Weekends upon weekends ago, some time in August, The Sexy Electrician and I took a weekend trip through Beartooth Pass. The drive is one of the most beautiful in the country and the highest in the Northern Rockies. Neither of us had ever been on the 68 mile highway and decided early in the summer it would be on of our weekend trips.
Since it is only open June through mid October, weather depending, we wanted to go when the summer days were long and hot. August should have been perfect. Instead, the weekend we picked promised rain and even snow at high elevations. We thought about moving it back, but the next weekend didn’t look much better and we didn’t really have a free weekend to push it back anyway. In the end, it was a bit cold, and towards the end of the drive our views were hidden by clouds. It was still amazing.
We decided to drive it east to west and drove up to Red Lodge on Friday night. We had to stop at the bar in Roscoe, because we kept hearing about it. We also had to stop at this awesome old mausoleum that was right outside of Red Lodge. So cool.
We went and set up camp before it started to rain again and then explored Red Lodge. Our first stop was the brewery. Red Lodge Ales. TSE loves their IPA. I am a fan of their hef. The other bonus is that my boss designed the space so I needed to check it out. I love the bathroom partitions.
We wondered downtown to find something for dinner and ended up at Bridge Creek Backcountry. Then after some recommendations from our waitress headed out to check out a couple local bars. The first was Snow Creek Saloon that had some very loud live music. After a drink we headed over to The Snag to finish the night. I know Red Lodge is known to be a town that knows how to have fun. But the rain and cold seemed to be keeping people at home and we were both kind of tired that night, so we really didn’t live it up. We will have to return.
The next morning after pancakes and packing up camp, we went back into town for coffee at Coffee Factory Roasters. Then wandered around to some of the various galleries and shops that were open. The sun finally started peaking out, so we figured we should get on the road.
The drive was amazing, a bit scary on some of the switch backs, and amazing. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. The view at Rock Creek Vista were the best for us. The Absarokee and Beartooth Mountains are so gorgeous.
The Twin Lakes are beautiful. It’s all just beautiful. It started to rain again around the time we reached the Western Summit Outlook, there may have even been some snow. When we reached the Clay Butte Fire Lookout, the clouds had taken over. There was still a nice little party going on for it being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We had some cake.
Once we started entering lower elevations the weather was a lot better and we were able to enjoy both the Lake Creek and Crazy Creek Falls.
That completes the drive through the Beartooths. We stopped briefly in Cooke City for gas and coffee before heading into Northeastern Yellowstone where we were camping for the night. I’ll fill you in on our Yellowstone adventures in another post. Let’s face it, this one was too long as it was!