Wyoming Highway Patrol was called to rescue a semi-truck driver and his passenger who became stuck in snow Friday on the iconic US-212 / Beartooth Highway, between Red Lodge and Cooke City. The driver drove past a closed sign on Highway 212, and another sign warning against vehicles more than 40-feet long and got stuck about five miles later.
The driver had traveled north on plowed US-296 / Chief Joseph Highway, following his GPS, reported the Wyoming Highway Patrol on Facebook. But he turned east at Highway 212, traveling toward Red Lodge, where the road quickly ascends 3,800-feet to a height of almost 11,000-feet, before descending to Red Lodge. The semi-truck was carrying a load of snowmobiles, but the driver and his vehicle were unprepared for winter conditions and unfamiliar with the route.
“It happens too often on US 212 in the spring and fall, and drivers take that route because of their GPS instructions,” the post said.
There is very limited cell service in that area, so thankfully the driver was able to use his company’s messaging system to raise the alarm, around 11:30 am. An officer was able to reach the semi in a Dodge Charger.
Yellowstone National Park maintenance sent out a loader and plow truck to clear a path for the wreckers from Cody. At 6:43 pm, the semi was freed and en route to Cody.
US 212 is not maintained by WYDOT, but by the US Park Service. With multiple motorists becoming stranded each year in deep snow, the WHP has requested a gate or barrels at the US 212E/WY 296 junction and better signage, for the safety of motorists.