Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Bike4Fun
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Yellowstone/Grand Tetons to the Black Hills

    I am planning an Oregon to Iowa bike trip this summer and am looking for a good route from the Yellowstone/Grand Teton area to the Black Hills in South Dakota. I'm starting my trip by following the TransAm route from Oregon to Yellowstone and then diverging off that route in favor of hopefully a pretty direct route to the Black Hills and then to Northern Iowa.

    Anyone bike from Yellowstone to the Black Hills and have any route suggestions or stories? Any info would be wonderful. Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Illinois (near St. Louis)
    My Bikes
    Specialized Expedition Sport, Surly LHT
    Posts
    810
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One I intend to do is the Beartooth highway, from Yellowstone's NE entrance to Red Lodge in Montana. Don't know where from there, but after driving the Beartooth last year, I HAVE to go ride it. Most beautiful piece of road I've ever been on, bar none. If there's any way to work it into your route, it's worth a look.

  3. #3
    Senior Member scumglob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lincoln NE
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Take 14A!!

    Hey there - I rode from the Black Hills to Yellowstone on my way from Lincoln NE to San Fransisco last summer and was really happy with my route. 14A goes from Cody to Sheridan and it's gorgeous! There's a desert from Cody to Lovell but then you go like STRAIGHT UP the plateau of the Big Horn Mountains and it's a different world! I loved the Big Horns as much as or more than Yellowstone (I didn't go to Teton). Camp grounds are up there too, but it's national forest so you can legally camp anywhere I think, or at least get away with it. Come down the massive hill and Sheridan has a bike shop and free public campground (camp near the parking lot to avoid the sprinklers!!!). I took the 14/16 highway to Gillette. About 30 miles to Gillette is Spotted Horse, which is NOT a town. It is a bar. They'll let you camp there but they are cranky too. Stretch of 30 mi without water/food so be sure to load up here if you decide to go this way. I was coming from the East - I exited the Black Hills at Custer and took 16 to Sheridan. If I did it again I would have gone up farther north in the Black Hills on the bike trail there (90 mi!!).

    Hope that helps!

  4. #4
    Senior Member scumglob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lincoln NE
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Story about Spotted Horse:
    I got there before my friend who was a couple hours behind. The bar was still open so I was able to make friends with them and score a camp site. But my friend came in at night and knocked on their door. They answered and he was like "sorry I thought this was a town." Then the lady said "We are a town! But we're closed."

    Fortunately she let him stay.

    And if I ever go on 14A through the Big Horns again I will definitely stop at the Wyoming High Country ranch. It's right after Medicine Wheel (amazing, well worth the considerable climb!) and marked by a sign that says "BEER -->". That's pretty much all they've got! But I camped near there.

    Medicine Wheel is an ancient Native American religious place on the top of a super high mountain. But you can ride right up to it (or I did). It was great!

  5. #5
    Bike4Fun
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    sounds great - thanks so much for the info and the route. I'll definitely have to stop at spotted horse for the night. I can't wait to get out there and take the ride. any other stories and/or routes would be great to hear.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    dillyshotback
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    M&M@MN
    My Bikes
    '02 Barcode, Le Tour IV, Hoffman E.P.
    Posts
    632
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by scumglob View Post
    14A goes from Cody to Sheridan and it's gorgeous! There's a desert from Cody to Lovell but then you go like STRAIGHT UP the plateau of the Big Horn Mountains and it's a different world! I loved the Big Horns as much as or more than Yellowstone (I didn't go to Teton).
    My friends and I drove back from Oregon using this route. It was a real good time. It was the middle of July and we were playing in snowdrifts in the Big Horns.

  7. #7
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Machias, WA
    My Bikes
    Rodriguez Toucan tandem, Rodriguez Rainer Lite sport/touring
    Posts
    705
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A couple in the Evergreen Tandem Club rode from the Arctic Circle to Key West Florida in 2004 and went through Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, though they didn't go through the Black Hills. See a comprehensive write-up with hundreds of photos at http://www.teamangell.com/

  8. #8
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Suburban Chicago, USA
    Posts
    88
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I did the reverse last summer, plus a bit more, from Chicago, IL to Portland, OR. I only had 30 days to do the trip, which meant I was all about the "direct route". So that took me right over the Bighorn Mountains; whether the 5000 ft. up-and-down over that range constitutes a "good route" is a matter of personal preference, I suppose.

    http://www.gregie.com/neil/bike/tour2007/route.htm shows my initial planned route (and elevation profile). From there you can follow the link to my journal, which has detailed maps of the actual route I took each day.

    It doesn't seem like too many people ride that way, because when planning my trip, I did a lot of searching for other journals and advice along that route, and only found a few examples (seems the vast majority just take the Transamerica), so definitely get in touch if you want any more info/advice.

    It turned out to be a great route for me. In addition to Yellowstone, the Bighorns, and the Black Hills, I also stopped at Devils Tower and the Badlands, both of which were amazing. And I took a more southern route through Idaho than the TransAm, cutting through the Sawtooths instead.

    Neil

  9. #9
    Bike4Fun
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I see that you rode on I-90 for a while -- wasn't that a pretty crowded road?

    Also, I'm finishing my trip just about 20 miles of mason city, ia and i see you rode right through that area.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    6,993
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    recent post on same subject w/what I had to say & map
    Yellowstone to Badlands
    ...

  11. #11
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Suburban Chicago, USA
    Posts
    88
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bicycleboy View Post
    I see that you rode on I-90 for a while -- wasn't that a pretty crowded road?
    In Wyoming, between Buffalo and Gillette, you really have no choice, it's the only road between those two towns. And at that point of the trip, it actually worked out perfectly for me. You have an enormous shoulder to ride on that's in good condition, the inclines are kept to a reasonable level, and really, there is very little traffic on I-90 in that area (but it is certainly loud when the trucks go by). I just wanted to cover some distance without thinking too much or working too hard, and it's great for that. I also did a bit more I-90 between Gillette and Moorcroft, because the parallel highway was under construction, and then it's also the only option when crossing the Missouri river in South Dakota. For the rest of South Dakota, although it might look like I was on I-90, I was actually on Old US 16, which is almost completely empty because it was replaced by the Interstate that everyone uses instead.

    Also, I'm finishing my trip just about 20 miles of mason city, ia and i see you rode right through that area.
    On my actual route, the 5 days of rain through Iowa made me change it up a bit, so I didn't quite go through Mason City (Clear Lake, just to the west, was nice). But I bet it's pretty much just like the rest of Iowa. Which means friendly people who want to know if you've done RAGBRAI.

    Neil

  12. #12
    Senior Member scumglob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lincoln NE
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rode on I-90 too between Moorcroft and Gillette --- it wasn't THAT bad ... most states it's illegal to ride on the interstate. What was crazy was the wind those days. Guess that's WY for you...

  13. #13
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Western Colorado
    My Bikes
    Salsa Vaya Ti, Specialized Ruby, Gunnar Sport, Motobecane Fantom CXX, Jamis Dragon, Novara Randonee x2
    Posts
    1,603
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by scumglob View Post

    And if I ever go on 14A through the Big Horns again I will definitely stop at the Wyoming High Country ranch. It's right after Medicine Wheel (amazing, well worth the considerable climb!) and marked by a sign that says "BEER -->". That's pretty much all they've got! But I camped near there.

    Medicine Wheel is an ancient Native American religious place on the top of a super high mountain. But you can ride right up to it (or I did). It was great!
    I lived in Sheridan for several years and it's a nice area. I spent a summer backpacking in the Bighorns. Just beautiful. The Med Wheel is awesome. I didn't get into riding bikes until after I moved away from there (to Colorado).
    Gunnar Sport
    Specialized Ruby
    Salsa Vaya Ti
    Novara Randonee x2
    Motobecane Fantom CXX
    Jamis Dragon

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    6,993
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil G. View Post
    In Wyoming, between Buffalo and Gillette, you really have no choice, it's the only road between those two towns.

    Neil

    not true, actually, i rode north of there directly through the middle of nowhere, not on the highway. More miles, and probably, by this time, less safe - poor shoulder, increasing natural gas traffic.

    east of gillette, the road up past devil's tower then to belle fourche is truely excellent.

    ...

  15. #15
    . . .
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    28
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As valygrl, pointed out, I posted a similar question a couple weeks ago. Sounds like several people have done the route through the Big Horns, but I haven't heard much from folks who have done Beartooth Pass. At this point, my wife and I are going to leave both options open and decide when we get there this summer. Beartooth is definitely a little out-of-the-way, but it looks phenomenal. I'll let you know if I hear any more.

    Neil G. I checked out your link...great website. I like how you've got an active Google Map embedded. How did you embed that on your website? I'm a newbie in the blog writing/making world, and my blog is in it's infant stages: schultzbike.wordpress.com The integration of the photo gallery is also impressive. Did you create that? Or is a particular software/website? Feel free to email me at schultzbike@yahoo.com or respond here. Thanks in advance!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Suburban Chicago, USA
    Posts
    88
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    not true, actually, i rode north of there directly through the middle of nowhere, not on the highway. More miles, and probably, by this time, less safe - poor shoulder, increasing natural gas traffic.
    Yeah, I guess I should have said "no *reasonable* route". I had considered that way, but was already a bit freaked out by how empty the Belle Fourche-Gillette segment was...so I decided to play it safe, considering that segment doesn't even contain a people-attracting Devils Tower in it to explain its existence! Were there even any services along that stretch? I looked up the "towns" on it and as far as I could tell, they're only the figment of a mapmaker's imagination. Not that there are any services along that stretch of I-90 either, but hey, at least it's 30 miles shorter.

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    east of gillette, the road up past devil's tower then to belle fourche is truely excellent.
    Last summer, the 7 miles of milled surface south of Devils Tower, and rebuilding of the washed out road north of it made those parts something less than excellent, but yeah, beyond that, I totally agree. Since I was going east-to-west, that was my first taste of Wyoming roads, and I instantly fell in love.

    Neil

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    6,993
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is one town near the start of the segment, about oh... 15-25 miles in, off the top of my head, that has a bar, a public park that you can sleep in (I asked at the library and was told to go knock on the mayor's door, across the street, and she said "yes"), and a gas station. Sorry, can't remember the town's name. Spotted Horse is just a bar, I didn't sleep there but did buy a coke and chat with the bartender, who I had met the night before at the bar in the first town.

    After that there is nothing until Gillette. It would be worth carrying extra water from the town & refilling in Spotted Horse, there is no where to pump water and no occupied houses or buildings.

    This is all from my 2004 tour, so things might have changed.

    Too bad you hit road work on the DT stretch. That part was really nice for me.

    Belle Fource to Gillette via Devil's Tower had adequate services.
    ...

  18. #18
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Suburban Chicago, USA
    Posts
    88
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by schultzbike View Post
    Beartooth is definitely a little out-of-the-way, but it looks phenomenal.
    Yeah, I'm guessing the out-of-the-wayishness is the main reason not many people have taken it. It looks like a great ride, but it takes you well off the beaten-path between Yellowstone and Black Hills/Badlands (which is rather unbeaten itself). When I was planning my trip heading west, I tried to prepare an alternate route that would avoid the Bighorns (just in case I discovered I couldn't handle mountains well enough to complete my trip in time), and US212 heading NW out of Belle Fourche is the only option. But that seemed to be a complete road to nowhere, and even if I would have survived it without turning into a dried husk on the side of the windblown road, I would have missed Devils Tower and the Bighorns, both of which were awesome. But if you aren't time limited or hill-phobic, I guess you can give Beartooth a shot, and then, come immediately back down into Wyoming through Lovell and tackle the Bighorns too!

    Oh, and although you've probably already seen this, to answer your question from the other thread, I took US14 over the Bighorns, so, from Greybull/Shell and Shell Canyon on one side, to Dayton/Sheridan on the other. I never really looked at taking US16 through Ten Sleep over the top, but it was tough to make the choice between US14 with Shell Canyon, or US14A with the Medicine Wheel. Guess I'll have to try US14A next time, and maybe US16 the time after that!

    Quote Originally Posted by schultzbike View Post
    Neil G. I checked out your link...great website.
    Thanks. You must not be using IE6, because it still looks like garbage there!

    http://code.google.com/apis/maps/ walks you through embedding Google Maps in your own site. I was hoping to keep a "live" update going there where I would indicate where I was each night, but I didn't get that set up in time before I left. But there's a lot you can do with it.

    The photo gallery software is Gallery2, but you need your own website to host that. There's a nice Wordpress plugin that inserts the photos from Gallery2 into blog entries, but I bet there are similar plugins that insert photos from Flickr and such.

    That's great how you're starting your trip at Cape Lookout State Park, because that's where I ended mine. Here's hoping you'll have better luck dipping your tire in the ocean than I did! I'll be very interested to follow your trip.

    Neil

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    check out hot springs, SD in the black hills. its a neat little/big touristy town like boulder, colorado. it has a kick ass coffe shop called the flat iron coffee bar, which also serves beer, and has a beautiful courtyard, where i spent an entire day. *warning* if you run accross scumglob, pedal away real fast, as he doesn't change socks.

  20. #20
    Senior Member scumglob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lincoln NE
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Interesting words Mr. "I ride faster when I fart"


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •