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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    154

    Beartooth Pass conditions?

    Anybody need up to Beartooth Basin and the surrounding areas recently? My son and I are thinking if heading up there from Colorado this weekend and we’re wondering how the snow is holding up. We were up there last year about two years ago, mid sure how this year is though. Lots of snow this past season but it is after all almost July.

    Anyone have any beta?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Red Lodge, MT
    Posts
    417
    Things are holding up pretty damn well, and I can only imagine what they'd look like if we hadn't gotten such a warm April.

    Gardiner Headwall on Tuesday:

    (yes, that's a little misleading due to the fresh snow, but it still looked pretty damn good driving by yesterday)

    Basin Thursday night for the solstice ski:



    I don't have a current photo, but Rock Creek was starting to get a bit thin. With the good snow up top, I don't think I'd bother at this point unless the road were closed—the top of the headwall is still in good shape, but it looks like only the main line offers continuous skiing the whole way down, and the bottom 1/3 was melting quick. As of last weekend, though, it was definitely still possible to ski all the way to the bottom and just walk around the bottom of the boulder field (not across the top of it, unless you're a glutton for punishment).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    36,967
    ^^^thanks for the pics!

    any detailed information about quiet campsites
    would probably be a nice addition to this thread
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Red Lodge, MT
    Posts
    417
    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    ^^^thanks for the pics!

    any detailed information about quiet campsites
    would probably be a nice addition to this thread
    I'm not the best one to ask about campsites, but my thoughts would be: a) anything on the close end of Main Fork (USFS 4241, labeled as 421 on Google Maps) is going to not be quiet, particularly on weekends, b) further out Main Fork will be less busy, and there are some really nice sites by the creek (the fifth wheels and other larger campers, with their generators and associated motorized toys, tend to congregate at the near end) but more bumpy-gravel-road driving at 25 MPH, and c) there's a metric f***ton of Forest Service land around, almost all of which allows dispersed camping. If you do camp on Main Fork, I would just try to set the tent up as far as possible from the road itself. Camping up on the plateau is possible but would probably be cold, windy, and not necessarily quiet (no trees to stop road noise); if you can find a level spot that's sheltered from wind, it could work out pretty well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    971
    as of 2 weekends ago most of the campground spots on the main fork and the west fork were reserved up for the weekend (friday & saturday). palisades campground above town is free, quieter, but not terribly scenic. finding a decent dispersed campsite up either of the forks likely tedious. much better options on the other side of the pass, but a longer drive to ski.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    720
    The kiddos and I found a pretty sweet campsite up a random 4wd road on the cook city side of the pass Saturday night (I think FR 188 on the maps) and skied the ski area on Sunday. We had a great time!










  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    36,967
    AWESOME!
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sandy
    Posts
    602
    Wish I could have gotten up high last weekend. Wth happened to the other thread anyways? Nice stoke everyone. I'll repost this one of rock creek last weekend. All we could ski since the road was closed.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Red Lodge, MT
    Posts
    417
    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    as of 2 weekends ago most of the campground spots on the main fork and the west fork were reserved up for the weekend (friday & saturday). palisades campground above town is free, quieter, but not terribly scenic. finding a decent dispersed campsite up either of the forks likely tedious. much better options on the other side of the pass, but a longer drive to ski.
    The Cooke side of the pass is also more definitively grizzly country. It's a good idea to keep a clean campsite and follow bear-country protocol in either place, but they are not as common on this side of the pass.

    Also, if you're going to and from a campsite on the Cooke side of the pass, make sure you keep an eye on the fuel gauge. It's something like 60-70 miles from Cooke to Red Lodge, and driving up and down mountain passes isn't good for fuel mileage. Top of the World has gas, but it ain't cheap (and even Cooke has been more expensive than buying fuel in the park when I've compared).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    971
    cooke was ~$3.50 a gallon vs. ~$3 elsewhere last week, definitely a mark up.

    also r.e. bears the first 3 FS campgrounds outside of cooke city are only hardsided vehicles, no tents allowed. tents are allowed at the cgs closer to the pass.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    351
    Quote Originally Posted by devon View Post
    My son and I are thinking if heading up there from Colorado this weekend
    Hey hey, will be out there is weekend too!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    36,967
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherVTskibum View Post
    I'm not the best one to ask about campsites, but my thoughts would be: a) anything on the close end of Main Fork (USFS 4241, labeled as 421 on Google Maps) is going to not be quiet, particularly on weekends, b) further out Main Fork will be less busy, and there are some really nice sites by the creek (the fifth wheels and other larger campers, with their generators and associated motorized toys, tend to congregate at the near end) but more bumpy-gravel-road driving at 25 MPH, and c) there's a metric f***ton of Forest Service land around, almost all of which allows dispersed camping. If you do camp on Main Fork, I would just try to set the tent up as far as possible from the road itself. Camping up on the plateau is possible but would probably be cold, windy, and not necessarily quiet (no trees to stop road noise); if you can find a level spot that's sheltered from wind, it could work out pretty well.
    good info but hopefully the best is lurking.

    OP, thanks for the revival of a summer ski thread.
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    351
    You heading out this weekend?

    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    good info but hopefully the best is lurking.

    OP, thanks for the revival of a summer ski thread.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    351

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    36,967
    no, just getting familiar with the area,
    looking for next summer road trip east.
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    801
    19BBIBTB?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    tetons
    Posts
    5,880
    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    no, just getting familiar with the area,
    looking for next summer road trip east.
    this would be perfect bc it is ~50m east of jackson and Bozeman
    in case you wanted to take er easy on the eastward push
    skid luxury

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    36,967
    the Flowing Grizwalds always take er ez.

    ski you at 19BBIutarded!
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    on the rivah, VT
    Posts
    1,872
    Not super meaningful for beta, but RC was still skiing great last tuesday. We were out for a few rainy days and even though the pass was closed, we had a blast. Thanks to those who answered some of my questions in the other thread now seemingly long gone.

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    go Go GO!

    17-18: 80! 16-17: 56. 15-16: 40. 14-15: 33. 13-14: 56ish. 12-13: 51. 11-12: 65. 10-11: 69. 09-10: 65.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    154
    Thanks everyone for all your input. Headed up Saturday for a long weekend. Now I just need to navigate the hordes of July 4th campers and find a place to camp!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
    Posts
    351
    How touchy is the pass, I am seeing a small chance of snow this weekend. Will 1" shut it down?

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Red Lodge, MT
    Posts
    417
    Quote Originally Posted by SkiLyft View Post
    How touchy is the pass, I am seeing a small chance of snow this weekend. Will 1" shut it down?
    Maybe.

    Most of the time, it's drifting that shuts it down, not just new snow. The forecast and time of day also matters--if NPS looks at the forecast and thinks it's going to be a battle for days, they'll lock the gates and wait till things clear. A quick hit of snow with sun and warmer temps forecast is less likely to be an issue.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SW Idaho
    Posts
    793
    Hoping to get up to the pass tomorrow. Driving from Bozeman. Anyone headed? Already there?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Impossible to knowl--I use an iPhone
    Posts
    11,116
    FYI, upper lift is done--supposedly forever. Running the lower lift on the flat for race camps, which requires a hike out. Hopefully they figure something out.
    [quote][//quote]

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    3,599
    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Rutecki View Post
    FYI, upper lift is done--supposedly forever. Running the lower lift on the flat for race camps, which requires a hike out. Hopefully they figure something out.
    ???

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