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Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Best Guide to Beartooth Highway and Beartooth Pass [2023]

The Beartooth Highway (US Hwy 212), also known as the Beartooth All American Highway is one of the most spectacular routes in the continental United States. The highway travels through high-altitude wilderness terrain for 63 miles between Red Lodge, MT and the North East Entrance to Yellowstone Park at Silver Gate, MT. This guide travels the road beginning in Red Lodge and ending in Yellowstone Park but it can easily be driven in reverse

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Camping & Campgrounds Red Lodge Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Beartooth Lake

Beartooth Lake is a spectacular high-mountain lake located along the famous Beartooth Highway (U.S. Hwy 212).  The lake is a popular destination that offers fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and backpacking in a pristine alpine setting. Beartooth Lake is immediately adjacent to Hwy 212 which is both good and bad because it makes access very easy but it also promotes heavy use.

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Red Lodge Area

Exploring the West Fork Rock Creek – Red Lodge, MT

2022 Flooding and Road Closures

In mid-June, 2022 massive flooding hit the Rock Creek drainage resulting in significant damage to roads and bridges. As of mid-July, the West Fork Rock Creek Road is closed from the Basin Campground (mile 7.2) to the end of the road. For current information contact the Beartooth Ranger District at 406-446-2103.

Rock Creek drains the Beartooth Mountains south and west of Red Lodge MT. and the West Fork Rock Creek is its longest and largest tributary. The two branches join just outside of Red Lodge. The West Fork offers opportunities for camping, fishing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, and enjoying a wilderness setting.

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Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Island Lake on the Beartooth Plateau

Island Lake is a beautiful high-mountain lake on the Beartooth Plateau in Wyoming. It’s easily accessed from the Beartooth Highway (US 212) and is just a few miles west of the Beartooth Pass. Sitting at 9,518′ elevation, Island Lake covers 146 acres to a maximum depth of about 100ft. Island Lake is a very popular recreation area with a US Forest Service campground, a boat ramp and beach area, and a trailhead that is popular with hikers and backpackers.

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Camping & Campgrounds Red Lodge Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Cascade Campground on West Fork Rock Creek

Cascade Creek Campground is located on the West Fork Rock Creek about 11 miles west of Red Lodge, MT. Nestled in the Beartooth Mountains at 7,600 ft, Cascade Creek Campground features great hiking, fishing, and mountain biking opportunities.

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Camping & Campgrounds Red Lodge Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Basin Campground Red Lodge, MT

The Basin Campground is on the West Fork Rock Creek at 6,800 ft elevation. The 30 campsites are enjoyed by hikers, anglers, and mountain bikers. The campground is in the Custer Gallatin National Forest and is close to the Beartooth Highway and Red Lodge, MT making it a popular destination.

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Beartooth Pass Camping & Campgrounds Red Lodge Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Limber Pine Campground on Rock Creek

Limber Pine campground sits beside Rock Creek less than a mile from the Beartooth Scenic Highway. It’s right next to the Greenough Lake Campground and the two share a camp host. Limber Pine is a destination in itself but it’s also a great place to spend a night when traveling the Beartooth Scenic Byway.

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Beartooth Pass Camping & Campgrounds Red Lodge Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Greenough Lake Campground

The Greenough Lake Campground sits in the trees alongside Rock Creek 12 miles SW of Red Lodge, MT. It’s less than a mile from the famous Beartooth Highway and is great as a destination or for highway travelers.

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Beartooth Pass Camping & Campgrounds Red Lodge Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Parkside Campground on Rock Creek

Parkside Campground is located just off the Beartooth All American Highway (US 212) 12 miles SW of Red Lodge, MT (56 Miles E of Yellowstone Park). The campground is right on Rock Creek and features 28 campsites less than a half-mile from the highway.

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Bozeman Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Montana’s Missouri Headwaters State Park

At the Missouri Headwaters State Park three great rivers; the Madison, the Jefferson, and the Gallatin join to form the Missouri River. The Missouri flows 2,341 miles downstream until it joins the Mississippi River and ultimately reaches the ocean in New Orleans. In 1805 the Lewis & Clark expedition became the first known European explorers to reach the area. They traveled up the Missouri and named the three rivers they found coming together here.