Author Topic: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming  (Read 1771 times)

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Offline tende

Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« on: May 03, 2012, 12:02:47 pm »
For my cross county tour this summer: I'm thinking about coming north-west from the Cowboy Trail in Nebraska (via 385) to the Black Hills (southwest corner of South Dakota) and across northern Wyoming. 
This would be: 16 from Custer City, thru Gillette, Buffalo, & on to Ten Sleep.  Then 30, & 120 to Cody.  And 20/16 on into Yellowstone.
From here I will work my way across Idaho (another post).  Is anyone familiar with these roads?  Thoughts?  Thanks much.

Offline windrath

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 07:03:19 am »
Good Morning -

I rode the section of Rt 16 from Gillette to Buffalo in 2003 and can tell you, at least then, that there is nothing in the way of servces (no stores, gas stations, only one bar).  It is just about 100 miles.  Bring plenty of water.  I enjoyed the ride - just come prepared with plenty of water and for it to be hot (I rode through in early July).

You are allowed to ride on the interstate from Gillette to Buffalo.  There are no truck stops or other kinds of services though and, of course, it is noisy.  The shoulder is very wide so you are not getting buzzed by traffic.

Good Luck.

Offline jamawani

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 04:08:45 pm »
Nothing is a variable term.
I live in Buffalo and can give you more detail.

US 16 is far preferable to riding I-90 - albeit about 33 miles longer.
Services are available at the Spotted Horse bar - all you really need including camping.
Then Arvada is at the Powder River a mile off the road - with bar and camping, if nec.
Leiter is further down the road with water and food if the restaurant is open - - iffy.
Next is Clearmont - a small town with store - you can beg to camp in the park.
Finally there is U Cross - the Art Foundation is open to public with restrooms, water.

My suggestion is to camp at Clearmont -
Then ride in the morning with the sun illuminating the snow-capped Bighorn Mountains.

Climbing the Bighorns is not for wusses.
Although the elevation gain between Buffalo and Powder River pass is 5000 feet -
The actual climbing is more like 7500 feet because of 7 ridges.
The Bighorns do have the most spectacular wildflowers in the West in late June/early July.
Plan to spend a night up top - but plan to be chilly.
Then Tensleep Canyon is eye-popping.

I suggest Nowood Valley to Manderson, then Basin, Arlington, Cody
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 04:10:21 pm by jamawani »

Offline tende

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2012, 11:25:30 am »
Yeah, its amazing what's available - if you know.  That's why I ask. 

Jamawani, Do you mean turn off toward Burlington, and take 14 to Cody, rather than 30 and 120?

Thanks for all the advice guys.

Offline jamawani

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2012, 11:57:17 am »
Burlington - yes.  Arlington is in southern Wyoming.
It's a small LDS community - very friendly.
Small store, cafe, grassy park with sprinklers - caution.
Camping here is good - because -
The ride into COdy can be against a stiff wind.
Best to do it in the morning when wind is low.

Offline tende

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 12:15:23 pm »
One more thought.  What about coming straight (more or less) across form Crawford, Neb on 20 and work my way across the middle of the state to Jackson Hole?  Probably not as scenic, I know, but I'm more concerned about ride quality (road surface, traffic). Thanks.

Offline jamawani

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 01:10:18 pm »
Ghastly -
Not very scenic, pretty heavy traffic, headwinds.

Actually, you should head NW on NEB 2 out of Crawford up to SD -
Then zig to Hot Springs and get on the Mickelson Trail all the way to Lead.
(Personally, I'd skip Mount Rushmore and the crowds.)
The Black Hills will be a welcome, cool relief.
From Lead take Spearfish Canyon/US 14A to Spearfish and Bell Fourche -
Then take SD 34, WY 24 over to Devils Tower - super nice ride and stunning vistas.

From Devils Tower you can cut down to Moorcroft and Gillette to Buffalo.
It's the difference between a cardboard cutout of Elvis and the real thing.

<<<>>>

You can always head south from Yellowstone to Grand Teton -
Then either cross Teton Pass (steep) or ride the Snake River Canyon into Idaho.
From there you can cross over to Arco, Challis, and Stanley.

Offline tende

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2012, 04:02:37 pm »
OK, that looks really good to me.  I've got options (if I'm ahead of schedule, ride further, if not, ride more direct). 
I think I rode down 287 some thirty years ago (when I rode from Seattle to Denver) and remember it as a pretty boring ride.

I know, I should have kept better track of my routes - but I was young.