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  1. #1
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    Anyone ride Beartooth Pass?

    Thinking about riding from Cooke City to Red Lodge and back (the next day). Curious if any of you have done it. Looks like a sweet ride (for this fall)...

  2. #2
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    I think there was another thread about this posted last summer. Much of the road has narrow, or no, shoulders and tight turns with limited sight distances. Peak season sees lots of cars driven by scenery-gawking tourists.

    The few bikers I saw riding it last year had backed-up traffic about 10 cars deep behind them.

    I believe there is a time window when it's rideable but not yet open to cars. That would be the only time I would ride it.

    EDIT: check to see when they close the road too. "Fall" comes early to Cooke City (they had 4' of snow on the ground in late September last year).

  3. #3
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    From what I read, the most aesthetically unpleasant part of the ride are the Harleys. Still think I will do it in September.

  4. #4
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    It is well known as one of the greatest climbs in the US for cyclists. I am sorry, but I have yet to ride it. It is on my bucket list.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  5. #5
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    We drove it on our way to Yellowstone last year - it's incredible - easily one of the most scenic passes in the US. Like others said, there's quite a few blind turns and very little shoulder if any in places. I brought a bike on the trip and we stayed just outside the North entrance to the park so it was within easy reach to ride it, but given the tourist traffic I chose not to. I think before or after prime tourist season I would consider it, not during the Summer months when kids are out of school and families are on vacation in the area though unless you have a follower car to protect you. For comparison, I've done Clingman's dome from both sides in the middle of tourist season and was quite comfortable with it with an early start.
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  6. #6
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    My favorite time for riding (and visiting) tourism areas is right after Labor Day. The weather is still generally quite nice but the traffic is greatly reduced.

    Even so, I have cycled over many of the great climbs on the US in the middle of tourist season and have only occasionally had issues with traffic. I did have an RV once honk at me to pull over on Molas Divide (Durango to Silverton run) when there was no shoulder and a 1000' drop off to oblivion just past it. I pulled two feet out further into the lane. I'm not dying so some lard butt can save a few seconds...
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  7. #7
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    I'm a Billings rider (about 60 miles from Red Lodge) and try to ride the pass from the RL side at least once each year. One good option is to catch it the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. That is their typical target for getting the pass clear for auto traffic.

    A group of riders usually heads up, hops the gate and climbs it free from traffic. I haven't caught that due to work and weather, but hope to some year. At times, if they are working and turn away riders, but not always. We got lots of snow late and it could delay the opening this season, but I haven't heard any info yet.

    Otherwise, I try to catch it on a weekday if possible to hit less traffic. It is an amazing ride from either side and well worth the trip. Make sure to have extra water and food. There is only one real stop (Top of the world store) and it is not always open. As with any pass, be prepared for crap weather as it can change quickly. We did a TT one year with 60*F in RL, then snow and ice with sub 30*F at the top.

    Happy to help with more questions.

  8. #8
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    I'm in Jackson, so I'll want to hit Teton Pass a few times before coming up in the fall...

  9. #9
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    Cool. I need to ride that some year too.

    Fall should be fine, but we can get snow early some years, so it's a bit of a gamble too. I've done ok in October and been snowed out too.

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