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Touring through Yellowstone & Grand Teton

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Touring through Yellowstone & Grand Teton

Old 05-16-17, 08:49 PM
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Touring through Yellowstone & Grand Teton

Looking to chat with people who have experience touring around Yellowstone & Grand Teton NPs! We are doing a tour this summer!

Our *rough* itinerary is below. It's a sightseeing tour for sure and we have time to be gone until August TBH.

We are wondering how you were treated while cycling in the park and how much trouble you had getting a campsite at the campgrounds? We plan to get up early and get to the next campground ASAP and sightseeing after we set up our tents and drop our bags. We plan to still stop at certain places between campground that are too far to double back to.

Signal Mountain has a "no turn away" policy for cyclist but the host at Jenny Lake were very rude when we called them and suggested we not bike through the park if we couldn't assure getting to a campground before it was full.

Can you give us any advice etc! Right now we only have for sure places at Madison since we know the host their and Signal Mountain due to their policy.

We have host in Missoula, Jackson Hole, West Yellowstone and Driggs and we're aware of the hiker/biker camps in Wisdom, Twin Bridges and Bannack. Looking for info on Ennis as well. St. Anthony we are camping behind a church.

Thanks y'all

Pebbles

Missoula--->Darby
Darby--->Wisdom
Wisdom--->Bannack
Bannack--->Twin Bridges
Twin Bridges--->Ennis
Ennis--->West Yellowstone
West Yellowstone--->Madison
Madison--->Mammoth
Mammoth--->Tower Junction
Tower Junction--->Canyon Village
Canyon Village--->Fishing Bridge
Fishing Bridge--->Grant Village
Grant Village--->Colter Bay
Colter Bay--->Signal Mountain
Signal Mountain--->Jenny Lake
Jenny Lake--->Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole--->Driggs
Driggs--->Ashton
Ashton--->West Yellowstone

Edit: As someone pointed out I skipped a stop. We're doing Twin Bridges--->Ennis and Ennis--->West Yellowstone. Also we're staying in Ashton, not St. Anthony.

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Old 05-16-17, 09:09 PM
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The roads in the park are narrow, twisted, no shoulder, and heavily trafficked. I was also surprised at the size of the trucks that are allowed to drive through a national park. No 18-wheelers, but basically anything smaller than that is evidently fair game.

That said, the drivers are friendly (most of them), and whenever you're stopped with your bike, people will be impressed that you're riding through the park. Everyone's in a contagious good mood.

I managed to get a campsite with no reservations, in some sort of undesignated camping area meant for hikers and bikers. Those don't always fill up, but in summer, sometimes they do (especially weekends).

The Tetons though, that's the best part. The road is much more pleasant as far as traffic goes, and the scenery is better. Yellowstone is the popular homecoming queen; the Tetons are the way hotter girl next door.

On top of that, there's a paved bike path that covers a lot of the distance between Yellowstone and Jackson. Simply some of the best riding I've ever done.

There's free primitive camping in Paradise Valley, north of Yellowstone, if you know where to look. I can't remember the details, but some locals in Montana might be able to help you out.

Have fun out there!
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Old 05-16-17, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BlarneyHammer View Post
The roads in the park are narrow, twisted, no shoulder, and heavily trafficked. I was also surprised at the size of the trucks that are allowed to drive through a national park. No 18-wheelers, but basically anything smaller than that is evidently fair game.

That said, the drivers are friendly (most of them), and whenever you're stopped with your bike, people will be impressed that you're riding through the park. Everyone's in a contagious good mood.

I managed to get a campsite with no reservations, in some sort of undesignated camping area meant for hikers and bikers. Those don't always fill up, but in summer, sometimes they do (especially weekends).

The Tetons though, that's the best part. The road is much more pleasant as far as traffic goes, and the scenery is better. Yellowstone is the popular homecoming queen; the Tetons are the way hotter girl next door.

On top of that, there's a paved bike path that covers a lot of the distance between Yellowstone and Jackson. Simply some of the best riding I've ever done.

There's free primitive camping in Paradise Valley, north of Yellowstone, if you know where to look. I can't remember the details, but some locals in Montana might be able to help you out.

Have fun out there!
Thank you for the information! My other half rode through part of Yellowstone last year but a blizzard forced him out and on the other side of the Teton's. He had a bunch of stops planned in both parks but skipped all but one of them to avoid the weather on his cross country ride. That's why we're going back.

I spoke to another cyclist from Canada who did a tour through both parks in July 2016 and she was never turned away from any of the campgrounds even when they were full. She said the host were all really nice and accommodated her and her husband. That's reassuring to me and makes me feel better!

We plan to ride early and late and avoid the mid-day traffic rush when we possibly can. Even if it means taking a 6 hour lunch break.
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Old 05-16-17, 10:38 PM
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PS: Is that Jenny Lake and is that on the trail between there and Jackson?
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Old 05-17-17, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeliciousBabe View Post
PS: Is that Jenny Lake and is that on the trail between there and Jackson?
that would be jackson lake in gtnp looking south towards mt. moran just right of center. spectacular.
you will know the spot when you get to it. gtnp has 25+miles of dedicated bike path whereas yellowstone does not.
biked some of both this last september. gtnp was the winner-hands down. doesn't mean yellowstone
isn't worthy but ynp just has more traffic, the sightlines aren't as good for vehicles and the scenery is
more evident on a consistent basis in gtnp. i second BlarneyHammer's recommendation. the 56 mile loop
south to north and back in gtnp may be the most scenic ride i've ever done. trying to get back asap.

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Old 05-17-17, 04:48 AM
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A couple of things:

1. The road from the highway to Bannack is gravel. Also, I would check on the availability of food. If none is available, you will have to cary supplies all the way from Wisdom, where there is a small market (assuming it is still open). It was when I was there last year. The American Legion park in Wisdom has free camping and a screened picnic shelter. The view is very pretty, bust the mosquitoes could be hell (bug spray necessary), and there is no potable water.

2. Are you planning to do Twin Bridges to W. Yellowstone in one day? That's a very long haul, especially with the climb out of Virginia City. Stay in Ennis. There is a state park/fishing access campground on the right just after you cross the Madison River on your way out of town. First come. First served. $12/site. There vault toilets and no potable water, but before you cross the river there is a Lion's Club Park on the left. You cannot camp there, but they have free water and (I think) flush toilets. There is also a private campground in Ennis on U.S. 287 just north of the center of town.

3. The lodge/hot springs in Jackson, MT (18 miles east/south of Wisdom) closed earlier in the year due to the death of the owner. If no one has taken it over, you can camp at a hotel/bunkhouse across the street. The only cafe left in town is not open for breakfast.

4. The Bike Camp in Twin Bridges is very nice. Please leave a donation to help with its survival.

5. If you can handle mild gravel/dirt, I recommend this alternative between Sheridan and Laurin south/east of Twin Bridges:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14735499

It avoids 10 miles of shoulderless highway and is really pretty. Saw lots of wildlife back there.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...7667672266654/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...7667672266654/

6. Again, if you can handle mild gravel, I highly recommend the Old Darby Rd. alternative to U.S. 93 beyond Hamilton. I can show it to you if you don't have the ACA maps.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349...7667672266654/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2...7645062932708/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2...7645062932708/
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Old 05-17-17, 07:00 AM
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The only two times I've cycled there were in Sept. One was self contained and the other w/ Cycle America. Both times I had conversations with others about the difference in Summer VS after schools started crowds. I was very glad to miss the crowds. I agree with the food comments. I'll add that there were soft sided sleeping units (tents) restrictions in some areas due to bears.


My memories of riding there in 1989, the year after the big fires, are still vivid. One side of the road looked like a war zone, blackened and destroyed. The other just as a National Graphic cover photo, beautiful and green.


Your tour will have life long memories, stories to retell and moments of disappointment. Just like life Andy
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Old 05-17-17, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeliciousBabe View Post
PS: Is that Jenny Lake and is that on the trail between there and Jackson?
As another user correctly pointed out, that's the southern end of Jackson Lake.
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Old 05-17-17, 07:31 AM
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BTW...I assume you are familiar with the bike path along U.S. 93 between Lolo and Hamilton. Just after I finished my tour in that area last year they opened some new connection from Missoula down towards the path. Stop in at ACA's headquarters and I am sure they can give you the skinny.


Also...How do you plan to transport your bikes? If by plane, consider shipping them to the Missoula REI for reassembly. I have used them twice. They did a great job. Only $40 to reassemble and tune the bike, and they will hold your bike box for you. I will be heading out there again in exactly one month and plan to use them again. Just call and get yourself on their schedule.

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Old 05-17-17, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
If by plane, consider shipping them to the Missoula REI for reassembly. I have sued them twice. They did a great job.
Heh, lawyer slip if ever there was one.
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Old 05-17-17, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Heh, lawyer slip if ever there was one.

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Old 05-17-17, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The only two times I've cycled there were in Sept. One was self contained and the other w/ Cycle America. Both times I had conversations with others about the difference in Summer VS after schools started crowds. I was very glad to miss the crowds. I agree with the food comments. I'll add that there were soft sided sleeping units (tents) restrictions in some areas due to bears.


My memories of riding there in 1989, the year after the big fires, are still vivid. One side of the road looked like a war zone, blackened and destroyed. The other just as a National Graphic cover photo, beautiful and green.


Your tour will have life long memories, stories to retell and moments of disappointment. Just like life Andy
Andy, have you been back to look at the "war zone" recently. Fire is a natural part of that ecosystem.
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Old 05-17-17, 10:33 AM
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Yes, on a late 1990s Cycle America tour. Young trees and heavy ground cove were taking over. But what was really cool to see was just one year after the fires (1989) there were tiny green sprouts coming up through some of the black ashes. Ten years later these were the young trees I saw again. Truly the cycle of life (bad pun). Andy
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Old 05-17-17, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
that would be jackson lake in gtnp looking south towards mt. moran just right of center. spectacular.
you will know the spot when you get to it. gtnp has 25+miles of dedicated bike path whereas yellowstone does not.
biked some of both this last september. gtnp was the winner-hands down. doesn't mean yellowstone
isn't worthy but ynp just has more traffic, the sightlines aren't as good for vehicles and the scenery is
more evident on a consistent basis in gtnp. i second BlarneyHammer's recommendation. the 56 mile loop
south to north and back in gtnp may be the most scenic ride i've ever done.
trying to get back asap.
Thanks for the information! We're more excited about Grand Teton for sure! Can you provide a link for that? We're not interested in doing a loop though. We'll be heading south but not coming back north until we hit the Idaho side of the Tetons.

Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
A couple of things:

1. The road from the highway to Bannack is gravel. Also, I would check on the availability of food. If none is available, you will have to cary supplies all the way from Wisdom, where there is a small market (assuming it is still open). It was when I was there last year. The American Legion park in Wisdom has free camping and a screened picnic shelter. The view is very pretty, bust the mosquitoes could be hell (bug spray necessary), and there is no potable water.

2. Are you planning to do Twin Bridges to W. Yellowstone in one day? That's a very long haul, especially with the climb out of Virginia City. Stay in Ennis. There is a state park/fishing access campground on the right just after you cross the Madison River on your way out of town. First come. First served. $12/site. There vault toilets and no potable water, but before you cross the river there is a Lion's Club Park on the left. You cannot camp there, but they have free water and (I think) flush toilets. There is also a private campground in Ennis on U.S. 287 just north of the center of town.

3. The lodge/hot springs in Jackson, MT (18 miles east/south of Wisdom) closed earlier in the year due to the death of the owner. If no one has taken it over, you can camp at a hotel/bunkhouse across the street. The only cafe left in town is not open for breakfast.

4. The Bike Camp in Twin Bridges is very nice. Please leave a donation to help with its survival.

5. If you can handle mild gravel/dirt, I recommend this alternative between Sheridan and Laurin south/east of Twin Bridges:

6. Again, if you can handle mild gravel, I highly recommend the Old Darby Rd. alternative to U.S. 93 beyond Hamilton. I can show it to you if you don't have the ACA maps.
Oops! I left out a stop there and have edited it. We're doing Twin Bridges--->Ennis and Ennis--->West Yellowstone. Ennis is one of the places we were looking for a place to camp so thank you for pointing that out!

My other half biked across the USA last year and stayed in Wisdom. In May when he was there the store was open 3 days a week until 3pm. The lady said her hours were seasonal and suggested they would be open more in the summer. So while I'm not familiar with that area he is as he did the Missoula--->West Yellowstone ride with stops in Darby, Wisdom, Jackson, Dillon, Ennis and West Yellowstone I believe.

He stayed at the lodge in Jackson and we heard about the owners passing. They're reopening but not this summer. I like ghost towns so we changed our route to skip Jackson and hit Bannack instead. There is no food in Bannack. Our friend in Darby will be joining us to Bannack and has offered to help carry food for that little section.

We don't have the ACA maps but we should be okay on gravel. We both have GatorSkins and they do fine on gravel locally.

I'll make sure one of us has cash to leave a donation for the camp in Twin Bridges.

Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
BTW...I assume you are familiar with the bike path along U.S. 93 between Lolo and Hamilton. Just after I finished my tour in that area last year they opened some new connection from Missoula down towards the path. Stop in at ACA's headquarters and I am sure they can give you the skinny.


Also...How do you plan to transport your bikes? If by plane, consider shipping them to the Missoula REI for reassembly. I have used them twice. They did a great job. Only $40 to reassemble and tune the bike, and they will hold your bike box for you. I will be heading out there again in exactly one month and plan to use them again. Just call and get yourself on their schedule.
My other half is familiar with the MUP between Missoula and Hamilton yes. He rode it last year. Although the section between Missoula and Lolo wasn't finished.

We're shipping our bikes to Hellgate Cyclery via BikeFlights. They're located across the street from the ACA and we'll be staying with his friend, who is the membership director at the ACA, and she'll be picking the bikes up for us. They too charge $40 to assemble.

I've never taken my bike to REI but he has twice and they charged him for work that didn't need to be done both times. Most recently he look his new bike in with about 10 miles on it to have secondary brakes installed and they changed the chain because they said it was worn out. He refuses to use them again.

We're not going back to Missoula though. Our trip will end in West Yellowstone. From there we'll ship our bikes home and our friends will take us to the bus station in Bozeman I believe to head home.

We arrive into Missoula on June 14th and will depart Missoula June 16th! So maybe we'll cross paths?

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Old 05-17-17, 12:11 PM
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I live in Wyoming and have cycled Yellowstone N.P. (and cross-country skied) in all seasons including when the roads have been plowed but are still closed to cars. I have cycled every mile of legit road in the park including the few dirt roads available. Bicycles are, of course, prohibited off road.

Plus, I lived in Jackson for a number of years and have cycled all over the valley. There are lots of dirt road options in Grand Teton N.P. Two of the nicest dirt roads are along Shadow Mountain on the east side and along the Snake River bottoms.

I would like to correct a misconception about Yellowstone. Yes, it is inundated with turistas - often in big RVs. And Old Faithful actually does have a cloverleaf interchange to handle all the cars flooding out as soon as the geyser goes off. It's a total zoo. I much prefer Norris Geyser Basin. But you can ride the park in relative quiet - - - IF - - - you plan moderate distances and ride early (i.e. just after sunrise) and late (once everyone is at their campground). Since every campground but one has hiker/biker sites, you should be o.k. riding in the evening. I have never been turned away - just squeezed in.

Mammoth-Norris Road is still under reconstruction this summer. Check on its current status.

You do not include Lamar Valley - the northeast part of the park - in your itinerary. It is the least visited and truly spectacular. Little campground with a hiker/biker spot at Pebble Creek. Magnificent hiking and wildlife. Indian Creek is also a nice, small campground with great hiking. Norris is one of my favorites because the geyser basin is practically empty at sundown and dawn. Canyon has great hiker/biker campsites. Be sure to hike out along the canyon rim - esp. from Artist Point on the south rim. Bridge Bay and Grant Village are zoos. Bridge Bay is the only game going at the north end of the lake - be sure to visit the historic and lovely Lake Hotel. But I prefer Lewis Lake to Grant.

Secret about Grand Teton N.P. Yes, there are great hiker/biker campsites at Jenny Lake. BUT - - you can but all your stuff in bear boxes at string lake and hike with just the essentials to Leigh Lake, Bearpaw Lake, or Trapper Lake. Only 1.5 miles to Leigh, 2.5 miles to others, but Leigh is usually reserved by canoeists early. The others are often available on the day you get there.

Yes - - both parks are grizzly bear country. So, you need to be sure that you NEVER eat in your tent - even a week before you get there. There are hanging poles or bear boxes at all campsites - frontcountry and backcountry. Use basic bear precautions and you will be fine - no worries. I have had grizzlies sniff my tent at night and I am writing you this today.

Have fun. Pic - - Pebble Creek in Yellowstone N.P.

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Old 05-17-17, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeliciousBabe View Post
Oops! I left out a stop there and have edited it. We're doing Twin Bridges--->Ennis and Ennis--->West Yellowstone. Ennis is one of the places we were looking for a place to camp so thank you for pointing that out!....

We arrive into Missoula on June 14th and will depart Missoula June 16th! So maybe we'll cross paths?

Sounds like a plan.


You can see the Old Darby Rd. alternative here starting at mile 52.5 to where it rejoins U.S. 93 at mile 61.5:


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14890942


The surface has been good the last few times, and what climbing there is isn't difficult. You can actually stay on Old Darby Rd. a little further if you cross U.S. 93. That part is mostly paved. I was being threatened by rain so I hopped on the highway this time.


When I passed through Wisdom last June the market was open to 5 or 6 p.m. If it's closed, the Crossings at Fetty's is good. Last I read it was up for sale but still open.


Hell gate makes total sense if you will be staying in town. I have started my trips out of Missoula from the KOA, which is 3 miles from the airport and literally two blocks from the strip mall containing the REI, which is on the west end of town. It's one reason I find Missoula such a convenient place to start a trip from.


Alas, my flight is June 17th and I will be heading west to St. Regis and then into Idaho on Day 2 before turning back east over Thompson Pass back into Montana, where I will continue with a clockwise loop that includes "the Yaak" and Glacier N.P. Here is the proposed route that may requiring some on-the-fly modifying on days 1 and 2:


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19192705


BTW...If you are feeling energetic on day 1 and don't mind carrying food, U.S.F.S. campground Spring Gulch at about mile 81.5 on the first map linked to above is nice and has a biker-only site, but no showers or flush toilet. You can get breakfast the next day from the "lovely" sisters in Sula.


Ha' fun!
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Old 05-17-17, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
I live in Wyoming and have cycled Yellowstone N.P. (and cross-country skied) in all seasons including when the roads have been plowed but are still closed to cars. I have cycled every mile of legit road in the park including the few dirt roads available. Bicycles are, of course, prohibited off road.

Plus, I lived in Jackson for a number of years and have cycled all over the valley. There are lots of dirt road options in Grand Teton N.P. Two of the nicest dirt roads are along Shadow Mountain on the east side and along the Snake River bottoms.

I would like to correct a misconception about Yellowstone. Yes, it is inundated with turistas - often in big RVs. And Old Faithful actually does have a cloverleaf interchange to handle all the cars flooding out as soon as the geyser goes off. It's a total zoo. I much prefer Norris Geyser Basin. But you can ride the park in relative quiet - - - IF - - - you plan moderate distances and ride early (i.e. just after sunrise) and late (once everyone is at their campground). Since every campground but one has hiker/biker sites, you should be o.k. riding in the evening. I have never been turned away - just squeezed in.

Mammoth-Norris Road is still under reconstruction this summer. Check on its current status.

You do not include Lamar Valley - the northeast part of the park - in your itinerary. It is the least visited and truly spectacular. Little campground with a hiker/biker spot at Pebble Creek. Magnificent hiking and wildlife. Indian Creek is also a nice, small campground with great hiking. Norris is one of my favorites because the geyser basin is practically empty at sundown and dawn. Canyon has great hiker/biker campsites. Be sure to hike out along the canyon rim - esp. from Artist Point on the south rim. Bridge Bay and Grant Village are zoos. Bridge Bay is the only game going at the north end of the lake - be sure to visit the historic and lovely Lake Hotel. But I prefer Lewis Lake to Grant.

Secret about Grand Teton N.P. Yes, there are great hiker/biker campsites at Jenny Lake. BUT - - you can but all your stuff in bear boxes at string lake and hike with just the essentials to Leigh Lake, Bearpaw Lake, or Trapper Lake. Only 1.5 miles to Leigh, 2.5 miles to others, but Leigh is usually reserved by canoeists early. The others are often available on the day you get there.

Yes - - both parks are grizzly bear country. So, you need to be sure that you NEVER eat in your tent - even a week before you get there. There are hanging poles or bear boxes at all campsites - frontcountry and backcountry. Use basic bear precautions and you will be fine - no worries. I have had grizzlies sniff my tent at night and I am writing you this today.

Have fun. Pic - - Pebble Creek in Yellowstone N.P.
Thanks for the information! We're not newcomers when it comes to camping in bear country and so carry bear spray and take all the precautions. We do eat in the tent if the weather is bad but otherwise don't. A few weeks ago we had a grizzly bear in our campsite near Mt. Baker in Washington. He/she didn't bother us but we could hear it breathing.

We hadn't planned on going to the Lamar Valley but I might convince him to go just because of Pebble Lake

I'll share all of your information with him!
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Old 05-17-17, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Sounds like a plan.


You can see the Old Darby Rd. alternative here starting at mile 52.5 to where it rejoins U.S. 93 at mile 61.5:


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14890942


The surface has been good the last few times, and what climbing there is isn't difficult. You can actually stay on Old Darby Rd. a little further if you cross U.S. 93. That part is mostly paved. I was being threatened by rain so I hopped on the highway this time.


When I passed through Wisdom last June the market was open to 5 or 6 p.m. If it's closed, the Crossings at Fetty's is good. Last I read it was up for sale but still open.


Hell gate makes total sense if you will be staying in town. I have started my trips out of Missoula from the KOA, which is 3 miles from the airport and literally two blocks from the strip mall containing the REI, which is on the west end of town. It's one reason I find Missoula such a convenient place to start a trip from.


Alas, my flight is June 17th and I will be heading west to St. Regis and then into Idaho on Day 2 before turning back east over Thompson Pass back into Montana, where I will continue with a clockwise loop that includes "the Yaak" and Glacier N.P. Here is the proposed route that may requiring some on-the-fly modifying on days 1 and 2:


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19192705


BTW...If you are feeling energetic on day 1 and don't mind carrying food, U.S.F.S. campground Spring Gulch at about mile 81.5 on the first map linked to above is nice and has a biker-only site, but no showers or flush toilet. You can get breakfast the next day from the "lovely" sisters in Sula.


Ha' fun!
Thank you! We're taking Greyhound in from Portland. It's a 12 hour trip but both of our tickets we're a combined $65. $30 each to ship the bikes there on BikeFlights. His friend who works at the ACA lives near the university not far from the ACA so REI seems like it'd be out of the way.

Your trip looks amazing!

Also, we just found out our friends will be campground host at Fishing Bridge this summer! We have friends who are host at Madison as well. So now we'll be staying at Fishing Bridge instead of Lake Village since they said we could camp behind their RV for free and they'll feed us
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Old 05-17-17, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeliciousBabe View Post
Thanks for the information! We're more excited about Grand Teton for sure! Can you provide a link for that? We're not interested in doing a loop though. We'll be heading south but not coming back north until we hit the Idaho side of the Tetons.



Oops! I left out a stop there and have edited it. We're doing Twin Bridges--->Ennis and Ennis--->West Yellowstone. Ennis is one of the places we were looking for a place to camp so thank you for pointing that out!

My other half biked across the USA last year and stayed in Wisdom. In May when he was there the store was open 3 days a week until 3pm. The lady said her hours were seasonal and suggested they would be open more in the summer. So while I'm not familiar with that area he is as he did the Missoula--->West Yellowstone ride with stops in Darby, Wisdom, Jackson, Dillon, Ennis and West Yellowstone I believe.

He stayed at the lodge in Jackson and we heard about the owners passing. They're reopening but not this summer. I like ghost towns so we changed our route to skip Jackson and hit Bannack instead. There is no food in Bannack. Our friend in Darby will be joining us to Bannack and has offered to help carry food for that little section.

We don't have the ACA maps but we should be okay on gravel. We both have GatorSkins and they do fine on gravel locally.

I'll make sure one of us has cash to leave a donation for the camp in Twin Bridges.



My other half is familiar with the MUP between Missoula and Hamilton yes. He rode it last year. Although the section between Missoula and Lolo wasn't finished.

We're shipping our bikes to Hellgate Cyclery via BikeFlights. They're located across the street from the ACA and we'll be staying with his friend, who is the membership director at the ACA, and she'll be picking the bikes up for us. They too charge $40 to assemble.

I've never taken my bike to REI but he has twice and they charged him for work that didn't need to be done both times. Most recently he look his new bike in with about 10 miles on it to have secondary brakes installed and they changed the chain because they said it was worn out. He refuses to use them again.

We're not going back to Missoula though. Our trip will end in West Yellowstone. From there we'll ship our bikes home and our friends will take us to the bus station in Bozeman I believe to head home.

We arrive into Missoula on June 14th and will depart Missoula June 16th! So maybe we'll cross paths?
https://www.strava.com/routes/8755679

closer to 6o miles. misremembered. the scenery strips the miles from the legs and pulls your onward. enjoy your time up there.
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Old 05-17-17, 03:11 PM
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We'll see how we feel by the time we get there! By "we" I mean "me" because I'm not use to this! The 700 miles we're doing is going to push me with all the passes we have to go over.
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Old 05-17-17, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Stay in Ennis. There is a state park/fishing access campground on the right just after you cross the Madison River on your way out of town. First come. First served. $12/site. There vault toilets and no potable water, but before you cross the river there is a Lion's Club Park on the left. You cannot camp there, but they have free water and (I think) flush toilets.
Forgot to ask how big this campground was and if we'd have to worry about it being full?
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Old 05-17-17, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeliciousBabe View Post
Thanks for the information! We're not newcomers when it comes to camping in bear country and so carry bear spray and take all the precautions. We do eat in the tent if the weather is bad but otherwise don't. A few weeks ago we had a grizzly bear in our campsite near Mt. Baker in Washington. He/she didn't bother us but we could hear it breathing.

We hadn't planned on going to the Lamar Valley but I might convince him to go just because of Pebble Lake

I'll share all of your information with him!
That might be because of you eating in your tent in bad weather. Bears have incredible noses and I would never think of eating food in my tent. I would eat under a tree or get soaking wet first. Do us all a favor and never eat food in your tent again as you are asking for trouble. Just a FYI. Taking all the precautions isn't eating food in your tent as that smell will stay in there.

Zman
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Old 05-17-17, 06:38 PM
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Quick summary of my experience cycling through the area last fall, I stayed in motels except for in Yellowstone National Park:
- Stayed in Ennis two nights over Labor Day weekend. It was wet and rainy and I had a motel.
- Next day, cycled to "Driftwater Lodge" on way to West Yellowstone.
- Next day, West Yellowstone hotel. Surprisingly expensive.
- Next day, made a campground reservation at Grant Village via internet and stayed there. It turns out I was in regular camping area instead of the bike section. This worked fine, except when some very late arrivals came with their car - didn't see my tent or anything in the campsite so decided to noisily start setting up. Turns out they had a valid site next site over, but squatters had taken their site from them so they ended up trying to use mine.
- Next day, crossed Teton Park and crossed over to Moran.

As far as cycling in the parks go, there were sections with narrow roads, particularly from Grant Village to the south gate. However, overall traffic was well-behaved, even around Old Faithful and so not more difficult riding through the parks than elsewhere in Montana/Wyoming.
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Old 05-17-17, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Zurichman2 View Post
That might be because of you eating in your tent in bad weather. Bears have incredible noses and I would never think of eating food in my tent. I would eat under a tree or get soaking wet first. Do us all a favor and never eat food in your tent again as you are asking for trouble. Just a FYI. Taking all the precautions isn't eating food in your tent as that smell will stay in there.

Zman
You're so paranoid I can't take anything you say seriously. I've always eaten in my tent in bear country and never any issues. Alaska, Montana etc! But thanks! I might look 12 but I'm not and fairly experienced with backpack camping in bear country.

Originally Posted by mev View Post
Quick summary of my experience cycling through the area last fall, I stayed in motels except for in Yellowstone National Park:
- Stayed in Ennis two nights over Labor Day weekend. It was wet and rainy and I had a motel.
- Next day, cycled to "Driftwater Lodge" on way to West Yellowstone.
- Next day, West Yellowstone hotel. Surprisingly expensive.
- Next day, made a campground reservation at Grant Village via internet and stayed there. It turns out I was in regular camping area instead of the bike section. This worked fine, except when some very late arrivals came with their car - didn't see my tent or anything in the campsite so decided to noisily start setting up. Turns out they had a valid site next site over, but squatters had taken their site from them so they ended up trying to use mine.
- Next day, crossed Teton Park and crossed over to Moran.

As far as cycling in the parks go, there were sections with narrow roads, particularly from Grant Village to the south gate. However, overall traffic was well-behaved, even around Old Faithful and so not more difficult riding through the parks than elsewhere in Montana/Wyoming.
My other half says West Yellowstone is expensive! His friend is a pastor there so we stay in the basement of the church. We know a lot of people. Having connections is nice.
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Old 05-17-17, 07:59 PM
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[QUOTE=BikeliciousBabe;19591367]You're so paranoid I can't take anything you say seriously. I've always eaten in my tent in bear country and never any issues. Alaska, Montana etc! But thanks! I might look 12 but I'm not and fairly experienced with backpack camping in bear country.



You know it only takes one time. Best of luck to you. I hiked 5 days in Glacier National Park and some idiots left a few chili beans on a rock which brought a bear into our campsite over night. For me I just wouldn't take the chance buy hey go for it.

Zman
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