10,947 ft is the elevation of the summit of Beartooth pass. That’s 5,400 ft of climbing.

We stocked up on food supplies at the market in Red Lodge. It’s a great example of trade-offs. You want lots of fuel but not too much weight. A local guy, Dale, told us he rode up the pass on a single speed. That was encouraging at first, until you realize his unloaded bike probably weighed 25 pounds instead of 70. The weather was great. The climb was not that steep but it was long and the thinner air makes it more challenging. We only saw 3 cyclists the whole day, none wearing packs. The first guy was on his local workout ride and went 5 miles. Then, we met Asano, who was an event planner (running and cycling events) and works at the fire department, along with 40 other volunteers. She said she was “doing recon” for her event today which is a 10km run between the 2 summits. Her volunteers have a t-shirt “we volunteer so you can suffer”.

About 1/3 the way up, while rinsing my hat, I met Danielle, from nearby Cody, who was considering riding up, but was worried about the cars. I assured her that it was fine and convinced her it was worth it. She offered an apple which satisfied my craving and gave me a much needed boost. Thanks Danielle!

A big milestone was the vista point (see photos) at 9,000 ft. Fantastic high views like this give me a great sense of accomplishment. Near the top, Danielle passed us and thanked us for our encouragement.

The piles of snow, wildflowers, and alpine lakes at the top were beautiful. The altitude made me a bit loopy and the pain less of a problem.

The top was cold as expected, so we added layers and coasted down to Wyoming, proud of our accomplishment.

We warmed up a bit at the store, called “Top of the world” then continued down to Beartooth lake campground (8,900 ft) to camp for the night.

We rode 43 miles

History of Beartooth area
cool wood sculptures
Welcome to your climb today
we’re getting there – lots of switchbacks
Scenic vista a little past halfway
Vista point
360 degree view of Beartooth pass
almost there
Alpine lakes
Marmot territory
We did it!

2 Replies to “Beartooth”

  1. Mike, this trip looks so phenomenal (chili cheese dogs notwithstanding), that it almost takes away the bummer of missing you guys for our annual dinner. 🙂

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