Beartooth Pass Tours, Hikes & Backpacking

Beartooth Pass Tours & Hikes

Beartooth Pass Hikes: The Wilder Side of Yellowstone

Bordering Yellowstone National Park to the northeast, the Beartooth Mountains offer a wilder environment for hikers and backpackers who want to get off the beaten path. Composed of some of the oldest rocks on the continent, this spectacular landscape is part of the vast Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.

Hike with an experienced, biologist guide in this untamed backcountry of dramatic peaks, deep valleys, remnant glaciers, and remote lakes. Wildlife is abundant with populations of grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, and rarely seen species such as wolverine, mountain lion, and lynx.

While you hike, your private guide will enhance your knowledge of the Beartooth Mountains’ natural history, geology, ecology, scientific studies, and conservation efforts.

Hiking and backpacking in the Beartooth Mountains offers adventures for all abilities and levels of experience. Let us know your comfort level and interests—we’ll plan the perfect trip for you in the Beartooth Mountains!

Sample Beartooth Pass Hike Itinerary

Expect a full day of exploring: about 7-10 hours including travel to and from the trailhead.

These private hikes accommodate groups of 1-6 and include comfortable transportation, lunch and hot beverages, and a knowledgeable, local guide. Hiking in Beartooth Pass is accessible from June through mid-October.

Here’s what a day of hiking in Beartooth Pass looks like with In Our Nature Guiding Services:

Morning

Meet Your Guide: Check in with your guide bright and early at a meeting location nearest to where you’re staying. Your guide will make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable for the day.

Scenic Drive to the Trailhead: Depending on where you meet your guide and the trail you choose, expect a 1–2-hour drive in one of our spacious vans or SUVs. The drive up Beartooth Pass is renowned and an experience of its own, with dramatic turns and sweeping views of the Beartooth Mountains. Along the way, your biologist guide will introduce you to the area and its notable features.

Start You Hike: After a quick safety briefing with your guide, you’ll set off into the wilderness. Immediately, you’ll notice the area’s unique plants and trees. You might even see some wildlife as we begin!

Midday

Stop for Lunch: Your guide will find the perfect place for your group to rest your legs and enjoy a freshly prepared picnic lunch. This is also a great time to break out the binoculars and look for wildlife.

Afternoon

Trek to a Rewarding View: Whether it’s a view of craggy peaks, a glacial lake, or a waterfall, your final destination will not disappoint. Take your time here snapping photos, noticing the details, and enjoying the fresh mountain air.

Return to the Trailhead: As you hike back to the trailhead, don’t hesitate to take advantage of your guide’s expertise! Get curious and ask questions about the region’s history, wildlife, and what people are doing to preserve it.

Drive Back to the Meeting Point: Time to rest your feet after a long day of hiking and reflect on the day.

Please note: We adapt our itineraries based on your pick-up location, seasonal conditions, and your interests. Please contact us for specific requests such as larger group sizes or other accommodations.

from $780/day + $70/person

What's Not Included

Gratuity National Park entrance fees: $20/person Weekly, annual, veteran, 4th grader & senior passes also accepted.

Payment Options

We will gladly accept online payment by credit card or by check if mailed in advance.

Have a Question?

Feel free to reach out and we're happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Meeting Locations & Start Times

Start times and tour duration vary depending on where you’re staying. Choose from one of the following locations to meet your guide and start your day.

Gardiner, MT

For guests staying in Gardiner, Emigrant, Pray, Paradise Valley, or Livingston.

  • Departure: 6:00 am
  • Duration: 10 hours

Mammoth, WY

For guests staying near Mammoth Hot Springs or in the northeast section of Yellowstone.

  • Departure: 6:15 am
  • Duration: 9.5 hours

Tower Junction, WY

For guests staying near Canyon Village in Yellowstone.

  • Departure: 6:45 am
  • Duration: 8 hours

Silver Gate or Cooke City

For guests staying in the Silver Gate or Cooke City, Montana area.

  • Departure: 7:30 am
  • Duration: 6+ hours

Other Tours in Beartooth Pass

  • Backpacking Trip (2–6 days)
  • Lamar Valley and Beartooth Pass Wildlife Watching (2–3 days)

What’s Included in the Private Beartooth Pass Hike

Skip the online research and leave the planning to a local expert guide. We’ll tailor your hiking experience to your group and make sure it’s inclusive for all.

Here’s what’s included in the Beartooth Pass hike:

Personalized Hiking Experience

We plan your hike with your group in mind, finding the right trail and guide for you. Plus, your small group will have the full attention of your guide, creating an intimate, fun experience.

Comfortable Travel

Enjoy a scenic drive to and from the trailhead in the comfort of one of our SUVs or minivans. We’ll handle navigating the bumpy forest service roads safely while you enjoy the views.

Picnic Lunch

We'll have hot drinks for you in the morning, a hearty picnic lunch, and water refills at the end of your hike. We happily accommodate most dietary needs.

Biologist Guide

Our local biologist and naturalist guides know the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem well—even remote areas like the Beartooths. They go beyond leading you up a trail, providing rich context and knowledge, as well as safety guidance.

Safety Equipment & Training

Safety is our number one priority. We bring bear spray, DEET-free insect repellent and first-aid kits. Our guides are also trained in outdoor safety protocols and wilderness first aid, so you’ll know you’re in good hands.

Scopes & Binoculars

Take a closer look at mountain summits or camouflaged wildlife—while keeping a safe distance —with the high quality optics we provide.

What to Bring on Your Beartooth Pass Hiking Tour

Here’s what to bring to make your hiking experience even more comfortable:

Warm Clothing & Layers

Be prepared for any type of weather as conditions in the Beartooth Mountains can evolve rapidly and snow flurries can happen year-round. We recommend several lightweight layers, plus a wind- and water-proof outer layer.

Comfortable Shoes

Wear sturdy, waterproof trail shoes or hiking boots for walking on uneven terrain. If hiking poles help you with stability, bring those, too! At this elevation, snow patches persist well into the summer and many of the meadows are wet and squishy until through August.

Sunscreen & Sunglasses

Protect yourself from sun exposure no matter the weather with sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) and sunglasses. Bring a wide-brimmed hat for full protection.

Water Bottles

The climate in the Beartooth Mountains is dry, with elevations above 10,000 feet. Bring your own water bottle and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. You’ll need to carry 3 liters of water while we are out hiking. We’ll provide refills at the vehicle.

Cameras

Bring any camera or video recording device you like! Between mountain lakes and wildlife, you’ll want to capture these moments.

Beartooth Pass Trip Pricing

- All tours are private
- Transportation included
- Please contact us directly for groups larger than 6

PRIVATE FULL-DAY Beartooth Hikes & Tours:
including one guest
$780/day
  • + $70 per person, after the first
BACKPACKING in Beartooth Mountains
including one guest
$700/day
  • + $100 per person, after the first
PRIVATE 2-DAY Lamar Valley and Beartooth Pass Wildlife Watching:
including one guest
$1690/day
  • + $110 per person, after the first
PRIVATE 3-DAY Lamar Valley and Beartooth Pass Wildlife Watching:
including one guest
$2630/day
  • + $160 per person, after the first

Beartooth Hiking Memories From Past Guests

We had the best afternoon with Mike! He took us on a gorgeous trail where we only encountered 5 other people in 4 hours. We learned about the geology, topography, flora, and fauna — and got to listen to some amazing elk bugling! After four hours and about 7-8 miles, we were exhausted and yet still invigorated. Don’t miss this experience!
Deborah R
September 2021
We spent a full day with Cara hiking on a beautiful trail in the Beartooth mountains that she chose for our skill level. She brought us to a beautiful lake for our lunch break (she took care of lunch and snacks AND carried them for all 8 of us!) Even though this hike was not a wildlife tour per se, Cara was able to point out lots of wildlife through sight (and sound) that we would have never known were there. Our teenage kids peppered her the whole time with questions and she answered them all! Great learning experience for all.
Lucila G
August 2020
We had previously visited the area, but this was the first time we have used a professional guide & so pleased we did & it certainly made the visit that much better. Cara provided us with 2 days of memorable experience. Her knowledge, enthusiasm & expertise ensured we saw the wildlife we had hoped to see & a pleasurable hiking experience. Cara provided good optics for the wildlife viewing as well as a well received lunch/brunch - This was our best ever visit to the park & this was all down to Cara & would thoroughly recommend her services.
David R
July 2018
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Your Tour Questions Answered

Is Beartooth Pass in Montana or Wyoming?

Beartooth Pass is located along the Montana-Wyoming border, with part of the highway and pass situated in each state. The majority of the scenic Beartooth Highway lies within Montana, while a portion crosses into northwestern Wyoming.

What months is Beartooth Pass open?

The Beartooth Pass is typically open from late May through mid-October, weather permitting. Due to its high elevation (10,947 feet at the summit) and substantial snowfall, the pass closes annually in the late fall and remains closed throughout the winter months.

What kind of wildlife live in the Beartooth Mountains?

The Beartooth Mountains are home to a diverse array of wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, mule deer, moose, and various smaller mammals like pika and marmots. Bird species like the Clark's nutcracker, rosie finch, and golden eagle can also be spotted in this rugged mountain range.

Are bathrooms available during the tour?

Some trailheads in Beartooth Pass have pit toilets available. However, there are no bathrooms on the trails. Be prepared to use the restroom outside using Leave No Trace best practices. Your guide will give you training and information about where and how to properly dispose of your waste.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancel more than 30 days before your trip date to get a full refund minus a 10% credit card and processing fee. Cancel 5-29 days before your trip date to get a 50% refund.

We typically do not issue refunds if you cancel within 5 days of your booked tour. However, please contact us if exceptional circumstances keep you from attending as we may be able to make alternative arrangements.

American pika in the Rocky Mountains.
Alpine lake in Montana's Beartooth Mountains.
Alpine lake with green trees and large mountains.
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