Cutler Hill s(u)

Cutler Hill is the eastern summit on US14 over Granite Pass. About a 700ft drop separates the two. But this point can also be approached without going over Granite Pass, using some of the unpaved roads in the area.

This road over the Bignhorn Mountains seems to have a little more traffic than the parallel alternative Powder River Pass, since it seems to be used more by Yellowstone bound tourists. Still - most times traffic is light. There is a good shoulder, but near the summit it sometimes has gravel on it from the last resurfacing operation. - No rumble strips.

this point is included in the elevation profile for: Granite Pass and Baldy Pass


From East.
This is US14 going towards Granite Pass. The road reaches a low point while crossing over the Tongue River, immediately east of Dayton. It seems Dayton's friendly main street is as wide as it is long, There is a candy store, gas station and a two restaurants of sorts.

From here on the road climbs continuously, not very steeply, but unusual for a Bighorn climb - it never goes down until it reaches the summit of Cutler Hill. First this happens in wide radius turns, as if the road seems to encourage momentum to get up the hill. Looking ahead you can always make out the next traverse above. This climb traverses back and forth along the initial escarpment. The land below is a wavy, treeless, expanse of badlands and rangeland, except for Dayton. It is one oasis of trees lining the Tongue River.

As the road gains elevation several turnouts allow spotting bits and pieces of the road below. When the road finally turns into the Bighorns, two more industrial sized parking lots point out monumental pieces of rock that have tumbled into the valley by being undercut. Even the de Lome atlas labels this with the touristic phrase "fallen city" (picture lower right). I wonder if this came about because Yellowstone bound tourists were looking for well labeled attractions.

Another turnout to the right shows off a great view of the canyon of the Tonque River. This is easily missed, because you have to go all the way to the end of this particular gigantic parking lot at the foot of a upturned lawyer of rock.

Past this the road enters forest and climbs slowly and intermittently to this summit point. There is a sign complete with elevation on top. The view is limited

From West. A 700ft drop leads past a small lake, which is another "prescribed" photo stop for the official Yellowstone bound tourist. - See the road sign with the little camera on it ? From there the road starts climbing again a bit towards Burgess Jct.

Dayride with this point as highest summit:


( < Powder River Pass Rd eastern summit s(u) | FR10 Hunt Mountain Rd s(u) > )
Cutler Hill , FR168 Freeze out Rd(sh) : jct FR184 - US14 > US14 west > Cutler Hill s(u) > FR15 north > FR167 > back onto FR15 north > FR168 Freeze out Rd north > FR168 Freeze out Rd(sh) > down FR199 > down FR182 > down FR181 > indistinct trail to Amsden State Wildlife area > Dayton > up US14 > back to starting point: 52.9miles with 6550ft of climbing in 6:56hrs (Garmin etrex30: m5:15.8.15).
Notes: an eerie ride with the strong smell of smoke; I ended up inside an area, closed off by the Amsden wildfire. But from the west side there was no advertised closure.