Beartooth Highway July 20 – 23, 2023
UPDATE: Back in 2022 Red Lodge, Montana suffered a devastating flood that severely damaged the Red Lodge Inn. Initially the owners expected the inn to be completely rebuilt by June 2023. However, setbacks has now caused a delay in fully reopening. Talking with the owner, Tiffany, she does not expect to be ready by our planned date of July 21st and has advised anyone booked there for that day to cancel. The alternate plan is to stay at the Best Western Sunset Inn in Cody, WY. As always you are free to book lodging that fits your needs.
Four day, three night trip cruising along the Teton Mountain Range, twice through Yellowstone NP and the main event, driving over one of America’s most famous and dangerous scenic drives – the Beartooth Highway.
Day 1, July 20th, begins at 11:00 AM at George Whalen Park, 4125 S 1900 W, Roy, UT. Bring your lunch as we’ll eat at the park. From there we travel north over the backroads to Logan, then into Idaho past Preston and to Ovid, ID. In Ovid we turn east on Hwy 89 and follow it to Afton, WY. This will be our first night’s stay.
Day 2, July 21st, we leave out of the Fairfield Inn by Marriot parking lot. Heading north out of Afton we’ll continue on Hwy 89 to Alpine, WY. Just after we cross the Snake River we’ll turn north at Alpine Junction and follow the Snake River into Jackson, WY. Continuing our drive, we head north out of Jackson, alongside Teton NP then turning left when we reach Moran junction. Here we have to go through the Teton NP Moran Entrance Station. If entrance fees are being collected you will need to pay $35 unless you have a National Parks Pass. Now we are free to cruise to Yellowstone NP. At the Yellowstone south entrance another $35 fee will need to be paid unless you have a pass. If you pay don’t lose the receipt as you will need it again. We drive along Yellowstone Lake turning east on Hwy 14, through Fishing Bridge and to Cody, WY for the second night’s stay.
Day 3, July 22nd, we will leave out of the Best Western Sunset Inn parking lot in Cody and take the back way to Red Lodge and pick-up the Beartooth Highway from the eastern side. We cruise through numerous switchbacks, drive past alpine meadows, including West Summit at 10,947 feet and I’m sure get stuck behind the occasional extremely slow vehicle. At the western end of Beartooth we come in to Cooke City which may be a good place to stop for lunch and decide how to proceed through Yellowstone NP before heading into the park. We again enter Yellowstone NP this time at the northeast entrance. For those of you without a National Parks Pass you will need the receipt for fees paid the day before. We now make our way through the park and end up in West Yellowstone for our 3rd night.
Day 4, July 23rd, for those going home it’s the end of the road and you’re free to choose what route works best for you.
Suggested places of lodging:
Afton, WY – Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriot
Cody, WY – Best Western Sunset Inn
West Yellowstone – Best Western Weston Inn
Complete details and lodging links are on the Utah Miata Club Facebook page under events.