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I've never been on either but I am planning to ride the Beartooth Highway this summer. The Chief Joseph Hwy looks real nice, too, as does most of the roads in the northwest part of Wyoming. My buddies and I are headed to Glacier after Yellowstone so the Beartooth makes more sense. But I keep looking at the map and wondering how many other roads in that area we could possibly ride. I would also be interested to hear from others who have ridden both the Beartooth Highway and the Chief Joseph Hwy.
 

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Why not do both?
Not sure whether you're coming in from Mt or Wy.
Pretty easy to do both those rides in the same day.
If you come into Wy and end up in Cody head north.
North of Cody you'll come to the cutoff for Chief Joseph. On the west side of Chief Joseph you go a little ways down the road and then turn right to head up Beartooth. On the north end of Beartooth is Red Lodge. You could maybe stay there a night then head back over Beartooth next morining and, on the Wy side, head into Jellystone at Cooke City. I realize this route is a bit "out of the way" but it would be well worth it.

If you are coming through Mt, then hole up in Red Lodge for the night, go over Beartooth and Chief Joseph the next morning and head into Jellystone from Cody.
 

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I rode both last summer. The chief Joseph highway intersects the Beartooth Highway. I found the Beartooth Highway to be much more fun and more interesting. Supposedly it includes the longest stretch of highway above the timberline in the lower 48 states. Going from red Lodge Montana the first part of the Beartooth is nothing but switchbacks up to the top of the long plateau. It's really beautiful up top, high alpine pastures with beautiful lakes and boulders strewn everywhere. It's grizzly high country, we saw several. The road then drops down to Cook City, the north entrance of Yellowstone. I don't remember as much about the Chief Joseph, not as scenic. I remember more about the road that goes from Cody Wyoming to the east entrance of Yellowstone, beautiful red rocks, magnificent pine trees and a wonderful road to ride. Have fun, both of you, it's marvelous riding.


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Why not do both?
Not sure whether you're coming in from Mt or Wy.
Pretty easy to do both those rides in the same day.
If you come into Wy and end up in Cody head north.
North of Cody you'll come to the cutoff for Chief Joseph. On the west side of Chief Joseph you go a little ways down the road and then turn right to head up Beartooth. On the north end of Beartooth is Red Lodge. You could maybe stay there a night then head back over Beartooth next morining and, on the Wy side, head into Jellystone at Cooke City. I realize this route is a bit "out of the way" but it would be well worth it.

If you are coming through Mt, then hole up in Red Lodge for the night, go over Beartooth and Chief Joseph the next morning and head into Jellystone from Cody.
You may have just caused me to revise my route. That morning I will be starting from West Yellowstone and making the Beartooth/Chief Joseph loop and ending up in Livingston, MT. If I do that, does you or anyone have suggestions as to which way to ride the Beartooth/Chief Joseph loop, clockwise or counterclockwise? I'll be headed for Kalispell, MT the next day to ride the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier NP the following day.
 

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Ride Chief Joseph to Cook City then go back up the Beartooth and down into Red Lodge Ride to Livingston and into the Park from there. Chief Joseph is beautiful but the Beartooth is awesome. I live in Montana and it's a yearly event for us.
 

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Michael.
Come out of Yellowstone into Cody.
Then go north and follow the directions in my last post.
Don't have to go all the way to Cooke City to get to Beartooth.
The Beartooth cutoff is a few miles east of Cooke City.
Go over Beartooth to Red Lodge.
From Red Lodge go up Mt 78 to Columbus. It's like 50 miles.
Then take I-90 West from Columbus to Livingston.
Livingston is like 70 miles from Columbus.
And, in spite of the fact that it's a freeway, I-90 through there ain't bad.
If you want a couple of alternative routes from Livingston to Kalispel let me know.

Only thing I'll say is that this is a helluva lot to bite off for one day.
By the time you get through Yellowstone, you'll likely be ready to stay in Cody.
It really can take almost all day to get through the Park.
All depends on how many cars stop to look at each buffalo and antelope and bird and.........
And from Cody to Red Lodge takes 5-6 hours with stops.
 

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Michael.
Come out of Yellowstone into Cody.
Then go north and follow the directions in my last post.
Don't have to go all the way to Cooke City to get to Beartooth.
The Beartooth cutoff is a few miles east of Cooke City.
Go over Beartooth to Red Lodge.
From Red Lodge go up Mt 78 to Columbus. It's like 50 miles.
Then take I-90 West from Columbus to Livingston.
Livingston is like 70 miles from Columbus.
And, in spite of the fact that it's a freeway, I-90 through there ain't bad.
If you want a couple of alternative routes from Livingston to Kalispel let me know.

Only thing I'll say is that this is a helluva lot to bite off for one day.
By the time you get through Yellowstone, you'll likely be ready to stay in Cody.
It really can take almost all day to get through the Park.
All depends on how many cars stop to look at each buffalo and antelope and bird and.........
And from Cody to Red Lodge takes 5-6 hours with stops.
I'm taking everything you say in. Some of this ride will develop as we do it. We know the general outline but a lot of little stuff is still to be worked out. Here is the general outline.

The ride is from the Bay Area to Glacier NP, staying on as many two lane roads as possible and hitting a lot of National Parks and scenic roads as we can. It is mostly about the ride and not the other tourist stuff. There are four of us. We like riding and eating and hanging out with each other. There is my fxr, a 2001 Dyna, a 2011 Softail and a friend on a Triumph who might rent a Harley for the ride.

So on day one we leave the Bay Area and ride a long day to Austin, NV. This day is mostly on I80 to a bit past Reno and then Route 50. All is high speed so we'll put on about 400 miles that day. The next day we briefly hit Great Basin NP and the head to Delta, UT. Another long day. For those two nights we have motel reservations but everything from here on is to be worked out.

We head north in UT, through a piece of Idaho and probably staying around Montpelier, ID. The next day perhaps Jackson, WY and the Grand Tetons. From there through Yellowstone past Old Faithful and staying maybe in West Yellowstone. Then the stuff about the Beartooth Highway and Chief Joseph Highway. It will probably be too long a day to start at West Yellowstone and wind up in Livingston, so we may have to work this out differently. All of us have been to Yellowstone before so it's not a big deal if we just ride through and avoid the traffic as much as possible.

Then north to Glacier, probably spending two nights in Kalispell, MT and riding the Going to the Sun Road in both directions through Glacier, NP on the day in between and eating at the lodges. From there it is west to the Mt. Rainier area where the parents of one of us has a summer house with lots of extra bedrooms. His mom is also a real good cook and likes guests. Then south to Crater Lake NP, Lassen Volcanic NP and maybe, maybe, ending with a ride through the high country of Yosemite. But we'll probably pass on the Yosemite part because we'll all be back there in October and we go there a lot.

So the Wyoming/Montana part will be figured out while en route. That is why this discussion has been helpful.
 

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Listen to doc . Sounds like you are . He will put you on some nice roads . He helped me find some roads , I probably will never have the chance to see again. Thanks Doc !
You gotta get him across rt 12 in Idaho , on his way up and over .
 

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You know Michael, Stroker makes a great point.
Based on your trip description and the big picture you paint of the general route, taking US 12 between Missoula, Mt and Leweiston, Id would be very doable for you. This is Lolo pass. Since you're gonna be out there anyway, this is kind of a "must see" route. Google Lolo Pass motorcycle ride or something like that.

Sounds like you're going to end up on the East side of Glacier Park. Wouldn't be hard to come south a bit, maybe on US 89, and hit Mt 200 and go west on it to Missoula. 200 goes over Roger's Pass and follows the Blackfoot river. Great Scenery there. Comes across the bottom side of Bob Marshall Wilderness area south of where you'd been in Glacier. Sort of like a loop.

Once you get to Missoula get on US 12 and enjoy it to Lewiston, Id. Since you're heading to Mount Ranier, you could stay on US 12 out of Lewiston all the way over to the tri Cities in Washington and work your way over toward the Seattle area. Not to far out of the way at all. And you could carve the Lolo Pass notch into your belt. Not sure how pressed for time you're gonna be. Another notch to get while out there is the North Cascades highway in northern Washington state. Good luck.
 

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I've been over Lolo Pass twice, once in a car and once on the bike with one of the other guys I'm riding with. So we may do Lolo and Route 12. But we've also been looking at Route 2 across Idaho. Any thoughts on Route 2?
 

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Michael I'm at work.
Cant go into detail now.
I'll post details this eve.
Short answer? You bet!
US 2 west out of Kalespel when you're done Glaciering.
Then hook up with state rt 20 in northern Washington which is North Cascades Hwy.
I've got some suggestions to get from Livingston to Kalispel too.
 

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Michael I'm at work.
Cant go into detail now.
I'll post details this eve.
Short answer? You bet!
US 2 west out of Kalespel when you're done Glaciering.
Then hook up with state rt 20 in northern Washington which is North Cascades Hwy.
I've got some suggestions to get from Livingston to Kalispel too.
Thanks for the thumbs up on Route 2, that is good to hear as none of us have done Route 2. Route 20 also looks good. The "problem" is that we only have from August 4-16th for the ride, and something has to be left out. We've already eliminated Arches NP in UT because of the extra distance and that it would likely be quite hot. We're still looking at Northern Cascades NP so Route 2 and 20 would be perfect for that. As I said, a lot of this part of the ride will be figured out as it happens when we see how many miles a day we are comfortable riding. I find 300-350 is usually the distance per day that my long rides wind up being.
 

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Both

Ride both of them as they are in the same neck of the woods but the BEARTOOTH is simply breathtaking. On top there is THE TOP OF THE WORLD STORE!!!!Pretty neat in the middle of no where.Lakes and scenery that only God could make!!!!!
 

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It's hard to pick a favorite. If the sky is clear the view on Beartooth is amazing. Chief Joseph is a little less severe ride, the switchbacks seem a little wider and the elevation change not as steep. Although different, Chief Joseph has views comparable to Beartooth and usually has good visibility where Beartooth seems a little more susceptible to weather. Maybe because of altitude.

I've rode CJH is clear sunshine, then hit hail, rain and overcast conditions on Beartooth. But I wouldn't go anywhere near that area without riding both.

Take time to ride the pair, even if you have to adjust your plans. Either one is time better spent than Yellowstone in my opinion.

By the way, Red Lodge is a great little town but the yuppies are getting a foothold. See it before latte and wine outsells whiskey and beer.
 

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Take time to ride the pair, even if you have to adjust your plans. Either one is time better spent than Yellowstone in my opinion.
-2$en#e- I agree
 

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You all have given me some thoughts as to how to revise my route. Since I will probably be staying the night before in Jackson, WY, I think the next night will be in either Red Lodge or Belfry, MT and skip a night in West Yellowstone. That way we could make the loop and see both Beartooth and Chief Joseph and not stress ourselves out. We've all seen Yellowstone so we wouldn't miss much.
 

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You all have given me some thoughts as to how to revise my route. Since I will probably be staying the night before in Jackson, WY, I think the next night will be in either Red Lodge or Belfry, MT and skip a night in West Yellowstone. That way we could make the loop and see both Beartooth and Chief Joseph and not stress ourselves out. We've all seen Yellowstone so we wouldn't miss much.
I'd exit the park at Fishing Bridge and spend the night in Cody. Have dinner at Irma's. The next morning do CJH and Beartooth, 78 out of Red Lodge is nice. Sweepers thru the foothills.
 

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definitely do both

In Cody be sure to eat at the Hotel Irma on main street.

In Red Lodge eat at the Red Lodge Cafe on the main street. if you like chicken fried steaks you can't go wrong with their version!

also in Red Lodge go to Bone Daddy's Custom Cycle also on the main street. They've got a logo'd T-shirt that is killer!!!

be sure you've got warm gear and rain gear. it can be cold and wet as you go over Bear Tooth.

enjoy your trip!
 

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Dammnit you guys are making me want to go all the way out there again this year, if you are there and don't hit both roads it would really be a shame, I have found that riding CJSH is better going from Cody towards Cooke City/Red Lodge.
The Irma motel has great food, the rooms however are creepy as hell, felt like I was being watched the entire night. Wife won't stay there again. Also in Red Lodge there is a great Pizza place.
If you are heading into the park don't be surprised if you find miles long lines of cars stopped to take a pic of a gopher or some other interesting animal.
 
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