Day 8: Billings -> Bozeman via US 212 “The Beartooth Highway”

The drive from Billings to Bozeman can be done in two and a half hours flat when taking I-90 straight west. But, there is a much more appealing detour that passes through the Beartooth Mountains. The Beartooth Highway is a section of US 212 that crosses the border of Montana and Wyoming just northeast of Yellowstone. The route begins with a series of sharp hairpin switchbacks that wind up the mountain side, something akin to what I’ve seen when James Bond chases the villain du jour through the Swiss Alps.

The highway as it winds up the mountain side

the soobie worked hard that day, and so did those bikers!

The road eventually leveled off into a plateau that sits at approximately 10,947 feet. I read that it’s prone to snow at any time of the year and I don’t doubt it based on the chilling temperature and high winds that I experienced there. Another appropriate analogy, the best way I can describe it is that I was plopped right into the middle of a slightly more rugged version of the backdrop for The Sound of Music except this was much colder than it ever seemed to be in the movie, there was no singing (because my FM transmitter broke. See Days 6 & 7 post), and there were no Nazis. Other than that…Sound of Music all the way.

After driving through the meadows of the summit for some time, the descent down the other side began. It was full of deep blue lakes and more hairpin turns

As for why this mountain range is called the Beartooth’s, the imposing peak as exiting through the west end offered a sound explanation…

The Bear’s Tooth

It’s hard to not share another 20 photos that were all breathtaking through the 69 mile stretch. It was essentially impossible to take a poor photograph, except for when asking a stranger to take one for you…
Note to self: don’t talk to strangers

Fortunately, I used mad camera skillz to get a pretty decent one all on my own!

I arrived in Bozeman on Friday, where I will stay for the next two weeks while I take a few classes and put a pretty bow on my master’s degree. I’ll provide updates when/if something interesting happens. For now, the nomadic lifestyle gets put to rest.


3 thoughts on “Day 8: Billings -> Bozeman via US 212 “The Beartooth Highway””

  1. Hahaha that’s an awesome picture you took by yourself. Also, how much fun are you having driving stick on those roads?! Super jealous, this is definitely a trip of a lifetime. Hope you have some great tunes keeping you company!


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