Riding Beartooth and Chief Joseph Scenic Byways

Yellowstone National Park is a motorcycle adventure dream. When we decided that Yellowstone was our goal this year, I didn’t know the riding was going to be so fantastic. It’s not any one thing about this place, but all of it combined. Riding these two highways was heavenly. These are a couple of roads that should be on every riders ‘bucket list’.

We started out to in the late morning to gradually work our way toward Beartooth highway. After a couple of geothermal stops, I soon realized we would need to get going if we were make it there before it was time to start back. We started bypassing all the places to stop and just rode Yellowstone (excellent choice!). We passed tons of parked tourists taking pictures of animals and Michelle was able to get the picture from the bike. We saw 7 bears including a black bear with two cubs, elk, geese, swans, deer and bison.

 By the time we got to Beartooth highway it was late afternoon. We headed up the highway and the views continued to get more magnificent. When we got to the top (10,947 ft.) we decide it was time to head back. After all we were 143 miles from home and it was already about 6:30 PM. So, down the mountain we go. Since The bike was low on fuel I decided to coast down…nice view, good tunes, quiet and great views! Check out the pics below.


Cooke City is just outside of the northeast entrance to the park.
You can see the mountain spire for which Beartooth pass was named.


There was still some snow up here over 10,000 feet elevation even in July.
Another snow melt lake and cool view.

Up crazy high and my ears kept poppin!

WOW! What a road…they don’t make many like this.

It’s gorgeous up here above treeline.

Going to ride Chief Joseph Scenic Byway followed the same path through Yellowstone to the north park entrance. Chief Joseph Scenic Biway intersects Montana highway 212 just after leaving the park and goes east to Cody, Wyoming. It starts off heading into a valley and follows Clarks Fork river. 


While this road is gorgeous as well, it is much different.  It has a beautiful river gorge, the Sunlight Gorge. The Sunlight Creek Bridge spans the Sunlight Creek from shear vertical walls hundreds of feet above the beautiful creek.


  This valley has lots of long sweeping turns that make you feel like your piloting your own jet fighter; many big climbs and lots more turns and back down, all the while the vistas are stunning and grand.


 Without a doubt I will always remember riding these highways and the amazing beauty on display. The only part I didn’t complete was riding all the way down to Redlodge, a great reason to come back here. I’d like to ride both roads again in the other direction. A car is nice, but a motorcycle ride is adventure!
I’ve included a link to a website for more info on both roads here. http://toyellowstone.com/gateway-cities/red-lodge/red-lodge-sites-activities/beartooth-all-american-road-chief-joseph-scenic-byway


    3 thoughts on “Riding Beartooth and Chief Joseph Scenic Byways

    1. Hey
      Turn that big bus around and park in Cody WY. Cancel/change any other plans, hey, your retired so you can do so. There are 3 things you absolutely must do.
      1) go to the Buffalo Bill Museum, you can easily spend a whole day there and it will blow you away,
      2) While in Cody which is a fabulous town, go to the Rodeo which runs every night.
      3) Leave early in the morning and do Chief Joseph and Beartooth again, but this time make it to Red Lodge. It’s a great town, scenic, natives are friendly, and make sure you eat at the Mexican Café on the east side of town/south side of the main street, and pig out on their fish tacos.
      I love that little town, check it out, once you see it you’ll want to move there.
      Ride safe
      Terry & Judy

      Liked by 1 person

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