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"The most beautiful roadway in America" - Charles Kuralt

Red Lodge is a resort and ranching community with a colorful coal-mining past that looks onto 28 peaks rising over 12,000 feet. This charming alpine town is nestled in the foothills of the magnificent Beartooth Mountains and is surrounded by Custer National Forest. The 69-mile Beartooth Scenic Drive has dramatic switchbacks that  overlook snow-capped peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes and plateaus.

October 3, 2005 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Beartooth Highway to Open

Beartooth Highway Mud Slide

Jim Lynch, Director of the Montana Department of Transportation announced today the Beartooth Highway will open to traffic in time for the Columbus Day weekend. This is eight days prior to the targeted date of October 15.

“Over the last four-plus months, I’ve heard countless times from the public that MDT’s October deadline was rather ambitious,” Lynch said. “It is due to the dedication of MDT staff and our partners at Kiewit Western, JTL Group, HKM Engineering, the Federal Highway Administration, and Custer National Forest this feat has been accomplished.”

The final components of a debris fence are expected to be completed by midweek, followed by general road cleanup, sign work, and a short list of other incidental items to prepare the highway for two-lane traffic to the Montana/Wyoming border. “There is snow on the mountain today, with more expected, but at this point we are confident everything will be in place by Friday.” added Lynch.  An official opening is currently being planned for 10 a.m. Friday at the bottom gate of the highway. More information will be coming as plans develop.

Look closely at these pictures to see a large herd of Mountain Goats across the ravine at the Visitors Center at the top of the Beartooth Highway.

At the Visitors Center and on top.

New roads an new guardrails throughout the area.
Note the new debris fencing.

Beartooth Highway Mud Slide                                                                                                 click to close window