Beartooth Pass, WY/MT, Closed Saturday Due to 4-Feet of Snow

SnowBrains |
beartooth, highway, map, US 212, closed, Montana, wyoming
Stock image of snow on Beartooth Pass.

US-212 Beartooth Pass closed on Saturday morning as a summer snowstorm dumped four feet of snow on the area.

“6/24/2023 1030am: Beartooth Pass is closed at this time per the Carbon County Sheriff. Up to 4 feet of snow has accumulated at the top of the pass. Snow has generally ended there this morning, but additional showers are possible by this afternoon.”

NWS Billings

The pass reopened yesterday, June 25th.

The high-elevation Beartooth Highway, US 212, connecting Yellowstone National Park with Red Lodge, Montana, opened for the season on May 26th. Beartooth Basin ski area, the nation’s only summer ski area, opened the following day.

beartooth pass, us 212
Beartooth Pass map.

The 68-mile road, which peaks at 10,947 feet, typically closes from early Fall through April or May due to deep snow.

The Beartooth Highway is an All-American Road on a section of U.S. Route 212 in Montana and Wyoming between Red Lodge and the Northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park, passing over the Beartooth Pass in Wyoming at 10,947 feet (3,337 m) above sea level. It has been called “the most beautiful drive in America” by late CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt. Because of heavy snowfall at the top, the pass is usually open each year only from mid-May through mid-October, weather conditions permitting.

Beartooth Basin Ski Area is a cash-only ski area located at Beartooth Pass in the Shoshone National Forest on the Montana-Wyoming border in the United States. It is the only ski area in North America that is only open in the summer, generally from late May through early July, since U.S. 212 is closed in winter. It opened in 1962 and totals 600 acres at an elevation of 10,900 feet. The area is served by two platter lifts.

Every year from late May to early July, the mission of Beartooth Basin is to keep the spirit of skiing alive with two surface lifts atop the iconic 10,000-foot elevation Beartooth Pass, MT-WY. Formerly known as Red Lodge International Summer Racing Camp, Beartooth Basin is one of North America’s oldest alpine ski training areas.

beartooth basin
Beartooth Basin sending it into the summer. Credit: SnowBrains

Ownership changed in 2003 when an adventurous group of Red Lodge locals invested in the race camp and opened the door to a younger generation of skiing enthusiasts – freestyle skiers, big mountain riders, terrain park jibbers, and anyone keen for summer skiing.

Beartooth Basin is not your average ski hill. You could describe it as backcountry skiing with a lift. Like traditional lift-served ski facilities, the Basin is staffed with professional ski patrollers and skillful lift attendants. And just like other ski areas, it faces extreme economic challenges – aging infrastructure, high equipment costs, expensive insurance policies, and rigorous engineering inspections. All of these obstacles are made even more difficult with the access issues experienced due to its remote location at the whim of multiple surface owner-operators of US Hwy212.

Beartooth Basin. Image: Google

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