on Aug 3. If you haven't visited it, Little Bighorn Battlefield is just outside of Billings. Could spend the night in Billings and then take all day to do the Beartooths. If you are staying in Cooke City be sure to drive into Lamar Valley (road from Cooke City to Mammoth goes through here)in late pm to dusk (and again just after sunrise) for chance to see wolves, bison and elk. Be sure to bring insect repellent.
Photodog is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,069
I think you will be rushing it a bit. If your schedule allows, give it the better part of a day so you can do some walks off road.

If you have lunch in Red Lodge, the Red Lodge Pizza company is quite good. Right on the main drag and near a good grocery store.
cmcfong is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think you'll be fine if you are just driving it and not doing any hiking. That's what most people do.
Connie is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 49
In my opinion, you're really rushing things. When we stay in Red Lodge and drive the Beartooth Highway to Cooke City and back, we take the entire day. There are so many great stops and things to see, plus part of the trip will be at slow speeds, due to hairpin turns. You're cheating yourself out of a gorgeous drive by hurrying. Check out and consider staying there your first night--I promise you'll be glad you did. It's a charming town plus you're looking at a good hour's drive from the Billing's airport to Red Lodge alone.
Tess is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,456
Take your time so you can enjoy the BT Highway. Spend the night in Red Lodge or Billings if at all possible..
RedRock is offline  
May 22nd, 2009, 08:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 12
Thanks to all for replying. Considering your comments, we will likely not stop in Red Lodge for any length of time, so that will free us up a bit. And beyond stopping at scenic spots, etc., we won't be taking any walks off the highway. As much as I'd like to, my husband is not much of a hiker, so at most we'd stop for just a bit of time and then keep moving. I would very much like to be entering Yellowstone early in the morning so we can try to see wildlife at Lamar Valley. We aren't going to Cooke City and then back to Billings, but through the park. With a few adjustments, I think we will be OK. Thank you all for your comments.
susielf is offline  
May 25th, 2009, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 54
If you are picking your car up at the airport as you come down the hill into town there will be a Albertson food store on your left. They have cheap styrofoam coolers and all the food or snacks you might want and it right on the way to the interstate. Glad to hear you are taking the BT hwy many folks come to the park and don't take the road and they are missing a lot. There will be some road construction between Madison and Norris with up to 30 delays. starting aug 17 this section of road will be closed to all travel. I am in Billings if you have any other questions contact me at [email protected]
jere1mt is offline  

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