Beartooth Highway (US-212) Currently Closed After 4-6 Feet of Snow Fell Over Memorial Day Weekend

SnowBrains |

beartooth highway,
Beartooth Highway. Credit: NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The Beartooth Highway (US-212), located east of the park’s Northeast Entrance between Red Lodge, Montana, and Cooke City, Montana, will remain temporarily closed until hazardous winter conditions improve. 

A substantial amount of snow fell over the Memorial Day weekend, creating large drifts and dangerous avalanche conditions. Segments of the highway have 4-6 feet of snow that need to be cleared. More precipitation is expected over the coming days.

Crews have erred on the side of safety and discontinued snow removal until conditions improve. They will work to clear the significant amount of snow from the highway when it is safe to do so.

The highway will reopen to the public as soon as conditions allow. 

Check the Montana and Wyoming departments of transportation websites for road updates and status throughout the summer.

Beartooth Basin ski area, the only summer-only ski area in North America, relies on the opening of US-212 to open itself. However, due to low snow, the ski area has announced it will not be opening this summer.

The road, which closes each winter because of excessive snow and adverse winter conditions, typically opens by the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.

Snow levels vary and drifts can be as high as 26-feet at the higher elevations, according to the Montana Department of Transportation. 

MDT is responsible for the highway to the Montana/Wyoming border, where the National Park Service takes over maintenance responsibilities through Wyoming, back into Montana, and into Yellowstone Park. MDT and NPS coordinate closely in keeping the road open throughout the summer.

Opening the Beartooth Highway is a huge undertaking.

Map of the Beartooth Highway

Photo courtesy MDT

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...