Bike Forums - View Single Post - Best Time of Year for Riding Cowboy Trail in Nebraska
Old 06-25-18, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CEPP1 View Post
We are planning to ride the Cowboy Trail in Nebraska this coming year. We will start in Chadron and ride to the end in Norfolk before packing up and driving to Kansas to ride the Flint Hills Trail. We would ride about 65 miles per day and complete the Cowboy Trail in five days.

Looking for recommendations from experienced folks on the best month for riding. We are bound by an academic schedule, so Spring Break (middle of March) and summers are the best times for us. Wondering if mid-March is too early in the year and if July and August are too hot. Thanks for the help.

Usually August and July are high-summer weather....70F dewpoints and overnight lows of 75F and highs of 95F+, nevermind the UV. Ride crack of dawn--even at midnight the heat still carries over-it isn't until 3-4AM temps meaningfully come down

March...typically rainy and chilly.


Note how I said "usually" and "typically"...Tour de Nebraska just finished, Sunday, and we were up by the Niobrara end of Cowboy Trail. March this year was hot and dry. April was cold and wet. May was hotter and drier (see above high-summer weather)---The last week in Nebraska has been an utter monsoon. Inches of rain. The MMRs were impassable and the Cowboy was almost peanut butter. Similarly last August (2017) for 7 Cities Century it was unseasonably cold and very wet (first week of August)--lows in the low 50s and highs of maybe 60s).

Cowboy trail mirrors state highways much of the distance...so if the trail is impassable due to rain, there's always the highway. Some of those highways are quite busy however with farm freight traffic. As you note it is very exposed WRT sun and wind--which we do get wicked surface winds that pick up around noon to late afternoon in high summer. It is a nice trail that passes several towns along the route.



If you're starting in Norfolk, Ta Ha Zouka Park is a nice park to camp--and is on the trail system IIRC. Also right off the highway. It is where 7 Cities Century starts yearly.
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