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Red Lodge, Montana

on the road to Yellowstone

More of a large village than a town—Red Lodge is on the scenic Beartooth Highway which rises toward the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park; 68 miles from Red Lodge. Its main virtues lie in the wilderness around: Yellowstone National Park to the west of the Beartooth Range, the Absaroka/Beartooth Wilderness—to the north of Yellowstone—and the wild beauty of the Beartooth mountans and the scenic drives available on its ridges.

What to See & Do

This is another of Montana's historic mining towns. Red Lodge was a booming coal mining town between 1893 and 1910. During those years, European immigrant miners settled the town, leaving their continental stamp on the community.

Today, the ethnic heritage of these miners is felt during the Festival of Nations, held every August. A mining disaster has led to one of the town's most popular tourist attractions. 4 miles east of town, at Washoe, 74 men died in an underground explosion at the Smith Mine -- in 1943.

The mine's tipple and several buildings still stand on the site. To get more of the mining perspective, visit the Carbon County Museum which is south of town on Highway 212. The museum features the homestead cabin of John Garrison, the prototype for the movie character "Jeremiah Johnson".

21 miles north of Red Lodge, via Highway 212 and then west of Boyd on a sideroad, Cooney Reservoir State Recreation Area offers camping, boating and fishing. There are more campgrounds operated by the U.S. Forest Service along the Scenic Byway as it climbs the Beartooth Range.

the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary (formerly the Beartooth Nature Center, is found at the north entrance to the town. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in summer and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in winter, the sanctuary is a public refuge for anumals and a informational museum on the wildlife of the area. Entrance fees are charged. For information, go here.

The whole downtown of Red Lodge (it isn't that big) has been declared a National Historic District. Here are buildings which were constructed during the mining boom from 1893. One of the houses may be rented, all of it, or in part.

Red Lodge Hotels

The Pollard Hotel
2 North Broadway, Red Lodge, 406-446-0001
This is the venerable (from 1893) but modernized anchor of the historic downtown of Red Lodge; a hotel with a great deal of nostalgia in its ambience, including the Pollard Pub that offers drink and food with largely country music and what they call "old time rock and roll." The hotel's dining room, opens for breakfast at 7:00 daily, and for dinner from Wednesday through Monday at 5:30. The History Room bar is next door.

Rock Creek Resort
6380 U.S. Highway 212 South,Red Lodge 406-466-1111 or toll-free at 800-667-1119
The resort hotel is located west of town: a deluxe vacation resort with all the amenities.

Beartooth Hideaway, Motel & Cabins
1223 South Broadway,Red Lodge, 406-446-2288
This semi-rustic little resort has a small but modern mtel and several upscale log cabins. the inn boasts an indoor pool, double-queen and king guest rooms, two whirlpool tubs, and free continental breakfast. the cabins are well equipped with flat screen TVs kitchenettes, and gas fireplaces.

Alpine Lodge
1105 North Broadway, Red Lodge 406-446-2213
Another lodge with rooms and cabins, the Alpine Lodge offers king and queen beds, cable TV, kitchenettes in-room coffee, and free WiFi. A guest laundry was recently added.


Red Lodge KOA
7464 Highway 212, Red Lodge, 406-446-2364
RV sites with hook-ups, tenting areas, a pool and playground, on US 212, 4 miles north of town. Other amenities include a snack bar, WiFi and bike rentals (at a cost) The heated pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Perry's RV Park and Campground
Highway 212, 2 miles south of Red Lodge, 406-446-2722
Perry's has both RV sites and tent sites, including many beside a creek. The RV sites have full hookups, plus 2 rustic cabins and 4 teepees, bathrooms with hot showers. The park is open from May 25 until October 1.

Custer National Forest Campgrounds
You'll find several basic forest campgrounds near Red Lodge. For locations and facilities, go here.

Nearby towns and attractions
go to
Billings | Grand Teton National Park,
Yellowstone National Park


Montana Destinations






Glacier National Park

Great Falls



Red Lodge

Seeley Lake & The Swan Valley

West Yellowstone





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