Cellpic Sunday – Beartooth Highway

On the road in Wyoming.

After spending a couple of days in Yellowstone Park in the autumn of 2020, on October 5, 2021, we again found ourselves entering the park. This time, however, we were heading toward a highway we had not traversed in our earlier visit to the park.

Enter the northern entrance of the park at Gardiner, Montana, then proceed to the Mammoth Hot Springs area. Look for the left turn that will put you on U.S. 212 in the park and head east. When you leave the park, you’ll see signs that you are on the Beartooth Highway, the highest highway in both Wyoming and Montana. Technically, the highway is defined as starting at Cooke City and straddling the Wyoming and Montana borders eventually ending at Red Lodge, Montana.

The highway is closed in the winter, and with parts reaching above 10,000 feet (3048 m), there are even occasional snowstorms in the middle of summer. We were happy to find the highway still open in October with no snow in sight. Along the route are plenty of viewpoints, and in a future post, I’ll feature the scenic byway in a Travel Tuesday post.

About the photo: On our first viewpoint stop after exiting Yellowstone Park, near the junction of Wyoming highway 296, we were still well below the treeline in altitude and ready to begin our climb to Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet (3,337 m.) This image features a view of the highway that is paved along the entire route. If memory serves, I aimed the camera to the west to capture the mountains in nearby Yellowstone Park.

Captured with my Samsung S20U, this image was imported into Lightroom for basic tweaks and sent off to Luminar AI to increase structure, remove some of the haze, and enhance the sky (not sky replacement.) I then uploaded the image to Flickr so you can pixel peep it in 2K HD. Simply click on the image to check out the metadata and get a closer view stored there on the Flickr site.

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment.

John Steiner


    • Thank you, Sarah! It is a beautiful drive. I’d love to see it in the winter, but I’d need to have a snowmobile, the only means of transport through the area once the highway closes.

    • I am always amazed by the quality of images from today’s cell phones.
      It’s no wonder the point-and-shoot camera makers are struggling.
      Over the holidays, I went to a holiday parade of lights with my Sony point-and-shoot. It is a $1,000 camera, and it struggled to produce quality images even with its F/1.8-2.8 lens. I put it away and started using my cell phone.

  1. I like anything to do with Montana, Idaho, and the PNW, John, now that I’m a resident. I haven’t been into Montana yet, or Wyoming, but Yellowstone NP is high up on my list to visit, hopefully, this year. Your image captures the beauty we’ve come to imagine of the area. I’m sharing on my blog today this SS post about wildlife: https://secondwindleisure.com/2022/01/23/sunday-stills-its-a-wildlife-world/ I must add that although there are quite a few cell pics in the post, most of the dear and bird shots are taken with my Lumix. I agree that cell phones really do take high quality images these days. I’m thankful for that!

  2. John for the last upteen years I have taken all my photos on my IPhone! Carrying around all the gear proved too much for me and my camera! I will have to join your challenge! I am sure I have enough photos! Ha ha! Cady

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