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Advice riding from WI to Yellowstone

Old 02-18-10, 07:19 AM
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Advice riding from WI to Yellowstone

We have most of our Boston to Seattle to LA trip planned, but need help in the middle. Gonna ride from Boston to Albany, NY then take Erie Canal trail to Buffalo. From Buffalo we'll follow AC Erie Connector/North Lakes to WI. We don't want to follow Northern Tier maps through MN, ND, MT, prefer going through MN, SD and WY to see Badlands, Black Hills, Tetons, etc. At that point we'll follow TransAm trail to Missoula, then No. Tier trail to Anacortes, WA Parks loop, then Pacific Coast down to SoCal.

Would appreciate any advice for roads/route from central WI (we have cousins on a dairy), through SD and WY to join w/ TA trail at Yellowstone.
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Old 02-18-10, 07:24 AM
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ah.... sure.
 
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Sounds like a fantastic trip EriktheFish! When are you leaving?
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Old 02-18-10, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kyakdiver
Sounds like a fantastic trip EriktheFish! When are you leaving?
We'll leave early June, plan to finish in November. This will be a Grandparent to Grandparent ride for our 11 year old son as my wife's parents live in MA and my folks are in SoCal. Thanks for asking, kyakdiver.
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Old 02-18-10, 08:43 AM
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I don't know if this helps at all, but here is a chunk of my route. The portion on I-90 was a car ride, I'm not recommending you ride the interstate. I also got a ride from Waterloo WI to Milwaukee, and then took the ferry to MI.

I really liked my route in WY, and the Wisconsin river between Prairie du Chienne & Madison was nice. (Looks like google maps goofed up the route near Madison, I went thru Madison, not around it, but I don't remember my route)

https://tinyurl.com/6ybxd3
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Old 02-18-10, 11:08 AM
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I live in Buffalo, Wyoming.
I agree that it makes far more sense to cross South Dakota and and Wyoming.
The Bighorn Mountains are stunning - esp in wildflower season -
but you will be too late for the knee-deep carpet of flowers.
Speaking of timing - it gets dicey in the Pacific NW mountains after Sept 15.

I'll start with SD - -
Highway 44 makes for an excellent crossing of the state.
No matter which route you choose, cycling through the Badlands presents a challenge.
If you want to stay on pavement all the way and not backtrack - you have to ride I-90 - bleah!
If you are willing to to and out-and-back - ride in the early morning from the campground.
If you are willing to do some dirt there are excellent longer and shorter routes.

Hwy 44 picks up traffic as you get close to Rapid City. Use caution.

Sherman Lake Road is a nice backroad from Rapid into the Black Hills.
I don't know if you want to see Mount Rushmore - I have never been there.
But you would have to loop back from Hill City.
The Mickelson Trail is not paved - but a fabulous ride to Lead.


In Wyoming, Hwy 34 becomes WY 24 to Devils Tower.
Then follow US 16 to Moorcroft - and the service road south of the interstate - WY 51.
Many people choose to ride the interstate west of Gillette - - try not to.
US 14/16 is lovely - - but start after the morning commute.
From Clearmont to Buffalo you have an ever-larger mountain range in view.

Crossing the Bighorns is tough - - you know you will have ridden over a mountain range.
I always suggest to people to go only 2/3 of the way to the summit from Buffalo -
Since there are a series of ups and downs - the seven steps.
Tensleep Canyon on the west side will knock your socks off coming down.

If you want to head directly to Yellowstone, you can proceed via Cody -
But if you are planning to hit the Tetons, you should swing south to Riverton.
Thermopolis has a state park with free swimming in the hot springs.
Then the Wind River Canyon is awesome as you head south.

Shoshone is a tiny town, but Yellowstone Drugs has the best shakes in Wyoming.
The road to Riverton is wide and somewhat busy - west of Riverton you connect with the TransAm.
That takes you over Togwatee Pass and into Grand Teton NP.
I would STRONGLY advise that you take a little south loop into the park -
Many rides do not - and it is a big mistake.
There's hiker/biker camping right at Jenny Lake.
Fabulous hiking - esp towards Leigh Lake -
Or you can hike up into the high country to Lake Solitude.

When you head north into Yellowstone, be aware of the big climb.
If you wait until late in the day, it will be in the shade and much easier.
I much prefer Lewis Lake over Grant - which is a huge zoo -
You can always camp at Lewis and hit the showers at Grant the next a.m.

I would like you to consider taking US 89 north in Montana to Glacier.
Given your time frame, you have plenty of time to do this.
I have ridden every road in western Montana - few are better than US 89 -
And nothing comes close to Glacier for scenery or riding.
Going to the Sun Road is legendary - you know.

Here's part of a diary that includes the stretch from the Tetons to Glacier.
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=26428&v=O1

After that, you can follow the Northern Tier to Anacortes.
Please feel free to ask me about any specifics.

J
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Old 02-18-10, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
I live in Buffalo, Wyoming.
I agree that it makes far more sense to cross South Dakota and and Wyoming.
Please feel free to ask me about any specifics.
J
Excellent, J! I'll be in touch.
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Old 02-18-10, 03:03 PM
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EriktheFish, for the Wisconsin segment of your terrific tour you can download no-cost Wisconsin county maps with recommended bicycle routes from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation....here's the link: https://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/...countymaps.htm

For a larger perspective beyond counties there's a set of bicycle route maps available that show Wisconsin by four regions....these maps are $5 each from the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.......here's the link: https://database.bfw.org/drupal/store

Enjoy!
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Old 02-18-10, 03:13 PM
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Are you coming up from Milwaukee direction or more southbound from Illinois (I assume more southbound)?

Getting around Madison, if you choose, can be done via the Capital City Trail. If you are not averse to crushed limestone, you can get from the Illinois border to that trail (which is paved) via the Badger Trail in Wi and Jane Addams trail in IL.

With regards to the county maps, nearly any county road will be a good choice, particularly west of Madison (they could be pretty busy before that, and east). The County Roads use letters.
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Old 02-24-10, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Wiswell
Are you coming up from Milwaukee direction or more southbound from Illinois (I assume more southbound)?
Neither, gonna take the ferry from Michigan into Manitowoc. From looking at the Rails to Trails website, WI has a ton of rail trails. Wouldn't mind riding on a few.
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Old 02-24-10, 03:14 PM
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There is a 100 mile trail from Green Bay to Wausau. From there you can begin angling south to pick up the Great River Trail and head into southern MN heading toward Soiux Falls, SD.

You could also cross the Missisippi river at Red Wing, MN. You would be well south of St. Paul, MN.
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Old 02-24-10, 08:06 PM
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Be advised the weather in the Pacific Northwest from Late September on can be oh so fickle. The Cascades are notoriously unforgiving in the fall. The weather can turn on a dime and give you nine cents change. Just make sure to have the proper gear meaning good rain gear. Of course you might get lucky and the fall will be fabulous but its gonna get cold in the mountains at night no matter what time of year you visit. Good luck and have fun.
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