Beartooth Pass is on schedule to open Memorial Day weekend.

It's an 11.4 mile trudge to clear the snow-packed roadway on Highway 212, also famously known as the Beartooth Pass, that at its highest point, is just shy of 11,000 feet above sea level.

"We started April 15th and we've just been kind of coming up every day during the week, "Duane Reisig said. "We plan on Memorial Day weekend, the 24th of May."

Duane Reisig is the Red Lodge section supervisor for the Montana Department of Transportation. He said this year has been a bit more challenging because Mother Nature has a mind of her own.

"This year, the snow is a lot heavier with warmer temperatures," Reisig said. "So it's just weather. The equipment's having to work a little harder."

MDT workers worked diligently to make Beartooth Pass a beautiful place to visit, even putting their own lives on the line.

Workers have to be on the lookout for slide offs, rockfalls, and harsh temperatures.

"As you can tell on the way up, there was some rail missing," Reisig said. "One of the shoots let loose."

For visitors who plan to visit, Reisig said to expect the unexpected. Besides that, enjoy what this place has to offer.

"Keep a lookout for wildlife," Reisig said. "We have seen sheep and goats on the other side. We did see a wolf coming up. One morning, we saw a bout a dozen head of elk. There's been moose down at the bottom."

Reisig said Beartooth Pass is expected to be cleared all the way to the other side in Wyoming.

Recommended for you