Dear Chipped -
Looks like you are going east to west quite early in the season.
We've had a cold, wet May here in Wyoming as you probably know.
There should be a warm-up this weekend, but then another cool-down.
Don't let the Yellowstone closure get you down.
I have cycled every inch of Yellowstone road and know it is worth it.
Actually, I believe that the Canyon-Norris loop is a much better route.
From West Thumb - a lovely, active geyser basin on the lake - head NE to Lake.
It is worth getting off the main loop and heading down to the lake at Lake.
The old Lake Hotel and the views are superlative - plus there's a camp store and picnic spots.
From Lake - the road thru Hayden Valley can be narrow and busy at times -
But Hayden Valley is the Serengeti of Yellowstone - you are likely to see herds of buffalo.
There are also some lovely spots alone the Yellowstone River.
There are two access areas to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone -
Artist Point is on the South Rim (1st left) - hardly anyone walk out on the trail.
After you cross the river, make sure to use the North Rim Road to access Canyon Village.
You can hike down to the falls (long, steep) from the first turnout.
Canyon Village has the best hiker/biker campsites in the park - plus nearby showers and café.
From Canyon - it is a short ride west to Norris - pleasant campground, no store -
But Norris has the most extensive geyser basin in the park - best early morning or evening -
Thus it might make sense to camp here.
From Norris - the Gibbon River Road is a pleasant, downhill ride to Madison -
The road was reconstructed recently so it has moderate shoulders and good pavement.
Madison campground's hiker/biker sites are only so-so - no store -
But the river and cliffs are lovely here - plus elk herds with calves.
From Norris you can do an out-and-back to Old Faithful -
I would climb on the old Firehole Road - zoom back downhill on the return.
Above Firehole, the road follows the river - gentle ride.
Make sure to stop at Grand Prismatic Spring if you do this.
Old Faithful is a zoo - one zillion tourists and cars - even a cloverleaf interchange.
When riding in Yellowstone - consider riding early and late.
Because there are hiker/biker campsites, you need not worry about camping.
From the South Entrance - a late afternoon ride will keep you in the shade with lighter traffic -
Rather than roasting in the sun with heavy traffic and no shoulders while you climb.
I prefer Lewis Lake to Grant Village - quiet and pleasant.
(Actually, Grant Village Campground is closed until June 21 - bear habitat)
(And Lewis Lake is closed until June 15, too)
(Speaking of bears - never, never eat in your tent.)http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm
So you will need to camp just south of the park -
I do not care for Flagg Ranch - expensive ($35) and touristy - but it is the only place.
You can also ride in a mile and rough camp along Grassy Lake Rd -
Or camp at Lizard Creek in Grand Teton.http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/upload/GRTE_park_map_2011.pdf
It's 70 miles from Lizard Creek to Canyon Village - with a big climb.
You should plan on those endpoints - the park will arrest you if caught rough camping.
And it could mean the end of your trip if you are a foreign national.
Late May/early June is still pre-season in much of the park.
But there are ways to do it and get the most from your time in the park.
Have a great ride! J
Pic - Hayden Valley