If you decide to enter Yellowstone by the Northeast Entrance, you are given the choice of two unforgettable mountain roads that lead to Cooke City and the Northeast Entrance. Most popular is the Beartooth Scenic Byway, which crosses the Beartooth Range and reaches almost 11,000 feet (3350 m) at its summit. The highway is a remarkable piece of engineering that affords spectacular views of mountains, lakes, and valleys. The summer display of wildflowers is unsurpassed, and the chance to throw snowballs in July will appeal to the kids. A less well known but also beautiful way to reach the Northeast Entrance is by the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, where the 8000-foot (2440 m) summit reveals other mountains and valleys in profusion. To take the Beartooth Highway, turn south from Interstate 90 at Laurel, Montana, onto U.S.
Highway 212. You’ll reach Red Lodge in 43 miles (69 km) or a total of about 60 miles (97 km) from Billings. At Red Lodge you continue on U.S. 212, which becomes the Beartooth Highway. The distance from Billings to the Northeast Entrance over this route totals about 130 miles (210 km). The Chief Joseph Highway (Wyoming Highway 296), is easily accessible either from Billings or from Cody, Wyoming. By the Billings-Belfry-Wyoming 120-Chief Joseph Highway route, you reach the park in about 150 miles (240 km). It’s less than 80 miles (130 km) from Cody by this route.