Author Topic: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone  (Read 3205 times)

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Offline mucknort

Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« on: February 17, 2010, 12:52:09 pm »
We have most of our Boston to Seattle to LA trip planned, but need help in the middle. Gonna ride from Boston to Albany, NY then take Erie Canal trail to Buffalo. From Buffalo we'll follow AC Erie Connector/North Lakes to WI. We don't want to follow Northern Tier maps through MN, ND, MT, prefer going through MN, SD and WY to see Badlands, Black Hills, Tetons, etc. At that point we'll follow TransAm trail to Missoula, then No. Tier trail to Anacortes, WA Parks loop, then Pacific Coast down to SoCal.

Would appreciate any advice for roads/route from central WI (we have cousins on a dairy), through SD and WY to join w/ TA trail.

Thank you, Thank you, Erik
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 01:10:43 pm by mucknort »

Offline jimbo

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 10:12:02 pm »
 We went west to east in 08 and stayed in Yellowstone ( after coming from Glacier via Anacortes and the NT). We also took in Devils Monument, Black Hills, Badlands... used SD#44 to NE Iowa to Lake Okobojie (sp) to Jackson MN and south of I90 to Root River Bike trail in SE Minn to LaCrosse WI  to Sparta-Elroy Trail ( with 3 tunnels..a BLAST) up to Green Lake WI and then ended up in Manitowac. 
Exact route on our blog "coast to coast for conservation" at (http://www.fllt.org/blog/)

Offline Turk

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 01:20:38 pm »
It would help to know approximately where your cousins' dairy (farm?) is.

Wisconsin, though, is pretty good for biking. Local roads are usually asphalt and there are lots of rails-to-trails for bikes (http://www.railstotrails.org/index.html). I believe the Wisconsin State Dept of Tourism has info as well (http://www.travelwisconsin.com/maps_guides.aspx?refresh=true). Minnesota is similar but there aren't as many asphalt-covered local roads and it's more spread out, and this trend continues as you head west.

Offline windrath

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 05:05:51 am »
Mucknort -

Cycle America has a pretty good route from central Wisconsin through Minnesota and South Dakota and finally into Wyoming.  At least - I thought so.  From central Wisconsin, get to Red Wing (MN) which is southeast of Minneapolis-St. paul.  In Red Wing, you pick up a 20 mile paved bike path to Cannon Falls.  From there, head for Northfield.  From Northfield, you will want to navigate towards Montevideo and into South Dakota towards Pierre and further west, you get to the Badlands. 

Once at the Badlands, you can continue to head for Custer and some beautiful riding in the Black Hills.  Then, cross into Wyoming, and get ready to go into the mountains from Gillette to Buffalo and Worland and Riverton and then Jackson Hole.

I don't have a map in front of me, but can route it out if this looks like what you want to do.  Very scenic and mostly low traffic roads.  The only bad section is from gillette to Buffalo where you either ride 100 miles with minimal/no services or ride 75 miles on the interstate (legal in this case).

Let me know.

Paul

Offline mucknort

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 07:49:08 pm »
It would help to know approximately where your cousins' dairy (farm?) is.
Chippewa Falls.

Mucknort -
Cycle America has a pretty good route from central Wisconsin through Minnesota and South Dakota and finally into Wyoming. 
I don't have a map in front of me, but can route it out if this looks like what you want to do. 
Let me know.
Paul

Yes please, Paul!
Thanks, Erik

Offline jimbo

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 08:37:51 pm »
Erik....I posted a few days ago buy the text went south.  I have done most of the trip you are planning..tho from west to east. Check out our 2008 blog "Coast to Coast for Conservation" at:http://www.fllt.org/blog/

You would be further north being at Chippewa Falls ( we crossed into MN at LaCrosse and took the Root River Trail in SE Minn and then stayed south of I 90 across south MN.) But we felt that #44 across SD was a good road and showed the rural culture of small towns of SD very well and leads into  the Badlands and Black Hills. Try to include Devils Monument en route to Yellowstone. We liked 14/16 through much of WYO and loved Shell Canyon as the route over the Big Horns...but we loved climbs so were not looking for the least elevation over the Big Horns. Our trip was supported but we camped the entire route and had no issues with finding sites.

Jim


Offline buster

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 08:52:33 pm »
I road the interstate between Gillette and Buffalo this past summer and found it to be OK....Wide, relatively clean shoulders...What helped is that the right lane was being resurfaced and I was riding on freshly laid asphalt.  Buffalo to Ten Sleep is an interesting ride...The ride from the summit into Ten Sleep is a blast..

Offline windrath

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 11:47:04 am »
Hi Mucknort -

As requested, my suggested route from Chippewa Falls to Yellowstone would be as follows:

a) Take 29 W until it intersects with 63 S.  It is hilly.
b) Take 63 S to Red Wing (MN).  In Red Wing, get on the Cannon Valley Bike Trail (20 paved miles) to Cannon Falls.  $3.00
c) In Cannon Falls, get on Highway 19 and take that west all the way to Marshall and then to the South Dakota border
d) In South Dakota, get to 14 out of Brookings and take that west all the way through Pierre to Wall.
e) At Wall (or just before) get down to 44 and ride through the Badlands - awesome - on the way to Rapid City.
f) Out of Rapid City drop down to Keystone and then to 16 through Custer and onto Newcastle (WY).
g) Go north out of Newcastle up towards Sundance if you want to visit Devil's Tower (worth it)
h) From there, hop on the interstate to Gillette (some cool coal mining operations in Gillette) and then to Buffalo
i)  Buffalo to Worland (You climb to about 9600' elevation.
j) At Worland, you have a choice to head towards Yellowstone or drop down to Thermopolis and Riverton and then head west on 26 twards Jackson Hole and the Tetons.  The Tetons are worth seeing.
k) Then head north on 287 to Yellowstone.

This is pretty direct and you'll have to investigate campgrounds and route adjustments.  It is 3-4 weeks with a day off each week and depending on how far you go each day.

What time of the year are you going?  South Dakota & Wyoming will be very hot in July.  Until you get to the Badlands, get across South Dakota as fast as you can - nothing much to see there and the side winds and head winds could be challenging. Wyoming is equally hot.  When I went through Thermopolis in 2003, it was 109 - no shade anywhere.

Let me know if you need further assistance.

Paul

Offline mucknort

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 11:57:08 am »
Hi Mucknort -
As requested, my suggested route from Chippewa Falls to Yellowstone would be as follows:
What time of the year are you going?  South Dakota & Wyoming will be very hot in July.  Until you get to the Badlands, get across South Dakota as fast as you can - nothing much to see there and the side winds and head winds could be challenging. Wyoming is equally hot.  When I went through Thermopolis in 2003, it was 109 - no shade anywhere.

Paul

Thanks so much, Paul! We'll be leaving Boston in early June. We might do Oshkosh Air Show in WI, as my son is a big flight fan, but probably not, as it is in later July. We want to be over the Cascades before fall snows, so we'll probably hit the spots you noted at worst times.
Erik

Offline litespeed

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 01:19:00 pm »
I did this trip - central Wisconsin to Yellowstone - as part of my circumnavigation of the contiguous US a few years ago. I simply rode west on US 14 with side trips to see the sights. Just go to La Crosse and head west. US 14 is a good bicycling road.

Offline mucknort

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2010, 12:48:48 pm »
Hi Mucknort -

As requested, my suggested route from Chippewa Falls to Yellowstone would be as follows:

Let me know if you need further assistance.

Paul

Thanks so much, Paul. The route you sent differs from what Cycle America is doing this year. Do they change their routes from year to year? Does this year's route seem any better/worse than what you suggested?
Thanks, Erik

P.S. Is it worth it to hop on the George S. Mickelson bike path between Rochford and Edgemont?
http://www.sdgfp.info/parks/regions/northernhills/mickelsontrail/trailheads.htm

Cycle America '10 route: (of course, I'd be going in reverse)

Jackson, WY - Dubois   
Dubois - Riverton    
Riverton - Worland   
Worland - Buffalo    
Buffalo - Gillette   
Gillette - Devils Tower, WY
Devils Tower, WY - Newcastle   
Newcastle - Custer, SD   
Custer - Rapid City   
Rapid City - Interior   
Interior - Philip   
Philip - Pierre, SD
Pierre, SD - Miller    
Miller - De Smet   
De Smet - Watertown    
Watertown - Montevideo, MN   
Montevideo - Hutchinson    
Hutchinson - Northfield, MN   
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 02:12:57 pm by mucknort »

Offline Turk

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2010, 02:11:49 pm »
Check out this page: http://shop.volumeone.org/item.php?item_id=145

Apparently the Yellowstone Trail (from Minneapolis) was established for cars in 1914. I suspect that US Hwy 212 is follows this route and for much of the way might be satisfactory for bicycling. You'd have to check out traffic levels and shoulders. There might be some cool historical places you could visit along the way.

Out west they allow you to bike on the shoulders of the expressways. That might help.

With research you probably can find a good way accross Minneapolis-St. Paul. You could also take city buses. All have bicycle racks nowadays.

There is a good Wisconsin bicycle map that could guide you from Chippewa Falls to the Twin Cities area, which would be the most direct route. Of the four available maps you'd want the Mississippi River section. You can order them from Wheel and Sprocket bike shop in Hales Corners, Wi. I don't have the phone number, though. You'd want to cross the Mississippi at Stillwater, Mn; Hudson, Wi (there is a bike bridge on Interstate 94); Prescott, Wi; Or Red Wing, Mn. From Red Wing there's a very nice Bicycle trail to Cannon Falls. There's also a nice one from Faribault, Mn to Mankato.

Offline Turk

Re: Help planning from WI to Yellowstone
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2010, 02:17:07 pm »