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  1. #1
    Senior Member THSdrummer's Avatar
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    Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore rides

    Hello,

    Our family vacation will be headed up to Wyoming, for Yellowstone, and then we'll be headed over to see Mount Rushmore possibly over the course of several days. I'm advocating my bike makes the journey so I can get in some riding. I'm starting my route research early. We won't be out there until about the 2nd week of August.

    I'm curious as to what people would recommend riding or having to see while riding in the Yellowstone/Mount Rushmore area? I know they're two different areas, but if anyone could point out any fantastic climbs, descents, or just "must ride" roads, that'd be awesome. We don't have a definite spot we are staying at in Yellowstone. We don't even know if we'll be staying outside or inside the park. Any ride suggestions in Wyoming or South Dakota would be much appreciated! I hail from a roller hill region (Kansas City, Missouri area). I'm not sure what sort of hills or climbs Yellowstone has, but if there are any mountainous climbs, I'd love to know so I can see what it's like to climb for over 5 minutes.

    I'm searching for rides or segments to ride on other sources, but figured I'd trust the people of the Bikeforums to help me out as well. I guess I should also mention, I'd be looking at doing 20-50 mile routes. I run competitively and will have to run while on vacation as well. If it's a 10 mile route, I can just run that. Riding gives me a much better range to see and explore than running does, and I'd like to take advantage of that as much as possible.

    Thank you,
    -THSdrummer
    -THSdrummer
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  2. #2
    cycling for 50 plus yrs colorado dale's Avatar
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    I used to know KC bicycling I worked at Folgers 25 yrs ago.
    if you want a climb check out town of Jackson up old Teton pass (away from traffic)
    Jackson now has a path thru Moose to jenny lake
    there are also a lot of paths around Jackson

    Yellowstone itself has few shoulders and lots of tourists driving rental rv's where they really don't understand their rental is wider and longer than their car so expect to get cut off after they pass you
    an exception is west thumb to Yellowstone lake there is a decent shoulder for bicycles and loop road off main highway doesn't get the volume of traffic that main road gets

    in the black hills check out the mickelson trail you will need at least a 28c to ride as its unpaved its 109 miles of railroad grade but some of those climbs are 10 plus miles i think many sections of the have unique personalities a decent round trips are custer to hill city approx. 35 round trip (perhaps continuing up to red fern if you want closer to 50-55) mystic to Rocheport plus another 3 or 4 miles follows a pretty creek and would be up hill there and downhill the whole way back very few shoulders around Mt rushmore

  3. #3
    Senior Member bossco11's Avatar
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    I've ridden YNP from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful and had wide shoulders to just before OF. It did get a little scary there with the RVs. I've also had good luck on the Mickelson using 1 1/2 street slicks on my mountain bike. There are pockets of "sand" but for the most part it was an easy ride.

  4. #4
    Senior Member metabike's Avatar
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    Western SD resident here with some words of advice: the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is August 4-10, 2014. if you come anywhere near this part of the world, the lodging rates will be jacked up and it will be difficult to find anything. Also, Mt. Rushmore and everything else in the Black Hills is jam packed with motorcycle crowds. For the most enjoyable family vacation, you need to seriously reconsider your time line.

    There are a lot of nice ride options and I can post more info when I am home (and not at work).
    God "did not create man so that he could have fun...There is no fun in Islam." - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THSdrummer View Post
    Hello,

    Our family vacation will be headed up to Wyoming, for Yellowstone, and then we'll be headed over to see Mount Rushmore possibly over the course of several days. I'm advocating my bike makes the journey so I can get in some riding. I'm starting my route research early. We won't be out there until about the 2nd week of August.

    I'm curious as to what people would recommend riding or having to see while riding in the Yellowstone/Mount Rushmore area? I know they're two different areas, but if anyone could point out any fantastic climbs, descents, or just "must ride" roads, that'd be awesome. We don't have a definite spot we are staying at in Yellowstone. We don't even know if we'll be staying outside or inside the park. Any ride suggestions in Wyoming or South Dakota would be much appreciated! I hail from a roller hill region (Kansas City, Missouri area). I'm not sure what sort of hills or climbs Yellowstone has, but if there are any mountainous climbs, I'd love to know so I can see what it's like to climb for over 5 minutes.

    I'm searching for rides or segments to ride on other sources, but figured I'd trust the people of the Bikeforums to help me out as well. I guess I should also mention, I'd be looking at doing 20-50 mile routes. I run competitively and will have to run while on vacation as well. If it's a 10 mile route, I can just run that. Riding gives me a much better range to see and explore than running does, and I'd like to take advantage of that as much as possible.

    Thank you,
    -THSdrummer
    I don't necessarily agree with the other posts on Yellowstone. Traffic is highly location dependent. If you are riding from Flagg Ranch (south entrance) to West Thumb to Old Faithful to West Yellowstone, you are going to have traffic. But if you ride in the northern part of the park, the amount of traffic is greatly reduced. The east side of the Grand Loop has more traffic but Norris to Yellowstone Falls can be very quiet. The Lamar Valley (northern most edge) can be very quiet too. Most people want to see Old Faithful and (maybe) Yellowstone Falls but not much of the rest of the park.

    If you go before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, the amount of traffic is greatly reduced as well.
    Stuart Black
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  6. #6
    Senior Member THSdrummer's Avatar
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    Well shoot. It looks like: a.) I'll be riding on the busy side of the park and b.) we'll be out there when Sturgis is going on. Tragically, my mother has already booked our nights in Yellowstone...

    With everyone's schedules between returning to college, my brother's band and drum camps, and my parents off-work schedule availability, we were basically stuck with this week - which seems to correlate with Sturgis almost exactly. If I recall correctly, we'll be in Yellowstone the 8-9th of August and the Black Hills the 10th, then we'll be on our way home staying for a night in Sioux Falls.
    -THSdrummer
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    1988 Raleigh Talon (my dad's)
    Cycling Fan - NCAA DII Runner - Looking to finally join the cycling community

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THSdrummer View Post
    Well shoot. It looks like: a.) I'll be riding on the busy side of the park and b.) we'll be out there when Sturgis is going on. Tragically, my mother has already booked our nights in Yellowstone...

    With everyone's schedules between returning to college, my brother's band and drum camps, and my parents off-work schedule availability, we were basically stuck with this week - which seems to correlate with Sturgis almost exactly. If I recall correctly, we'll be in Yellowstone the 8-9th of August and the Black Hills the 10th, then we'll be on our way home staying for a night in Sioux Falls.
    Yellowstone is quite small. Driving from the Old Faithful basin to the Norris basin is a relatively short drive of 30 miles. The route around the upper part of the loop from Norris to Mammoth to Yellowstone Falls and back to Norris is 68 miles The worst part of the trip, traffic-wise, would be from Norris to Mammoth but it's mostly downhill.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  8. #8
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Yes, avoid all of South Dakota during the Harley event, the noise will drive you to drink!! From Yellowstone you might consider driving north in Montana to Flathead Lake and Glacier, beautiful and some nice riding too. From Glacier you can go over to Great Falls on the Missouri River and home from there along the Lewis and Clark route.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  9. #9
    Senior Member THSdrummer's Avatar
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    Awesome suggestions. A friend here told me I should try to find my way up to Glacier National Park for some great climbing. I think I'm stuck in Yellowstone for this one though...

    I think we can still avoid South Dakota at this rate. I'll relay the message!
    -THSdrummer
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    Current Rides: 2012 Cannondale CAAD10 3
    1988 Raleigh Talon (my dad's)
    Cycling Fan - NCAA DII Runner - Looking to finally join the cycling community

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