60 miles SW of Billings; 62 miles NW of Cody, Wyoming
Nestled in a steep valley at the edge of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and surrounded by the spectacular Beartooth Mountains, the community of Red Lodge is not quite a tourist town, not quite a destination ski resort, but still not the sleepy little town it once was, either. It has elements of all three, giving it a homey and still busy feel. While it is slowly losing its small-town identity in favor of a resort persona, this hasn't happened completely.
Founded as a coal-mining community in the late 1880s, it did fairly well until the mines closed in the 1930s. Today it's the beautiful scenery and outdoor activities around Red Lodge that attract us. It doesn't hurt that the town sits at the northern end of the Beartooth National Scenic Byway, which the late Charles Kuralt called the most beautiful road in America.