US 20 and 212 in Montana

US 20 in Montana

US 20
Get started Targhee Pass
End West Yellowstone
Length 10 mi
Length 16 km

West Yellowstone


According to bestitude, US 20 is a US Highway in the US state of Montana. The road forms a short route in the far south of the state, near Yellowstone National Park, as a link between US 20 in Idaho and US 20 in Wyoming. The route is about 16 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The US 20 and starts at the 2155 meter high Targhee Pass after which it crosses in West Yellowstone with US 287 from Helena, which merges with US 20. Then you enter Yellowstone National Park and cross the border into Wyoming.


US 20 was created in 1926 but ended its early years on the east side of Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. In 1940 the route was extended to Oregon, which also took US 20 through Montana. The road had already been paved before 1935.

Traffic intensities

1,000 vehicles travel the US 20 every day.

US 212 in Montana

US 212
Get started Yellowstone
End alzada
Length 323 mi
Length 520 km

Red Lodge


Billings – Crow Agency:





According to biotionary, US 212 is a US Highway in the US state of Montana. The road forms an east-west route through the southeast corner of the state, from Yellowstone National Park through Billings to the southeast corner of the state. The road crosses the Wyoming border four times. The road is 520 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The Beartooth Highway in Carbon County.

At Silver Gate, US 212 in Wyoming enters Montana for the first time, but remains only 10 miles in Montana. At the height of the 3337 meter high Beartooth Pass, the US 212 enters the state for the second time, after which a gigantic descent follows to Red Lodge. Quite suddenly one leaves the high mountains and arrives at the High Plains. The road then heads northeast towards Billings, which is about 135 kilometers away. At Rockvale, US 310 merges from Greybull to end at Laurel on Interstate 90. US 212 merges with I-90 for a double numbering of 120 kilometers. You pass the city of Billings, the largest city in Montana. Here the US adds 87from Great Falls as well. Interstate 94 begins on the east side of Billings and runs to Miles City and Glendive. US 87 and US 212 then continue together on I-90 to the east. After Hardin, the road veers south and at Crow Agency, US 212 exits east, while I-90 and US 87 continue south to Sheridan. US 212 then begins a 270-mile route to the Wyoming border, encountering only 3 towns on the entire route. This area is very remote and it crosses some of the Missouri River’s tributaries, such as the Tongue and Powder Rivers. Past Alzada the border follows into Wyoming, then US 212 in Wyoming continues to Belle Fourche in South Dakota.


US 212 was created in 1926, but did not initially pass through Montana. This first happened in 1939 when the route was extended westward from Belle Fourche in South Dakota to Miles City, via what is now State Route 59. In 1962, US 212 was extended to its current western starting point at Yellowstone National Park. US 212 is special because it is the only way to drive from Montana to South Dakota on tarmac roads. The border between the two states is not crossed by asphalt roads.

The eastern portion of the route was originally numbered State Route 8 between Crow Agency and Broadus and State Route 22 between Broadus and the Wyoming border. In 1935, part of State Route 22 was paved. State Route 8 was a dirt road that was difficult to drive on, in fact nothing more than a collection of agricultural roads. In 1936-1937, the part from Broadus to the border with Wyoming was completely asphalted. During the same period, work began to improve State Route 8 as a through dirt road. In the late 1940s it was improved to a gravel road. During the 1950s the road was paved, which was completed by 1959.

The western portion between the Wyoming and Laurel border was originally State Route 32, later as US 12. This road was paved in the mid-1930s to provide access to Yellowstone National Park.

Beartooth Highway

The Beartooth Mountains are a mountain range on the border of Wyoming and Montana. The 3,904 m high Granite Peak in Montana is the highest point. The route was used by horse riders from the late 1800s because it was a faster route between Yellowstone National Park and the High Plains. They took advantage of the high elevation of Yellowstone and avoided the difficult route through the Bighorn Mountains. As part of the development of tourism, the Beartooth Highway was built in the 1930s. Construction of the road started in 1931, most of the road was built between 1932 and 1936. The hardest part was the descent into Rock Creek Canyon on the Montana side, where the steepest part of the Beartooth Highway is. The Beartooth Highway was officially opened to traffic on June 14, 1936.

The Beartooth Highway was awarded National Scenic Byway status and most prestigious All-American Road status in 2002. Due to the high altitude, tourists are recommended to prepare for bad weather, the temperature can get close to freezing on the highest part of the road even in summer. The Beartooth Highway has a winter closure every year. The road usually reopens around Memorial Day, after which there are occasional short-term closures due to snowfall. The Beartooth Highway usually closes again in mid-October for the winter.

Traffic intensities

400 to 500 vehicles drive daily at the Wyoming border, rising to 2,500 to 7,400 vehicles between Red Lodge and I-90 at Laurel. Only 1,300 to 2,200 vehicles ran between I-90 at Crow Agency and the Wyoming border. Due to the lack of alternative routes, the route is not completely extinct, but in eastern Montana US 212 does not reach places of any size. US 212 is an intersection of I-90 between Billings and Rapid City.

US 212 in Montana