Temperatures are often colder here than other parts of the state, and in early summer/late spring and late summer/early fall it's sometimes possible to see giant walls of snow around the road. Snow builds up so high that it'll feel like you're surrounded!
This time of year is of course cold, but the snow isn't as abundant yet as it will be within the coming months.
First of all, let me talk a little about Red Lodge itself.
Red Lodge is very much a tourist trap city. Though there are several houses scattered throughout, the main drag is focused on convincing visitors to stop and shop. From a Pizzeria to an "old timey" candy store, an old fashioned movie theater to art galleries- Red Lodge has a ton of attractions for those passing through.
On the outskirts of Red Lodge is the pass up to the Beartooth Trail. The road is incredibly windy and rather narrow as you make your way up the mountain on several jagged curves. Big boulders are held back by rock nets on the sides of the road, while railing stands to stop you from taking a several mile downhill tumble on the other side of the road. Is it a little frightening? It sure could be, if you had a crazy enough driver taking you there!
For the most part being surrounded by mountains should be somewhat relaxing. The view is nice and only gets better as you make your way to the mid-point of the mountain, which is a tourist rest area.
The rest area is one of my personal favorite spots to be. Almost every time we go (unless the weather is too cold) chipmunks are running about. These chipmunks are very used to people, and will actually come into your hands if you crouch down and reach out to them. I'm incredibly tempted to take one home every time, but alas I have no friends or family that support my semi crazy desire to steal one.
Yet again as we are heading up the mountain even further, I leave empty handed without a chipmunk to call my own. The rest of the drive has various stopping points in which you can get out and walk around, but there isn't a whole lot for views or exciting things until you get to Cooke City. In fact, a lot of people probably don't stop again more than once until you get across the Montana border.
Cooke City is a nice but small town. The amount of things you can do in this city is slightly more limited, but it is also considered the mid-point between the end and the beginning of the Pass. If you want to head back to Montana quickly, here would be a good point to turn around.
However, if you don't care much on how quickly you get back to Red Lodge or Montana, you can go all of the way down and finish out the pass. There are many more things you can stop at along the way there, including a giant bridge which you can look down and walk out on. Various other places to stop show off potential sights to see and story boards where you can read information about places and events of the past.
Eventually with the correct turn you'll be able to head straight into Cody Wyoming. Cody is a little bit bigger of a town and absolutely perfect for those that want to brush up or learn about a city which played a vital role in the History of the West.
Of course there is a lot more to say about all of these places. For now I will leave it at that, possibly updating with more at a later date. I have taken many pictures this time around which hopefully will show off a little bit of the scenery for you. If you've ever wondered whether you should make the trip or not, maybe this will help you decide.
When we went on this trip I didn't actually get the chance to go any farther than the mid-way rest stop up the mountain right outside of Red Lodge. The smoke from a nearby fire made it nearly impossible to take good pictures, and it was making everyone who was at such a high elevation ill quite quickly!