Beartooth Highway

State: Wyoming
Length: 38.7 mi / 62.3 km
Time to Allow: Allow 1.5 hours for the Wyoming portion of the highway, but plan for longer if you intend to take it all the way to Yellowstone National Park.

While many times you look to take a scenic byway with no destination in mind, this byway takes you straight to one of those stunning national parks found in America. Following this highway to its completion takes you to Yellowstone National Park, allows you to explore the natural scenery of Wyoming along your way there. You can expect to see many different kinds of wildlife and beautiful plants along the wayside, including mountain flowers and shrub trees. This road can take you by Shoshone National Forest and will take you on a tour from one entry point into Wyoming to another, allowing you to take a graceful loop into the state, without having to travel into its heart.

This highway takes you straight through some of the best recreation areas in Wyoming, including plenty of ski areas as well as hiking options. Since this road comes close to so many nature preserves, visitors are treated to the unique experience of witnessing a million-acre wilderness up close and personal. While the area tends to be on the rugged side, with 20 mountains reaching over 12,000 feet (3.65 kilometers) tall, the road itself is gentle, allowing you to experience this rugged portion of the American landscape from the comfort of your car.

While many people will take this highway to go directly to Yellowstone National Park, there are plenty of other stops along the way that are worth checking out, including plenty of fishing opportunities, places to ride ATVs, and 13 National Forest campgrounds. For those interested, there are guided horseback trips where you can see and photograph incredible wildlife, including mountain goats, elk, or even a grizzly bear. The nice thing about this highway is it is an all-seasons road, meaning you can see very different views depending on what time of year you make your way through the area. Skiing fans shouldn’t give up on their trip just because it ends up being in July, there are plenty of areas in Wyoming that still have ski slopes available into the summer, allowing you to get in some of that rare summer skiing, before hitting the lake for a nice cool off.

This byway is incredible for those looking to experience the natural world as you’ve never seen it before. With large stretches of untouched wilderness abutting this gorgeous byway, Beartooth Highway is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the more rural areas of America. Ever since its opening to motor vehicle traffic in 1938, this road has served as a staple to the surrounding area and to visitors looking to explore one of the many unique areas within Wyoming and the greater United States. Whether you’re looking to fill out your collection of natural wildlife photography, or are hoping to sketch some of the beautiful wildflowers that spring up along this roadway, the Beartooth Highway is a worthwhile inclusion for any road trip, and will soon become a favorite location to all who visit it.

More Wyoming Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Wyoming by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Wyoming Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.