Tour Beartooth Highway via 1937 Yellowstone Park Bus, Photo: Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust
MISSOULA, Mont. — There's a new option to experience a one-of-a kind ride through the scenic Beartooth Highway.
The Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust is giving tours via a 1937 Model 706 Yellowstone Park Bus.
These rides begin in Red Lodge and meander up the Beartooth Highway as far as the West Summit.
Up to 10 people can take a tour, but reservations are required.
Have you ever wanted to have a snowball fight in the middle of summer? Do you dream of riding high in the saddle through mountain meadows, or viewing bison herds in their unspoiled habitat (from a safe distance)? It’s all possible in Montana’s Yellowstone Country!
The Beartooth Highway in southern Montana offers a refreshing twist on the classic summer road trip, as icy lakes and snowdrifts await travelers on the highest paved roadway in the state.
While Glacier National Park boasts its famous 6,646-foot Going-to-the-Sun Road, travelers on the 10,947-foot Beartooth Highway might feel like they’ve entered the lower reaches of the stratosphere.
A steady climb winds past waterfalls, wildflowers and windswept pines until the tree line gives way to a fragile and rocky landscape capped by a boundless dome of sky. The surrounding Beartooth Mountains are home to elk, deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, grizzly and black bears, mountain lions, and many other species.
At over 2 miles above sea level, snow often lingers year-round along the roadside, and the thin alpine air offers an intoxicating respite from stifling summer heat.
One way to feel the wind in your hair is from the open canopy top of a vintage 1937 White Motor Company sunflower-yellow touring bus.
Based in Red Lodge, nonprofit Buses of Yellowstone's mission is to preserve the beloved vehicles, which replaced horses in Yellowstone National Park in 1917 and ferried tourists to and from attractions up until World War II.
Cheryl Whitcomb, volunteer and marketing coordinator with the Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust, says groups can book a four to five-hour guided bus trip up the Beartooth Pass to picnic, sightsee and stop for plenty of photos.
The tour is a photographer’s dream, as riders can see unique vistas and vertical reaches through the roll-top canvas roof.
“You can stand and look out the top of the bus. It’s almost like you can touch the sky,” Whitcomb says. “I call it a ‘bucket list’ ride, because you’ve never experienced anything like it before.”
Several of the restored art deco-style buses are on display in a historic service station garage alongside other vehicles of the era. Touring the showroom is free, but the nonprofit asks for a minimum donation for full rides. They cater to automotive enthusiasts, families, avid sightseers and history buffs — even hosting visitors from as far away as London and Thailand.
Experience the trip as it was in the 1930s, with homegrown drivers who have intimate knowledge of the vehicles, the Beartooth Highway and the Big Sky state itself. As Whitcomb puts it, “We are the real thing, and we have some really great stories to tell.”
Posted on the U.S. Department of the Interior Museum Facebook Page....."A parked, bright yellow 1937 Model 706 Bus #401 used for transporting tourists in Yellowstone National Park, as displayed at the "Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone" conference by the Buses Of Yellowstone Preservation Trust."