Yellowstone tour start/end?
I have never been to Yellowstone.
It seems like a great place to start or end a bike tour, though it doesn't seem like much of a place to ride around.
I figure my wife and I can fly to Jackson (?), rent a car, tour Yellowstone either at the beginning or end of a tour.
I live in San Francisco but have no attraction to riding from here to Yellowstone. I've thought about the Lewis and Clark or Trans-America routes from Adventure Cycling. However, I wanted to ask for other suggestions. I could even see starting near Yellowstone and heading north/south. I am only interested in road touring.
I've been reading CGOAB reports but it is better at reporting tours then suggesting routes.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I'm probably good for 3 weeks on a bike tour.
When I did the transamerica route, the worst traffic of the entire trip was in Yellowstone.
I've lived in Wyoming for 17 years - 1/3 of that time in Jackson. I know the area quite well and can attest that traffic can be difficult - especially in peak season and during the middle of the day. I'm not sure how much you cycle and how much you carry - but a superb tour would be to start and end in Jackson - since there are good flight connections, bike shops, outdoor shops - plus the riding in Jackson Hole is relatively level.
You could ride up thru Yellowstone - up the east side of the Continental Divide in Montana - ride Going-to-the-Sun in Glacier - and come back down the west side either thru Yellowstone again - or thru Idaho. If you did 1 1/2 days in Jackson Hole coming and going - plus 2 days each way in Yellowstone - that would still give you a week to ride up to Glacier and another week to ride back. Plus time for days off.
Please understand that many of the roads in Yellowstone do not open until mid May or later and that Glacier roads don't open until June. Likewise, snows start up in September even though fall is such a beautiful time. In mid summer you can miss most of the crowds in Yellowstone by riding early and late. If you leave at sunrise - even though cold - you will have empty roads. Take a super long mid-day break for lunch and a hike. Don't get back on your bike until after 4. Since almost all of the campgrounds have hiker/biker sites there shouldn't be a problem camping.
I'll be glad to help you with any info I have from my various trips. I biked, hiked, skied Yellowstone every month of the year. If you haven't been there - it is truly worth it. It just takes a little finagling to find the sweet spots.
Best - J
Pic - West Thumb Geyser Basin and Yellowstone Lake
Ray, I think you would really like Jackson also. You could avoid some traffic on Moose/Wilson road I think. You will encounter some serious mtn passes in Yellowstone but the trip would not be forgotten. I have riden some in Yellowstone but mainly on the flatter sections (W Yellow to Firehole). You might want to call the bike shop in W Yellow for help ... can't remember the name but it is right as you head into the park. Combo bike shop and coffee shop; they are very nice and brew a good latte also. I am sure jamawami knows better but that would be a serious haul to make it up to Glacier. Maybe Jackson to Firehole, head up the west side to mammoth, go S and East to exit the NE corner of the park and ride some of the higher mtns outside the park. If you could get some sag support it would be cool to split your time off-road.
have fun, Travis
Yellowstone is a nice ride. I toured through there on my way to Alaska last summer, at the height of the tourist season, and wasn't impeded by traffic whatsoever (either inside or outside of the park). We came in from the Cody/Thermopolis in Wyoming side to the east - really beautiful ride through Wind River Canyon, Shoshone National Forest, and then up a monster climb (http://www.routeslip.com/routes/14015) from the east gate up to the top of the caldera. West Yellowstone is just outside of the park's west gate, and has a couple of bike shops. We departed West Yellowstone towards Bozeman, MT - 20 miles of climbing and then 70 miles of decending following a river. Narrow, winding roads on the road to Bozeman though.
Regardless, its a beautiful and enjoyable part of the US to tour through. Recommend Glacier as well, and make sure you bring mosquito/fly netting if you elect to head that way.
I didn't really want to bike through Yellowstone. The idea was to fly near there with my wife and bike, rent a car, see Yellowstone, take my wife to the airport, pack up my bike, and ride off. Or, to start somewhere else (say Oregon), ride to Yellowstone, fly-in the wife, etc.
How far is Going-to-the-Sun in Glacier? How hard a ride is it?
I rode the L&C from Astoria to (through) Yellowstone, it took 3 weeks to Bozeman, and it was FANTASTIC. I did it in August. It snowed in Yellowstone, but it was ok anyway. You & your wife can fly in/out of Bozeman (2 days ride from Yellowstone). I found the riding in Yellowstone to be fairly scary (traffic, rental RV's), and the scenery & wildlife spectacular.