Author Topic: Weather in the TransAm Mountains  (Read 913 times)

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Offline dsupica

Weather in the TransAm Mountains
« on: April 15, 2013, 05:54:27 pm »
Hello all! I will be cycling the TransAm this summer from West to East starting June 9th. As I've been getting my packing list together, there's one aspect of it that I'm not sure about and I can't seem to find online. I'll be in the Rockies From late June through most of July and camping more often than not. What kind of weather can I expect during those nights? That is - how warm do I need to pack? I suppose it's no tragedy to pack an extra sweater if needed, but I'd like to try and avoid that.

Thanks!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Weather in the TransAm Mountains
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 07:38:54 pm »
When starting in the West, you're picking an ideal time to start. If you were to start much earlier, you could anticipate very cold weather, not so much in the Rockies but before that in the Cascades and high plains of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Weather in the last half of June in the Colorado Rockies is about as good as it gets. The worst you might expect is for it to drop down to freezing briefly overnight. Even then, that will likely only happen if you camp up high, above 7000 feet. That's probably only going to happen a couple of days. You can mitigate this by choosing a low spot on the route to camp rather than a high spot. Daytime temperatures in the mountains in June may be anywhere from the 60s to the 90s. June is one of the least rainy months in the mountains, but you may encounter a brief thunderstorm, perhaps with some hail. If that happens, seek shelter until it passes (sometimes easier said than done). If you want, you can take extra clothes and send them home from Pueblo.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Weather in the TransAm Mountains
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 10:13:22 am »
Can vary wildly. In 2011, while riding a few days in the TA as part of a loop tour, we had nights between 35 and about 40 in Missoula, Darby and Wisdom, MT. The day we landed in MSO, over 1" of cold rain fell Darby, just missing MSO. That was June 29th. I also understand that the prevailing pattern up to that point had been abnormally wet and on the chilly side. Indeed, after the first day of riding we had clear skies and pleasant warm days. The nice thing is that even if the air is chilly, if the sun is out it warms you quickly.

Elevation does make a difference, In 2000, when I rode the TA from MSO to Fairplay, CO, there was morning frost at Coulter Bay campground in Yellowstone. The night before in Madison was also chilly. Again, that was during the last few days of June. But most of that stretch was pretty much how Josh describes it. Not much rain and nice temps. Definitely keep an eye out for thunderstorms, which can pop up seemingly out of nowhere. One afternoon I was napping in my tent in Dillon when hail larger than peas but smaller than marbles began to fall. Afternoon storms are one reason I like to start early.

Since I had started in the Pacific Northwest in late May I was carrying cold weather gear. I didn't bring anything like an extra sweater but rather slept in layers during the coldest nights.

Offline officerdare

Re: Weather in the TransAm Mountains
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 08:23:26 am »
Check this ride out.  We will be leaving from Astoria, Ore on the 10th of June.
http://rideacrossamerica.us/main/
Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas, Fortitudine Vincimus
Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever, By Endurance We Conquer

Offline John Nelson

Re: Weather in the TransAm Mountains
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 09:53:19 am »
Good luck Curt. I love to see declarations such as yours:

Important: All donated money will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project — none will be used for ride costs!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Weather in the TransAm Mountains
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 11:15:25 am »
Good luck Curt. I love to see declarations such as yours:

Important: All donated money will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project — none will be used for ride costs!
+1
That is way too often not the case.