The Luther-Roscoe Scenic Drive
The Luther-Roscoe Scenic Drive is a short, eighteen-mile journey through the rolling foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. Although this route lies just a few miles away from the Beartooth Front Scenic Drive on Highway 78, the Luther-Roscoe Scenic Drive provides far better views of the Beartooth Mountains since the route runs right along the base of the mountains.
Highlights of the drive include superb views of the Beartooth Mountains and its foothills, open grasslands, and East Rosebud Creek.
Beginning in Roscoe, Montana, the Luther-Roscoe Scenic Drive follows East Rosebud Road south at the junction with Highway 78. This is the only real road junction in Roscoe, so it’s fairly easy to find provided travelers don’t zip through Roscoe too quickly.
Initially, the road is paved, but after three miles the pavement gives way to a good condition gravel surface.
After 3.5 miles, the East Rosebud Road crosses East Rosebud Creek. Just beyond the bridge crossing, the Luther-Roscoe Scenic Drive turns east at the junction of East Rosebud Road and the Luther-Roscoe Road, which heads toward Luther, Montana. Those looking for camping areas can continue south along East Rosebud Road, following the river, as there is both a developed campground as well as areas for primitive camping just a few miles from this road junction.
The Luther-Roscoe Scenic Drive, after climbing a small hill and leaving behind East Rosebud Creek, begins to travel through the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. The views of open grassland meeting the sharp rise of the mountains are truly superb. Moreover, the grasslands here are frequently rolling, causing the road to gently twist and turn as it meanders its way along the front of the Beartooth Mountains.
After about seven miles, the drive reaches the tiny town of Luther, Montana, which consists of a few residences and nothing else. The Luther-Roscoe Scenic Drive continues to the east through Luther, following the same road but which has changed names to the Lower Luther Road.
Just to the east of Luther, the scenic drive reaches a fork in the road. The scenic drive follows Upper Luther Road, or the southern-most fork. The other road, Lower Luther Road, is a short cut that leads back toward Highway 78.
Beyond the fork after Luther, the scenic drive starts twisting and turning and begins to gain elevation as it climbs higher into the foothills. The views here, as they are elsewhere along the route, are excellent. Seven miles to the east of Luther, the drive ends at the junction with Highway 78.
Overall, the Luther-Roscoe is a short but beautiful drive through the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. The road makes a scenic alternative to the otherwise fine views found along the Beartooth Front Scenic Drive. In terms of time, driving this route is much slower than staying on Highway 78. However, the superb views of the Beartooth Mountains more than make up for the slow pace and the rather rough road in spots.
- Length: 18 miles
- Highlights : Absaroka Mountains, West Boulder River, Crazy Mountains
- Road Type : Primarily gravel
- Nearby Towns : Roscoe, Luther
- 4wd needed? : No, except when road is very wet or muddy
- Traffic : Very Light
- Trailers? : Yes
- Season : Year-round, weather permitting
Where to Stay & Other Services
There are no services or lodging along the route. The nearest towns for supplies are Red Lodge and Absarokee.
Since the drive passes through private property for its length, there is no camping (developed or primitive). However, by following the East Rosebud Road (south of Roscoe) toward the mountains, the road enters National Forest property where there is a developed campground and plenty of places for primitive camping.
Other lodging options are found in Red Lodge.