The renowned Beartooth Highway (Highway 212), is a 65-mile route over the Beartooth Mountains with the Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet, and is surrounded by the Gallatin, Shoshone, and Custer National Forests and sits in a million-plus acre wilderness. The Beartooth Mountains, east of Yellowstone Park, are part of the Yellowstone Ecosystem. This highway is renowned as one of the most scenic highways in America and offers visitors extraordinary views of a variety of ecosystems; a range from pristine alpine landscapes, lush forests, to grasslands sets the stage for over 400 plant species to grow, which is more flora than any other mountain range in North America.
The Beartooths are home to over 300 pristine lakes and waterfalls, some 300 feet .
The Beartooth Mountains are some of the planet’s oldest rock with some dating at nearly four billion years. The highway, itself, is the highest elevation highway in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Twenty of the surrounding mountain peaks tower above 12,000 feet; Granite Peak (the highest in Montana) stands at 12,799 feet. Much of the area is covered by glaciers with glacial rock spread across many of the surrounding plateaus. There are about 25 small glaciers that exist today in the Beartooths. The U-shaped valleys were once V-shaped before the massive glaciers slowly ripped through the rocks. The name of the mountain range comes from a rugged peak that has the shape of a bear’s tooth.
While the majority of the Beartooth Mountains are protected as wilderness, part of the range lies outside the wilderness boundary. This unprotected area provides an incredible trail system to hikers, horseback riders, and climbers. Because of the abundance of wildlife ranging from elk to grizzly bear, it is important to take all safety precautions when venturing into this area. It is an incredible area and is right in our back yard.
This winter was very mild and spring arrived early this year. Our horses started shedding in February. They must have know something we do not. After a sleepy winter, there are other subtle signs of an awakening spring. One of the first signs is the yucca turning green. The yucca or soapweed yucca plant is found in the dryer areas of Wyoming. It has a beautiful white flower which blooms every 3 years. The sage gradually turn color and green sprouts of grass appear across the prairie. The blue birds have come back and I heard my first meadow lark sing this past weekend. You will often see smoke rise as the farmers prepare for planting and burn the irrigation ditches in preparation for water being turned on sometime in April. This will vary with irrigation districts. Plowing has started in Yellowstone National Park and roads will open up in late April and early May.
This fabulous home is situated on 20 acres with grand views of the dramatic Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains. The large great room has a wall of windows that capture and frame these mountain views. Ceilings in the great room are pine tongue and groove and vaulted. A pellet stove adds coziness and warmth. The kitchen is open to the great room with an eating bar that seats four. Off the kitchen is a breakfast nook and laundry room. There are 2 guest bedrooms and guest bathroom. The master bedroom has patio doors looking out into the garden area and Heart Mountain. The shop/garage is the perfect place for hobbies and storage. $219,000 MORE INFORMATION
Horse Lovers Dream – This property has it all for the horse lover. The home features 3120 square feet of living space. The main floor features an open great room. The kitchen has a large eating bar with offer good working space. The breakfast nook has windows on 3 sides offering great views of the Big Horn Mountains. There are 2 bedrooms and 1 bath on the main living level. On the lower level, there is family room with a moss rock gas fireplace, bedroom, office, ¾ bath, and laundry and storage room. Heat is forced air propane with central air conditioning.The roping arena is 18,000 square feet measuring 60 feet by 300 feet. MORE INFORMATION
Situated on 20 acres, this 2400 square foot home features an open floor plan with 3 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. The kitchen has good work space and is open to the great room. The great room is spacious with 2 sets of French doors and windows that take in the impressive views. There are ceiling fans in every room with speed controls and dimmers. Ten foot ceilings give a spacious feeling to the home. Heating is forced air with central air conditioning. A wrap around deck offers a place for quiet relaxation while enjoying the magnificent mountain views. The shop is divided into an insulated work shop, storage room and enclosed parking for 2 vehicles. Gentle rolling terrain offers contour and interest to the property. It is a short drive down the road to fishing on the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River. Or take the horses and ride forever from the property onto the BLM which connects to the National Forest and the Clarks Fork River. $225,000
We often get asked about water rights or irrigation. In the State of Wyoming, all water is owned by the State and has been adjudicated through a priority system dating back to territorial dates to certain lands. If a property has adjudicated water rights attached to the legal description, those water rights stay with the land when it is sold. Wyoming is a high desert, semi-arid climate with average rainfall being 6 to 10 inches per year. Supplemental water is needed to grow crops or a landscaped yard. Irrigation rights on smaller parcels are usually part of a larger water right and are generally shared with neighboring smaller parcels. In many cases, there are irrigation districts that cover a larger area and oversee the water rights in that district. There is a yearly charge for the delivery of water. That assessment covers the maintenance of the canals and ditches in that district. Fees vary from district to district. Many times in a neighborhood with small parcels, there will be an association with a water master. For more detailed information, visit http://seo.state.wy.us/PDF/living_small_acreage.pdf. Water is gold in Wyoming. From the fertile ground, lush crops can be produced.
23 Acres with Alkali Creek being the north border located between Cody and Powell. Utilities along the road.
If you are looking at land for sale that does not have irrigation or just looking for a home site, you most likely will be drilling a well. This is done by obtaining a permit from the State Engineer’s office. The cost is $50 for the application. When the well is complete and hooked up to a power source, a Completion Statement is filled out and sent into the State Engineer’s office. They will then adjudicate the water right to that property and assign a number. A domestic well allows for watering of one acre around the home site.
For additional information on water rights in the State of Wyoming, contact the State Engineer’s Office, http://seo.state.wy.us/index.aspx
Rocky Mountain goats inhabit the alpine meadows in high elevations in the Rocky Mountains. They are not a true goat, but are close relatives. They are sure footed often seen climbing along sheer mountain cliffs. I saw these grazing on a drive over the Beartooth Mountains yesterday. They are a magnificent sight. This elevation was probably about 10,000 feet.
The Beartooth Mountains were named after this formation. In the middle of the picture, you will see the ‘Bear’s Tooth.
As I drove to lower elevations of about 7,000 to 8,000 feet, I passed one field after another of magnificent splashes of color with the wildflowers in a massive bloom.
Indian Paintbrush, Wyoming’s State Flower
It was going to be a hot Sunday, so after breakfast, my husband and I decided to go to Yellowstone. At a higher elevation it would be cooler, so we took our 1950 Chevy hardtop and cruised down the road. We went in through the East Gate, 50 miles west of Cody. Teddy Roosevelt called it the ‘most scenic 50 miles in America.’
This rock formation on the way to the East Gate is known as the ‘Holy City.” It is called this as it resembles the sillouette of the ancient city of Jerusalem. It was formed millions of years ago by volacanic activity.
Chimney Rock is another unique formation on the road from Cody to Yellowstone.
Elephant Head is another interesting formation on the way Yellowstone
As we drive through the East Gate and up Sylvan Pass, we see evidence of the heavy snow melt as water cascades down the sides of the mountain.
As we drive through an open meadow before Yellowstone Lake, we see a field of beautiful wildflowers.This was an exceptional year for snow in the mountains during late Spring. Thus, the rivers are flowing at maximum. This is the Yellowstone River where we had lunch. You can see the trees in the middle of the river.This was a small island now covered by water.
Mud pots in Yellowstone are present where hot water is limited and hydrogen sulfide gas is present and sulfuric acid is generated. The hydrogen sulfide gas emits an odor smelling like rotten eggs. Our next stop was Artist Point and the Grand Canyon of YellowstoneFlowers on Dunraven Pass
Buffalo in Lamar ValleyAnd we came back home through the Northeast Gate, down off Dead Pass in time to barbeque steaks.
This spring we had an abundance of rain, more than usual. This produced green prairies and mountain sides with lush vibrant wildflowers. Many of these flowers I have never seen before.
Last fall, I scattered seeds and was pleasantly surprised this spring to see the results.
Yucca is a native plant to this area. Normally, when you look across the prairie, you will notice them only when you are close up. This year they were in full bloom. I only see displays like this about every 3 years, so this was a very special year for the Yucca.
Last week Coulter Pass from Pilot Creek in Wyoming to Cooke City Montana was plowed alowing Silver Gate, the Northeast entrance to Yellowstone Park to open for the season. We took a drive up the Chief Joseph Highway and continue through Cooke City and into the Park.
Soon after driving into the Park, we saw a young grizzly bear near Soda Butte Creek.
We drove a short way into Lamar Valley and turned around. The East Gate was closed due to avalanches. The Sunday afternoon drive was relaxing as we took in the awe inspiring views of the spectacular mountains in our backyard.