Yellowstone Cycling

Yellowstone National Park is over two million acres in size and spreads into three states.  Although Susan and I did not bicycle there, it is a cycling paradise. There are, of course, comfort bike and mountain bike rentals inside the park, as well as short (one to four mile) bike trails scattered around.

Yellowstone Cycling 1

The Chicago Crew:
“I was among the group of road cyclists from Chicago that you encountered at Lake Yellowstone in early August. We had a great ride that day from Canyon Lodge to Old Faithful, which included crossing the Continental Divide twice. Our trip began two days earlier at Red Lodge, MT., and we climbed the Beartooth Highway on the way to Cooke City, MT. An absolutely beautiful road, despite the 31 mile climb to the 10,947 ft summit. We then rode down through Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, encountering Bison on the road just before Roosevelt Lodge. Then it was another climb to the Dunraven Pass (8,800 ft) and a fun 7 mile descent to the Canyon. Your snapping pictures of us was the next day, as we road by Lake Yellowstone. Thanks much, as we would love to collect all the memories of this great trip.” Rick Stevens

Click on photo to see movie.

For road cyclists, however, Yellowstone is a piece of heaven as they ride along the 120 square mile Yellowstone Lake, along roads surrounded by geysers and hot springs, over 8800 foot mountain passes, through open plains with bison, elk and other various forms of wildlife and into high alpine meadows in the north east section. The grand loop is about 140 miles. There are several scenic loops scattered throughout the park as well.

Most, but not all the roads have shoulders. Yellowstone has moderate to heavy traffic in parts from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Some people have told me that the best time to ride is May or later in September.

For the bike rental crowd there are bike paths as well as the roads:

Yellowstone Cycling 2

The commercial cycling tours like Back Roads were seen in various locations. However, I did promise 15 seconds of exposure to the following:

I caught these two men riding past me, but also riding through Hayden Plain with a herd of buffalo and one coyote on their right hand side.  They were moving at a good clip, so I did not get to speak with them.

Yellowstone Cycling 3

These sisters had ridden from Brooklyn, NY and were on their way to Oregon.

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Yellowstone Cycling 5

Next blog will be about Susan and me riding in Grand Tetons.