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Old 11-30-2014, 07:41 PM   #1
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Beartooth Highway

I am considering this roadway east to west, from Red Lodge, MT into Yellowstone mid July next year. I am pulling a 30' Bunkhouse with a diesel Excursion.

I can go around, but I hear this is a spectacular route, a real challenge to RVs however.

Does anyone have any experience with this route.

Thank you.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
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Not with a trailer. Have done it a couple of times with the TV. It is spectacular. It is steep and tight. There are campgrounds on the Yellowstone side but nowhere near the ridge. It is not a road I would pull on just for the fun of it. Maybe camp near it and do it with the TV first and then decide whether you just have to pull over it to see if you can. I am pretty sure you will hold up some traffic.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:49 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply. Very helpfull.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:05 PM   #4
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I know people have done it, and I've considered it, but I'd be cautious. There are some extremely sharp switchbacks that could be a problem with long rigs. Fortunately, there are plenty of turnouts that you can pull off to let traffic by. That takes some of the pressure off.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:43 PM   #5
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Our daughter used to live in Red Lodge and we've made the trek to Cook City several times, but don't even think about it in a trailer. Some of the turn radii are tight on a long bed pickup, never mind the TT. (And did you say 30' ??? no way.) The scenery is spectacular - as in only about 3 feet separating you from eternity...

Camp at the KOA south of Red Lodge - new owners this year. Seem like good folks.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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Looks like I will go through the Bighorn NF down into Cody instead. It's hard to tell from the maps how challenging the roads are.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:13 PM   #7
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Whoops. The KOA is NORTH of town, between Red Lodge and Roberts, east of the highway on Rock Creek.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:42 PM   #8
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We've taken the Beartooth out of Yellowstone heading east and turned off onto Crandall road that leads to the Dead Indian Hill. We have a Dodge diesel p/u and pull a 30'er. The road up Dead Indian Hill is plenty wide and while it is a steep incline and my truck had to work that trip it was not a bad ride at all. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if I has out that way. If you've gotten there from Mass. you have been already through much of what you'll find out there. Take your time and enjoy a break when you get to the top of the hills and let your truck cool down. If any part is stressful it's the downhill runs so take it easy going down.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:44 PM   #9
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I have been down it (not going up from Red Lodge) several times, once in my 310 motorhome, and twice or more with my 20' Argosy. I think it is a fun run, and would not be scared at all to take any Airstream of any size over it.

But if you are not comfortable, then do as suggested, leave the trailer at a campground and do it in the tow vehicle, but by all means, do it. It is a nice ride.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:08 PM   #10
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Beartooth Highway

Ted S.
We too are planning a trip to Yellowstone this summer. We will be going in from Cody as we will have family there that we will be meeting up with.
We found a great article that you might want to review about all the entrances to Yellowstone and suggested routes for Motorhomes/RVs.

Road to Yellowstone

Hope you have a great trip.

Tom & Deborah
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:35 PM   #11
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I'm not savvy enough with the html addresses to give you a direct link, but there is a discussion plus a video in: On the Road, 08-16-2013, 11:41PM, The Beartooth Highway Montana/Wyoming. On page 20. We had a great drive over the pass that summer, but it might be a problem for a larger Airstream - ours is a 25FB.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:36 PM   #12
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Ted: It's not that difficult but has it's challenges. Like everything, what looks difficult to you at your end looks completely different to us who are out here. I mean no disrespect by that comment - it's simply different when one lives here in Montana (or the West) and has experience with these highways and conditions as a matter of course. I think you're wise to ask for some advice, but remember, you may get the perspectives of those who may have only one experience over that highway as well as some who may have done it many times.

Here's one tip: Look at some of Dumpster's threads - I think he has one or two with pictures of his AS over the road, and he camps in Yellowstone every year and I think that's his preferred route. One of Dump's threads relates how he handled a wheel coming off his Airstream, on the Beartooth. IIRC after he fixed it, he took it back across. All in all, the road is built to pretty good road standards, going up and down, with mostly wide switchbacks - after all, it gets lots of first time tourist use in all kinds of vehicles. If you google the topic and "images" you'll see lots of pictures of the highway, which just looking at them will give you a good idea of what the road looks like. You'll see some of winter clearing - check when you get out here - the pass doesn't open until around Memorial Day or after - so check at Wyoming rest stops (like near Sheridan or Buffalo, if coming from the East) if you plan an early summer trip, to insure it is actually open for the year.

What hasn't been mentioned here, so far, is that you go very high in altitude - almost 11,000 feet at the top of the pass. So, the second tip: If it were me going over, high on my list would be the weather and weather forecast - what you might see at the bottom may not be the conditions at the top. And, remember, the weather out here generally goes from west to east, so if you are coming from the east, check to see if there are t'storms in the Park (or, the wx forecast West of the Beartooth) because at that elevation, rain could be sleet, hail or even snow. That would be my single, biggest go/no-go factor for a "good Beartooth experience," even if you are NOT towing.

Enjoy the trip, however you end up doing it - it's not called an "All American Road" for nothing. It will open up some spectacular country for you.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilnH2o View Post
Ted: It's not that difficult but has it's challenges. Like everything, what looks difficult to you at your end looks completely different to us who are out here. I mean no disrespect by that comment - it's simply different when one lives here in Montana (or the West) and has experience with these highways and conditions as a matter of course.
The problem is I am just old and scared, with little ones on board I would never put in harms way.

...aside from that, I am a former Hotshot form the Bitterroot NF, passed on Smokejumping to have a family back here on the east coast...now I'm soft...
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
The problem is I am just old and scared, with little ones on board I would never put in harms way.

...aside from that, I am a former Hotshot form the Bitterroot NF, passed on Smokejumping to have a family back here on the east coast...now I'm soft...
Montanans do it all the time ... but with a 30' you are taking on a challenge! Be prepared for weather as it changes hourly... still snow up on top the first week of July. Best viewed from the seat of a BMW two wheeler!
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