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Colter Pass 

Colter Pass is on the Beartooth Highway between Red Lodge and Yellowstone National Park. Compared with its big neighbor Beartooth Pass, Colter Pass is just a little hill in the forest. It is still a superb bikeride with little traffic and unusual scenery on its eastern side.



 

01.(mile00,7120ft) START-END EAST: jct Mo296-Beartooth Highway)
02.(mile01,6890ft) START-END EAST ALTERNATE: low point when crossing Gilbert Creek
03.(mile09+1/2,8100ft) point of highest altitude
04.(mile12,8066ft) Colter Pass
05.(mile14,7640ft) START-END WEST: Cooke City

Approaches

From East. The approach starts at the junction of three passes, Beartooth Pass, Dead Indian Pass and Colter Pass. The strinking image of Pilot Peak ( first picture ) guides up this aproach.

From West. The ride from West Yellowstone is a short climb in the forest. Cooke City ( second picture ) may look like a regular little town. However, unlike a regular town, it does not have a "regular grocery". Residents drive to the next state, to Cody, to buy their potatoes. Cooke City does of course have a gas station. It sells drinking water at a price that is generally charged for gasoline, and the price of gasoline - well - luckily that is a matter of passing interest for cyclists. But if Cooke City residents want potatoes they must have gasoline, and lots of it (Aug/2004).

 

Two or Three Day road Tour.  The pass can be cycled in a circle combined with Chief Joseph Highway over Dead Indian Pass and Beartooth Pass, completing the circle over Wy120 between Cody and Red Lodge. In order to sleep somewhere halfways civilized on a three day tour it is necessary to add on an out and back section to Cody. The other overnight stop is Red Lodge. A two day version of this ride, starting in Silver Gate ( located between Cooke City and West Yellowstone ) and skipping the detour to Cody, measured 112 miles over Colter Pass, Dead Indian Pass and Wy120, between Silver Gate and Red Lodge, 70 miles between the same endpoints over Beartooth Pass and Colter Pass again (no measured altitude data available).  It is also described on this page under the heading "my first Rocky Mountain Pass".

Extended Tour. Around here it seems that all tourist trails lead to Yellowstone. And Colter Pass, sandwiched between Yellowstone and the prime bicycle touring destination of the area, Beartooth Pass, is in the midst of it.

 

 

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