Beartooth Highway the All-American Highway

Near the top of the mountain
Near the top of the mountain

If you ever wonder why the Americans think they are so superior to everyone else it’s probably because they have the gall to build highways over the top of mountains.

If you want to experience this first hand just drive from Red Lodge, MT southwest into Yellowstone Park via the “Beartooth Highway”.

The Beartooth has the designation as a “All-American Road”. The most scenic of the roads in the USA are designated All-American Roads. “The designation means they have features that do not exist elsewhere in the United States and are scenic enough to be tourist destinations unto themselves.” (Wikipedia)

Actually, I’d like to give it the designation “America Defeats Nature” because they have managed to build this road right over a rocky peak.

At the beginning you experience a set of long switchbacks that go progressive higher and higher. After a while you hit the Wyoming border, and you see snowy meadows, and if you are like me you think you are at the top. But, you’re not, you are about to go even higher.

In fact I had lunch at the border, thinking I was at the top of the world, but I wasn’t quite there yet! You go a little further, up another serious set of switchbacks and then you are at the top. By the time you drive past a rocky outcropping that is just a little higher than everything else you can see, you are now at the top of the mountain.

It was pretty chilly at the top. The temperature in Red Lodge was about 23C. The temperature at the top was 10C.

Part of the beauty of the drive is that the upper elevations comprised mostly of large meadows flush with yellow and purple wildflowers interspersed by patches of snow.

Wildflowers fill the meadows at upper elevations
Wildflowers fill the meadows at upper elevations

There are many pullouts so that you can enjoy the view, and you might as well enjoy the view because traffic moves relatively slow.

The Beartooth Highway was referred to as “the most beautiful drive in America,” by late CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt. I tend to agree with him. Try it for yourself, you will be in awe.

The highway features many.many switchbacks
The highway features many.many switchbacks
At the Montana - Wyoming Border
At the Montana – Wyoming Border

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