Location: Intersection of Highways 78 and 212 southwest of Billings. Population: 2177. Visitor Information: Red Lodge Visitor Center, 601 North Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068; Phone: (406) 446-1718 or 1-888-281-0625; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.redlodge.com
Red Lodge is a quaint mountain town set in the midst of some of Montana’s most extraordinary scenery, with a thriving arts scene and truly western history dating back to the mid 1800s and peppered with the likes of the Sundance Kid, Calamity Jane, Kid Curry and Liver-Eating Johnston. The town is the gateway to northeast Yellowstone Park via the beautiful "Highway to the Sky" Beartooth Highway, one of only 21 designated All-American Roads. "The most beautiful roadway in America" climbs to almost 11,000 feet above sea level, overlooking astounding views of some of the country’s most rugged areas. Twenty peaks over 12,000 feet in elevation lie within the nearly million-acre Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. With almost 1000 alpine lakes and hundreds of miles of trails, the Beartooths allow for unsurpassed outdoor recreation, much of it accessible from the Beartooth Highway. The highway is open Memorial Day weekend through early October. Contact the US Forest Service at 406-446-2103 for additional information.
Try the phenomenal downhill skiing at Red Lodge Mountain Ski Slope or if whitewater rafting is your interest, you can tackle three different rivers on a half day guided trip. The Red Lodge area also offers great fishing and hunting opportunities, cross-country skiing and snowmobile trails, biking, hiking and trail rides, mountain climbing, golf, camping, atv touring and exceptional wildlife viewing.
The Beartooth Nature Center in Red Lodge is the only public refuge in Montana to house native animals that cannot be returned to the wild due to injury or habituation to humans. About 75 animals and birds, many placed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, are cared for at the Center, including wolves, mountain lions, black bears, bison, elk, antelope, bobcat, lynx, fox, coyote, eagles, hawks, owls and many more. The Center offers visitors an unparalleled chance to learn about the animals by observing them at close range and through interpretive displays. Weather permitting, the Center is currently open 7 days a week from 10 AM to 2 PM and from May to October until 5 PM.