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Beartooth Highway (US 212), WY/MT, remains closed after avalanche

Snow plow, Beartooth Highway
Archive photo of a snow plow.

Cowboy State Daily reports that the planned opening of the Beartooth Highway (US 212), WY/MT, has been further delayed after an avalanche shook the road this week.

The 68-mile highway, which rises to an elevation of 10,947 feet between Montana and Wyoming, was originally scheduled to open for the summer season on May 24. However, a winter storm towards the end of the season forced workers to postpone the opening.

Just days later, on Tuesday, an avalanche swept debris across the highway near Vista Point on the Montana side, requiring an immediate closure for repairs.

“It was a small avalanche that brought some debris and damaged the road a little. But as far as I saw, it's not bad.”

– Sherry Weamer, Executive Director of the Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce

Despite the setback, Montana Department of Transportation officials remain optimistic that the highway can reopen this weekend if favorable weather conditions persist. “Once this section is cleared, we can expect the Beartooth Highway to be open by Thursday afternoon,” Weamer added.

The Beartooth Highway is a popular summer route and attracts visitors from all over the world who want to experience the dramatic alpine scenery. Every April, workers from Montana and Wyoming begin clearing winter snow from the roads.

This year's delayed opening follows the highway's opening in 2023, which was delayed by a week due to heavy snowfall in the spring.

Travelers are advised to check the Montana and Wyoming transportation websites for current road conditions and updates before embarking on this high-altitude journey.

: Beartooth Highway, Montana/WY.

Anna Harden

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