One of the most beautiful places I've ever been is up in the Beartooth Mountains. We wouldn't have ever seen it if we hadn't been delayed 5 additional days on the back end of our Yellowstone trip. I'm so glad Todd and I had the chance to drive up the Montana side all the way to the top, over 9,000 ft. above sea level. The views were breath taking, the air cool and crisp and the chipmunks friendly.
The Beartooth Highway is a National Scenic Byways All-American Road. This 68 mile byway winds its way through southwest Montana and northwest Wyoming and leads into Yellowstone National Park at its Northeast Entrance. It's considered to be one of the top 15 motorcycle roads in America, with thrilling switch backs and steep elevation gains. After our lunch at Red Lodge, we made our way up the mountain and spent the afternoon stopping at each turn off and enjoying the amazing scene.
Because our rental car wouldn't allow us to cross state lines, we had to stop at the Wyoming border. Here, the dusty rock and dirt slopes gave way to a high grassy plateau. As we walked toward what we though was a drop off, we realized the field carried on for quite a distance. The grass was still dotted with the last of the purple and yellow wild flowers, warmed by the sun although the mountains had already collected pockets of snow. We were the only people there, our little rental siting solo by the highway sign. It was one of my favourite moments ever. If you pass by this way on your travels, be sure to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy some time here. You'll never forget it!
Back down the mountain path, we took a little side road that led us over a babbling stream. I spotted a sign for a summer camp - lucky Montana kids!
We'll be back again some day.