National Parks in Summer -
Be aware that Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore are both zoos in the summer.
Based on your departure date, they should be a little better by late Aug / early Sept.
Many people on touring websites diss Yellowstone - I do not agree.
But you have to plan carefully to avoid the worst traffic times.
Since there are hiker/biker campsites at every campground, you can ride fairly late.
I keep my distances low and ride early in the morning - then a little in the evening.
That way I ride when the roads have much less traffic and can also see more wildlife.
If you look at a map of Yellowstone, you can see that the main roads make a figure-8 loop.
The top loop is smaller than the bottom. Mammoth, near Gardiner, is on the NW of the top.
Canyon is on the E where the top and bottom meet.
I suggest a route from Mammoth to Norris to Canyon to Lake.
There will be some construction on the road to Norris - there is always construction going on.
(Millions of vehicles and only a few months each year of construction season)
Mammoth Campground sucks - in a loop in the road - noisy and not very scenic.
The Upper Terrace at Mammoth has an incredible view above the main springs -
And the Upper Terrace Loop makes a nice, quiet get-away.
Indian Creek is a very nice small campground with excellent hiking opportunities.
Still, you may want to overnight at Norris.
About Old Faithful - it is a carnival with a zillion cars in the parking lot.
They even have a highway interchange to accommodate the massive traffic.
Norris Geyser Basin is equally spectacular - but has moderate visitation.
If you camp at Norris, you can visit in the evening or early morning - best times.
If you must go to Old Faithful, I would base at Norris and do an out-and-back day ride.
The Gibbon River is pleasant and the road is good.
The the road along the Firehole River is beautiful - make sure to hit the other geyser basins.
The Old Faithful Inn is a landmark - but, yikes, the oodles of tourists.
From Norris there is a one-way back road via Virginia Falls which is quite nice - and uphill.
Then you coast down to Canyon Village - which has private hiker/biker sites, showers, and services.
Give yourself time to do some hiking along the canyon rim - esp. on the South Rim from Artist Point.
Next up is Hayden Valley - the Serengeti of America - you will see large herds of buffalo.
The views are expansive, but the road is old and narrow with a good deal of traffic.
Early morning would be the best time for this stretch.
Then you follow the Yellowstone River to Lake.
Lake / Fishing Bridge / Bridge Bay is the last developed area before heading east out of the park.
I love to sit on the benches on the lakeshore in front of the historic Lake Hotel looking out on the lake.
Bridge Bay campground is O.K., but it has about 400 campsites with huge RVs in most of them.
There is NO tent camping from Bridge Bay to Newton Creek because of grizzly bear restrictions.
(Remember - NEVER eat in your tent - for the entire trip - and store all food and scented items in bear boxes)
If you give yourself a few days in Yellowstone, you will enjoy it far more.
You will not need to rush or fight traffic and you can see so much more.
Best - J
Pic - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River