Billings Stories and Tips

Going up . . .

Beartooth Byway, MT Photo, Billings, Montana

From Creek Valley, the road keeps going up pretty quickly. From 5,200 feet, the road rises to 8,000 feet within 12 miles along the mountain in numerous switchbacks! Stop at Vista Point for a bathroom break and the view! From Alpine (lots of evergreens), the vegetation becomes smaller and scarcer, from trees to grass, bushes, and finally, lichen and moss, with patches of snow that the sun never melts. You finally reach the top and the border with Wyoming, crossing the 45th parallel, halfway between the Pole and the Equator!

The first stop after that is the Red Lodge summer ski training camp at 10,700 feet. Should you decide to get out the car and walk to have a better view of the mountain range (like this picture), be careful, as the altitude will play tricks on your body. The air is rarefied already, so DO NOT RUN. Go slowly or you'll black out. Justin and I almost did going back to the car. We did not feel a thing at first (except a little shortness of breath), but then, as I was rushing towards the car, I felt dizzy and big black spots started dancing in front of my eyes, and Justin had the same thing happen to him almost at the same time, so be careful there! The culminating point of the road, Beartooth Pass, is 10,974 feet at the West Summit Overlook, and there is the amazing display of windswept tundra, mountain peaks, and Beartooth Plateau.

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