Author Topic: Cycling Yellowstone  (Read 1817 times)

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Offline Rideoregon

Cycling Yellowstone
« on: May 03, 2012, 02:07:27 pm »
I will be near Yellowstone for a business meeting in late July and was considering taking a few days to tour thru Yellowstone. Is this a crazy idea considering the amount of tourist/RV traffic? Otherwise, any recommendations for a loop style tour?

Steve in Eugene

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 02:21:53 pm »
Lots of traffic there, but not as bad early mornings and during the week.  It kind of empties out late in the day on Sunday as well.  At least it seemed that way to me.  If possible go early in the week and ride early in the day as much as possible.

I enjoyed Yellowstone although we just passed through on the TA.

Get off the bike and do some hikes even if they are short ones.  The crowds thin anywhere more than a few hundred feet from a parking lot or road.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 03:29:28 pm »
From what I have heard, traffic after July 4 is much worse than before July 4. My experience on the TransAm, as I would guess most cyclotourists' experience on the TA, is of Yellowstone before July 4, and I didn't find the traffic to be a problem at all. One of the nicest things about being on a bicycle is that you can cruise past any traffic obstructions caused by animals on the road or animal sightings off the road. I cruised by a 5-mile backup of cars trying to enter from West Yellowstone because of bison on the road near Madison. Since I was going in the other direction, I had my side of the road all to myself.

There aren't many roads in Yellowstone, so planning a route is pretty trivial. The main roads form a figure 8, so you either do the upper loop, the lower loop, or both if you have time. Campgrounds in Yellowstone have hiker/biker spots at good prices, so that's not a worry.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 03:31:03 pm by John Nelson »

Offline litespeed

Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 04:16:30 pm »
As pointed out, a bicycle is a fine way to skirt the numerous traffic jams. Also, don't let the "Campground Full" signs turn you away from the campgrounds. They usually have room for a bicycle tourist. Everyone should see Yellowstone at least once.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 06:23:10 pm »
From what I have heard, traffic after July 4 is much worse than before July 4. My experience on the TransAm, as I would guess most cyclotourists' experience on the TA, is of Yellowstone before July 4, and I didn't find the traffic to be a problem at all.
For what it is worth we rolled through after the 4th of July and it was still OK IMO.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 08:45:30 pm »
From what I have heard, traffic after July 4 is much worse than before July 4. My experience on the TransAm, as I would guess most cyclotourists' experience on the TA, is of Yellowstone before July 4, and I didn't find the traffic to be a problem at all.
For what it is worth we rolled through after the 4th of July and it was still OK IMO.

We were a bit over a week (and a year) later and it still wasn't too bad.  Worst part (coming from the south) was the long lines coming through the road construction (since finished) and trying to make up for lost time past West Thumb, and we didn't have much problem there.

As Pete says, do plan to get off and hike a bit.  It might be worth a half-day tour on one of the buses to see part of the thermal features -- get out and hike up to some of the pools and geysers.  After about 4-5 hours, they start to look alike.

Oh, and FWIW, the south and west that the TransAm covers are about the worst parts of the park  Go north and east for the best scenery (and most of the trees!).

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 07:22:02 am »
From what I have heard, traffic after July 4 is much worse than before July 4. My experience on the TransAm, as I would guess most cyclotourists' experience on the TA, is of Yellowstone before July 4, and I didn't find the traffic to be a problem at all.
For what it is worth we rolled through after the 4th of July and it was still OK IMO.

We were a bit over a week (and a year) later and it still wasn't too bad.  Worst part (coming from the south) was the long lines coming through the road construction (since finished) and trying to make up for lost time past West Thumb, and we didn't have much problem there.

As Pete says, do plan to get off and hike a bit.  It might be worth a half-day tour on one of the buses to see part of the thermal features -- get out and hike up to some of the pools and geysers.  After about 4-5 hours, they start to look alike.

Oh, and FWIW, the south and west that the TransAm covers are about the worst parts of the park  Go north and east for the best scenery (and most of the trees!).
That reminded me.  There is a bike trail that runs behind a bunch of the thermal features.  The surface is sandy and not all that great, but with a very short hike you can eat lunch overlooking Grand Prismatic and with another visit Fairy Falls.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=4W&page_id=61458&v=L5