There’s a reason the winding mountain road is an iconic image in our culture. Here are five roads that will induce a white-knuckle grip on the safety handle.
Beartooth Pass – Highway 312 Red Lodge to Cooke City, Montana
Highway 312 winds 60 miles from Red Lodge to Cooke City, Montana at the edge of Yellowstone National Park. Starting at 5,555 feet, the highway claws its way up 5,000 feet in less than 19 miles, switching-back on itself dozens of times before reaching Beartooth Pass, named after a spike of rock that looks like a massive canine tooth. Most of the drive is above treeline, with great views of towering granite peaks, hundreds of alpine lakes and snow all summer long. Keep an eye out for Grizzly Bears and Bighorn Sheep. Also, don’t forget to stop at “Top of the World” a tiny convenience store near the highpoint of the pass.
As the summer season approaches, I find myself following the price of oil and wondering how the upward trend is going to affect my travel season. The truth is that oil, and the fuels made from it, are a finite resource. The price is going to continue to rise, no matter how many subsidies we throw at it. Period. But this doesn’t spell the end of the roadtrip. (In fact, this may be the dawn of a new “golden age” of exploring America’s roadways.) Here are three ways to keep the pavement rolling under your tires as fuel prices rise.
1. See more, drive (slightly) less. While I’d love to get back out to the Rocky Mountains again this year, I’m considering scrapping that plan for exploring the nearby White Mountains instead. Rather than drone out long-distance milage to get to a far-off destination, I’m going to spend a lot more time getting to know the backroads of western Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. While a lot of the small towns here aren’t considered “destinations,” they all have something to offer, either historical or cultural. I spent twenty minutes with an elderly gentleman as he described, to my friends and I, how the small town we stopped in for breakfast had changed over the years since his childhood. I’d never heard any of the events he’d spoken of and it reminded me how little I really knew about the region within 100 miles of my home. Continue reading “Long Live Roadtrips! Three Ways to Keep Exploring America’s Roadways Through Rising Fuel Prices”
This short film takes us on a hard-charging road-trip through 847 miles of Montana’s backroads from Pomey’s Pillar, east of Billings, through Yellowstone National Park and ending at the lookout tower at the top of St. Marys Peak just south of Missoula.