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Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

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Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

Need some input regarding drive from YNP to Cody. See partial itinerary & notes below...

Day 5 (6/12)--explore the area north of Canyon Lodge, exit the NE entrance, drive the Beartooth Hwy & Chief Joseph Hwy to Cody, may do rodeo but depends upon time we arrive to town, overnight in Cody at The Cody Hotel

Day 6 (6/13)--visit the Buffalo Bill Museum, go to the shooting range which has replicas of old west guns, go to the rodeo if we didn't visit the night prior, overnight at The Cody Hotel

Day 7 (6/14)--leave Cody, drive back through YNP through the East Entrance by Yellowstone Lake & West Thumb enroute to GTNP with overnight at Signal Mt Lodge

Do we drive the entire Beartooth Hwy to Red Lodge & then backtrack to the Chief Joseph Scenic Hwy or do we drive a portion of the Beartooth to Chief Joseph or skip Chief Joseph by heading south to Cody once we arrive in Red Lodge?

Have any of the TA experts been to the Japanese American Internment Camp (Heart Mountain Relocation Center)? We all have an interest in WW2 history & this has tweaked our interest. Wondering if it is worth our time to stop while enroute to Cody from the Red Lodge area.

Any dining recommendations for dinner one of the nights we are staying in Cody? How about a local bakery? Thanks in advance for any help!

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1. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

I'd suggest that you drive the Beartooth Highway to the Rock Creek Vista overlook and turn around there to backtrack to the Chief Joseph. You'll miss out on driving the switchbacks but will get to see the most spectacular part of the Beartooth twice, once each way. From the turn off onto the Chief Joseph to the Rock Creek Vista is about 27 miles. From there it is another 22 to Red Lodge.

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2. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

>>>Day 5 (6/12)--explore the area north of Canyon Lodge, exit the NE entrance, drive the Beartooth Hwy & Chief Joseph Hwy to Cody, may do rodeo but depends upon time we arrive to town, overnight in Cody at The Cody Hotel<<<

With your plan of leaving from Canyon Lodge, I would absolutely agree with RM-MN. Just drive to the Rock Creek Vista Overlook (vault toilet rest area) and backtrack back to the Chief Joseph Highway junction. You will still drive the switchbacks on the south side of the pass but will miss the very steep switchbacks on the north side that go down to Red Lodge. If you wanted to experience a few of the switchbacks you could go down a ways and turn around (there are large pullouts on a few of the switchback curves).

Unless you have a cooler with lunch supplies, you will need to stop at Cooke City to eat. There is nothing after that until you get to Cody. There is a place called Painter Outpost on the Chief Joseph Highway that has a restaurant but I can't find much information about it and I've never stopped there.

A post I did awhile back with mileage and drive times (without stops) for different segments on the Beartooth Highway from Cooke City to Red Lodge.

https:/…27725717

Deb

Edited: 23 January 2017, 20:34
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High Point, North...
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3. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

With the input from other TA experts, I have changed our overnight stay on Day 5 to Cooke City so we can spend more time in YNP before heading to Cody. Thank you for the landmarks for where to turn around on Beartooth Hwy! Any suggestions for places for breakfast & dinner in Cooke City?

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4. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

I found the Heart Mountain relocation center well worth the visit. I found it interesting that Judge Ito's parents were residents there.

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5. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

Thanks for the positive comments regarding Heart Mountain relocation center. Sounds like it should be a worthwhile stop on the way to Cody.

Deb--I reviewed your trip times on the Beartooth Hwy. Are my calculations correct--without any stops it will take approx 2.5 hrs to go from Cooke City to Rock Creek Vista, turn back around to hook back up to Chief Joseph Hwy? How long is the drive down Chief Joseph to Cody?

Debbie

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6. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

>>>Deb--I reviewed your trip times on the Beartooth Hwy. Are my calculations correct--without any stops it will take approx 2.5 hrs to go from Cooke City to Rock Creek Vista, turn back around to hook back up to Chief Joseph Hwy? How long is the drive down Chief Joseph to Cody?<<<

In post #6 of the thread I linked with mileage and estimated drive times, I sad the following:

"I do have to preface the times though with the fact that it is straight drive time without any stops. AND because I drive the pass multiple times each year including sometimes in snowy conditions I can drive a tad faster than most people do. I know what to expect around the corner. That being said, I do not take risks so- there might be sections where I go a few mph over the speed limit but most of it is at the posted speed limit posted. Also, if it is your first time driving over the pass or its been awhile undoubtedly you will be driving slower because of just not knowing whats around the corner and of course, you are slowing down just to look at the scenery."

........................................................................................................

As a first time Beartooth Pass driver, you are going to drive slower than we do when we go over the pass. You're going to stop at way more places then we now do. While I've never timed our drives over Chief Joseph Highway I usually plan on it taking about a hour to drive the 46 miles without stops. When we stop at the Sunlight Bridge and other pullout vista views it takes longer. I've never timed how long it takes for us to drive from Cody to the junction of the Chief Joseph Highway.

Deb

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7. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

Just want to make sure I am reading your question correctly. Are you thinking it would take 2.5 hours for the round trip on Beartooth? I would count on it taking 2-2.5 hours one way from Cooke City to Rock Creek Vista so double that to get back to Chief Joseph. If it takes you less time well, more time to spend in Cody.

Pam

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8. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

Trying to estimate driving time (and I will add more time for pulling off to see the scenery) from Cooke City to Rock Creek Vista & then back to Chief Joseph Hwy which we will then take to Cody. Our main reason for going to Cody is to attend the rodeo and since we were not able to find lodging in YNP for the night of 6/13, I decided that would be a good time during the trip to head east. I just need a drive time estimate so I will know what time we will need to leave Cooke City that morning so we will have plenty of time to arrive in Cody before the rodeo to check in to our hotel & have a meal.

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9. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

From your original post it looks like you are staying in Cody 6/12 and 6/13. I would just plan on going to the rodeo on the second night so you don't have to worry about your drive time over Beartooth Pass and Chief Joseph Highway.

Tickets to the rodeo are general admission. If for some reason, you get into Cody early enough on the 12th and decide that you have time to check into your hotel, eat dinner and go to the rodeo you can do that. You will be able to buy tickets at your hotel so you don't have to worry about standing in line at the rodeo grounds.

I just saw this post above >>>With the input from other TA experts, I have changed our overnight stay on Day 5 to Cooke City so we can spend more time in YNP before heading to Cody. Thank you for the landmarks for where to turn around on Beartooth Hwy! Any suggestions for places for breakfast & dinner in Cooke City?<<<<

If you're staying in Cooke City on the 12th, you will have plenty off time to drive Beartooth Pass and Chief Joseph Highway you will have no problem getting to Cody in time to check in, eat, and go to the rodeo.

Deb

Edited: 01 February 2017, 07:57
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10. Re: Driving Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph to Cody in early June

I was in a hurry to edit my above post before I ran out of time so it is kind of garbled. : /

If you are staying in Cooke City the night of June 12th, you should have no problem driving Beartooth Pass to the Rock Creek Vista Rest Area, backtracking to drive the Chief Joseph Highway and get to to Cody in time to check in to your hotel, eat dinner and go to the rodeo. I would leave Cooke City right after breakfast.

Deb

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