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  1. #1
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    Yellowstone roads

    I will be going to Yellowstone in early July for a weeks tour my first ever! One of the folks Im going with has asked about the current conditions of the roads. Im from California, and we dont see the kind of weather Yellowstone experiences, so what is considered good or rough around here may not be the same as other parts of the country.
    Thus, I have two questions:

    Does anyone have recent experience with the road conditions in Yellowstone?

    How do the roads in Wyoming compare to California?

    Thank you all for your attention to this topic.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldmtngoat
    I will be going to Yellowstone in early July for a week’s tour – my first ever! One of the folks I’m going with has asked about the current conditions of the roads. I’m from California, and we don’t see the kind of weather Yellowstone experiences, so what is considered good or rough around here may not be the same as other parts of the country.
    Thus, I have two questions:

    Does anyone have recent experience with the road conditions in Yellowstone?

    How do the roads in Wyoming compare to California?

    Thank you all for your attention to this topic.
    the roads in wyoming are good roads as they don't get near the traffic as california. now the yellowstone roads however get plenty of traffic and the last time i was there (4 years ago) they were a little rough and you will need to watch out for the RV's which there are plenty of.. take a good jacket with you because even though it is in july it does get cool and even cold in the mountains.. I grew up in montana about 70 miles from yellowstone and i have seen snow in the mountains in july.. so make sure you have some warm clothes and check out their web site for any work they are doing on the roads... the park service web site is www.nps.gov there are severlal yellowstone websites out there but most i have looked at are just tourist attractions

  3. #3
    Hooked on Touring
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    Are you driving or flying?

    If flying, you should consider acclimating to the altitude - nearly 8000 feet.
    If driving, you will have a little time to gradually acclimate.
    Drink plenty of fluids - avoid alcohol and caffeine.
    Consider taking one aspirin (real aspirin) per day.

    Climate - yeah I ;ve seen it snow of the Fourth of July -
    But you'll more likely have chilly weather - esp. in the mornings.
    You should expect highs in the high 60s to lower 70s; lows in the 30s
    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?wylyel

    Roads - the official YNP website has a road status webpage.
    http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm
    Sylvan Pass is undergoing a complete reconstruction - avoid.
    Other than that - most roads will be O.K. I am miffed at the NPS
    for providing lots of pavement for RVs but none for syslists.

    Most Yellowstone roads are narrow with no shoulders and heavy traffic.
    You can make lemonade out of lemons by riding early and late -
    Then using the middle part of the day for hiking and exploring.
    Nearly every campground has hiker/biker campsites so you ride pull in late.
    Early morning and evening are also the best times to see wildlife.

    A few roads have shoulders:
    West Yellowstone to Madison
    Madison to Old Faithful
    West Thumb to Lake

    Gull Point Road is short, but very nice. Also you can ride from
    Artist Point Road to the Canyon Loop on the old roadbed.
    Dunraven Pass Road has been recently rebuilt -
    But it is still steep and narrow with impatient drivers.

    What else?
    Try to avoid the huge campgrounds - or hit them mid-day for showers.
    The smaller campgrounds are much nicer for quality of experience.
    These include: Lewis Lake, Canyon (great hiker biker), Norris (!!!)
    Indian Creek (great trail), Tower, Pebble Creek
    You can bike into one backcountry campsite - Lone Star.
    You'll near a permit and to store your food in bearproof containers.

    If you are flying in to Jackson or driving -
    I would HIGHLY recommend a day in Grand Teton.
    It is more cycle friendly - stunning views -
    considerably lower to altitude adjustment.
    Hiker/biker campsites right on Jenny Lake!!

    Have fun - J

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Are you driving or flying?

    If you are flying in to Jackson or driving -
    I would HIGHLY recommend a day in Grand Teton.
    It is more cycle friendly - stunning views -
    considerably lower to altitude adjustment.
    Hiker/biker campsites right on Jenny Lake!!

    Have fun - J
    how are the roads in grand teton???? and supposedly if you are on a bike or walking you can't be turned away at a campground in a national park. they supposedly have a special area in the campgrounds for the cyclist and backpacker....

  5. #5
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuffwolf
    how are the roads in grand teton???? and supposedly if you are on a bike or walking you can't be turned away at a campground in a national park. they supposedly have a special area in the campgrounds for the cyclist and backpacker....
    Yep - that's true, but that doesn't mean that all the rangers know it. We were told that we shouldn't go to one campground because it was full - we asked about the hiker biker spots and they said nope, but when we got there, there was plenty of room.

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    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    I think you'll enjoy it a lot more if you go on either side of the 4th. It's really, really, really crowded then. It is on a Wed this year, so maybe it'll be a bit quieter.

    The multi-ton motorhomes have definitely taken a toll on the asphalt. When it gets hot in the park and the motorhomes roll over the soft pavement, it gets pushed aside. Be very careful when you're going fast or you could see yourself catching some air.

    On a dig to motorhomes and all big cars in general, I think the National Park Service should start charging either by the pound or by length for automobile entrance into the nation's parks. One's footprint should determine what one should pay. If you don't agree, take a ride through the park. Motorhomes are the cause of the ruined roads, and they should have to pay for the upkeep.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsyptak
    I think you'll enjoy it a lot more if you go on either side of the 4th. It's really, really, really crowded then. It is on a Wed this year, so maybe it'll be a bit quieter.

    The multi-ton motorhomes have definitely taken a toll on the asphalt. When it gets hot in the park and the motorhomes roll over the soft pavement, it gets pushed aside. Be very careful when you're going fast or you could see yourself catching some air.

    On a dig to motorhomes and all big cars in general, I think the National Park Service should start charging either by the pound or by length for automobile entrance into the nation's parks. One's footprint should determine what one should pay. If you don't agree, take a ride through the park. Motorhomes are the cause of the ruined roads, and they should have to pay for the upkeep.
    personally i think big rv's should be banned from the national park system period but seeing as that is probably not going to happen charging them extra is the next best thing.. say a penny a pound for an rv?????

  8. #8
    Hooked on Touring
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    Big RVs

    Ever notice all of the RV sales lots on the Western Boulevards and Dixie Highways of every city and town in the US of A? All those RVs aren't sitting there just to take up space - somebody thinks they will sell - and they do. Then all the folks buying them expect to take them to the national parks. The RV lobby is wealthy and powerful. Don't think for a moment that there isn't political pressure on national park superintendents to accommodate RVs.

  9. #9
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    I gotta believe (and seriously hope) that $4/gallon gas is putting a dent into sales of RVs. This problem may yet be self-solving. Probably not. I can see people cutting corners elsewhere:

    Johnny: Daddy, can I have a Trek?
    Daddy: No, Johnny, we can't afford it now that we have a motorhome.
    Johnny: What kind of bike can I get?
    Daddy: Let's go down to Wal-Mart and see what they have.

  10. #10
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    well living in louisville ky i know that the gas prices have hurt the suv industry big time our ford explorer plant (they closed the one in st louis) is down to two shifts i think.. so maybe just maybe the gas prices well have an affect on the rv sales??? maybe???? i know it will affect the tourism industry just not sure how and how much...

  11. #11
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    Traffic in Yell, between West Yell and Old Faithful is often heavy with many distracted drivers. Also along the Southern entry point lots of folks speeding, coming and going towards Tetons and J. Hole. Rest of the Park is relatively quiet (but still significant traffic on narrow roads).

    Heres a nice journal about beartooth pass route outside the park.

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...e_id=16104&v=2

    Another, same area

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...e_id=14932&v=1

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldmtngoat
    I will be going to Yellowstone in early July for a weeks tour my first ever! One of the folks Im going with has asked about the current conditions of the roads. Im from California, and we dont see the kind of weather Yellowstone experiences, so what is considered good or rough around here may not be the same as other parts of the country.
    Thus, I have two questions:

    Does anyone have recent experience with the road conditions in Yellowstone?

    How do the roads in Wyoming compare to California?

    Thank you all for your attention to this topic.
    Just got back from YS and GT.
    Roads are in good shape. Traffic was nto too bad, but it's pretty early in the year yet. We say quite a few cyclists in the Mammoth area- seems like riding from Gardner to Mammoth, and from Mammoth to Mt Washburn is pretty popular- lots of riders in kit. Some of them pretty freakin fast up Washburn too. I wanted my bike real bad...

    As far as riding Yellowstone- there are a few places with shoulders, namely around Old Faithful, but most of the park has none. ANd the driverrs are focused on two things- wildlife and scenery. If I was goign to ride in thepark, it'd be with blaze orange or bug juice green flags, (I know, but some of the people driving around in there are scary), and definitley with a mirror.

    We got stopped in two bison jams- 50-100 bison on the road from Madison to Canyon- cars backed up for three miles. One of the jams had a cyclist coming from the other direction- he had to thread thru the bison. Looked little rattled.

    Weather was great- had rain one day. Lows in the upper 30s - upper 40's at night, highs between 60 -70 (had one 74, on the 10th). By early JUly you could probably add 5-10 degrees to each.

    Only construction we say was on the east gate road.

    On the way out of the park we took the Beartooth Highway (212). BEAUTIFUL. most scenic road I've ever been on. We got to Beartooth pass, and there were two guys fully loaded just reaching the summit from the north/east. That's quite a climb btw, about 13 miles IIRC. Stopped to chat- two guys on vacation from Germany doign a loop around/thru Yellowstone.
    I really wanted my bike... again.

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