Author Topic: Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?  (Read 4465 times)

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Offline planeguy5

Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?
« on: September 06, 2015, 01:15:23 pm »
Hi friends!

This is my first time to the forum, so thank you in advance for any help or feedback you send my way.

I am planning my first unsupported (camping) long-distance bike tour next summer. I'll be starting in late-May (after I graduate) from Oregon and ending in late August, with no set end-location. I've been looking extensively into the TransAmerica trail and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The TransAm makes the most sense because it is direct and well-established. However, the Lewis and Clark trail also interests me because of the territories it covers and the history of the route. This got me to thinking: are there ways I could connect the two?

These two options really interest me:
1) Take the TransAmerica Trail from Oregon to Yellowstone, and then find a route across northern Wyoming before connecting with the Lewis and Clark trail in central South Dakota. Take this to St. Louis and stop or, with time, continue on the TransAm to D.C.
2) Complete the Lewis and Clark trail and join with the TransAm trail in St. Louis.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any suggestions for routes across northern Wyoming?

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2015, 09:29:37 am »
FYI...You should monitor the snow pack in OR. You might get shut out of McKenzie Pass. Sometimes it does not open until mid to late June and even July:

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION4/pages/mckenziehighwayclosure.aspx

Why not take the TA/L&C option to Twin Bridges, MT and then continue on the L&C? You could take a short detour to Missoula and visit ACA's headquarters. The road between Dillon and Twin Bridges passes Beaverhead Rock. The Bike Camp in Twin Bridges is a great place to stay.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 09:57:44 am »
If McKenzie Pass is closed the maps show the alternate over Santiam Pass which is open year around.
Carla Majernik
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Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
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indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 01:12:43 pm »
Yeah, but McKenzie is da' bomb, especially west to east.

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 01:44:42 pm »
Haven't ridden it and I'm sure it is a beast of a climb, but from Yellowstone, go NE via Cooke City and Red Lodge towards Laurel.  Connect with Lewis and Clark there.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2015, 09:44:21 am »
Haven't ridden it and I'm sure it is a beast of a climb, but from Yellowstone, go NE via Cooke City and Red Lodge towards Laurel.  Connect with Lewis and Clark there.

Sounds like it could be an interesting challenge:

http://beartoothhighway.com/beartooth-trip-planning/#WeatherReady

"Be Weather Ready

"Reaching 10,977 feet at Beartooth Pass, and surrounded by 20 mountain peaks that reach over 12,000 feet, the Beartooth Highway crosses some of the most extreme country in the world. The high alpine climate ensures that severe weather conditions occur almost every month of the year. Summertime temperatures can range from the 70s on sunny days to below freezing during sudden snowstorms. Keep these extreme conditions in mind when planning a visit to the Beartooth Highway. Pack appropriate clothing including warm jackets and hats. Those planning outdoor recreation time may want to include additional foot wear and other items that will provide more warmth.

"The road is normally plowed by Memorial Day, but closures are common through June due to spring snow storms. From the opening near Memorial Day, the road is seldom closed more than one day to remove the snow. It is not uncommon to experience blizzard type conditions both in the spring and the fall, especially at higher elevations. When these events occur, travel is slowed considerably or the highway is closed until it can be reopened by maintenance crews. Being aware of these possible weather conditional [sic]"

Offline jamawani

Re: Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2015, 10:30:03 pm »
I live in northern Wyoming and have cycled nearly every paved road in the state.
(And quite a few dirt roads, too.)

My guess is that it will be about mid-June when you hit Yellowstone - pretty perfect.
Yellowstone can still have a late snow then, but you should also catch peak wildflower season.
If you are willing to do some serious climbing - then crossing the Bighorn Mountains will be incredible.

I have mapped out sections across the northern part of the state -
From Yellowstone Lake - east on US 14/16 to Cody - the Wapiti Valley is a stunning ride.
From Cody stay on US 14/16 - but cut over via Wyo 30 to Basin - high desert and irrigated farms.
From Basin take Wyo 31 to Nowood Rd. to Tensleep - incredible colors - like a Gauguin painting.
Up from Tensleep on US 16 - magnificent canyon walls and over to Buffalo.
You should really plan to camp at moderately high elevation  and take in the wildflowers here.
From Buffalo, US 16 to Ucross and continue on US 14/16 to Gillette.
(A lovely ride - longer, but soooo much better than getting on I-90.)
From Gillette, Wyo 51 to Moorcroft - then US 14 and Wyo 24 to Devils Tower.
Continue on Wyo 24/SD 34 thru Aladin (general store) to Belle Fourche.


Tensleep Canyon

If you are interested I can forward you the strip maps.

Offline planeguy5

Re: Connecting TransAmerica with Lewis and Clark: how best to do it?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 02:18:27 pm »

I have mapped out sections across the northern part of the state -
From Yellowstone Lake - east on US 14/16 to Cody - the Wapiti Valley is a stunning ride.
From Cody stay on US 14/16 - but cut over via Wyo 30 to Basin - high desert and irrigated farms.
From Basin take Wyo 31 to Nowood Rd. to Tensleep - incredible colors - like a Gauguin painting.
Up from Tensleep on US 16 - magnificent canyon walls and over to Buffalo.
You should really plan to camp at moderately high elevation  and take in the wildflowers here.
From Buffalo, US 16 to Ucross and continue on US 14/16 to Gillette.
(A lovely ride - longer, but soooo much better than getting on I-90.)
From Gillette, Wyo 51 to Moorcroft - then US 14 and Wyo 24 to Devils Tower.
Continue on Wyo 24/SD 34 thru Aladin (general store) to Belle Fourche.


If you are interested I can forward you the strip maps.

I'd really apprecaite that!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 02:20:49 pm by planeguy5 »