Author Topic: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass  (Read 6038 times)

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Offline MKK

Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« on: November 05, 2015, 02:10:17 pm »
Am considering a cross country ride summer 2016, E to W. Would like to follow the Trans Am but want to bypass Yellowstone and save some time. Going to visit that area at a later date. Is there an alternate route to get to the coast by going south of Tetons? Would still like to end up in Oregon.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 07:50:29 pm »
Skipping Yellowstone won't save you any time, but you can save time by not going up to Missoula. But then you'd miss the absolutely stunning Lochsa River valley.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2015, 07:40:54 am »
Skipping Yellowstone won't save you any time, but you can save time by not going up to Missoula. But then you'd miss the absolutely stunning Lochsa River valley.
I agree with that.

You can start (or finish) in Florence to save a few miles.  Also there are a lot of places where you can shave a mile here and there throughout the whole route.  Sometimes it seemed to me as if the route went out of it's way to climb a hill that would be better avoided and the route was no more scenic or better road.  I typically cut off some of those corners here and there.

Offline MKK

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2015, 08:53:58 am »
I know I would miss some scenery but I was trying to figure out how to save about a weeks worth of road time. I had considered the Western Express but I'm not thrilled about the San Francisco section. I'm high population adverse. Thanks for the feedback. I should probably just stick to the route.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2015, 09:58:45 am »
I know I would miss some scenery but I was trying to figure out how to save about a weeks worth of road time.
How much time do you have?   How hard will you need to push to finish in that time?  If it is close just push a little harder and cut a few miles here and there where you can.  If you are running out of time when you get there, cut off the swing up to Missoula.  Remember that going will be pretty hard in the Appalachians and maybe the Ozarks, so you likely will be behind there, but on the plains you will probably be able to knock out high mileage days.  Things may slow down again in the Rockies and Cascades, but not as slow as the Appalachians and Cascades, besides you will be thoroughly road hardened by then.

It is really hard to plan how long it will take and I suggest you don't even try to plan the schedule much other than an approximate general pace.  I definitely would not even consider planning a day by day schedule in advance.  Flexibility in both budget and schedule is a joy and set schedules and budgets can suck a lot of joy out of the trip.  Maintain as much flexibility in both if you can.  You may find that you make way better or worse time than you expected.  There will be places where you need to plan ahead a couple days due to the spacing of the towns, but other than that it is nice to take each day as it comes.

Offline MKK

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2015, 10:53:06 am »
I was planning on leaving Yorktown the first week in May, 2016. I have no real time constraint but was thinking I would shoot for 8 weeks to get to Astoria. I was just wanted to have a shortcut in my back pocket in case for physical or mental reasons I needed to cut off some days and still make it to the Pacific. I just have to end up somewhere I can get my bike shipped back to Illinois and get to an airport.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 12:03:28 am »
Starting the first week of May in Yorktown is perfect. Eight weeks to Astoria is doable, but ten weeks is more fun. Shortcuts usually increase traffic and/or miss scenery. But it's your trip, so do what makes you happy. If I wanted to cut time, I'd take a bus or rental car from Walden to Dubois--the most desolate stretch of the TransAm.

Bikes and Beyond in Astoria will do a good job of shipping your bike home. Take a bus from Astoria to Portland and fly home from there.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 12:05:22 am by John Nelson »

Offline jamawani

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2015, 02:03:21 am »
I was planning on leaving Yorktown the first week in May, 2016. I have no real time constraint but was thinking I would shoot for 8 weeks to get to Astoria. I was just wanted to have a shortcut in my back pocket in case for physical or mental reasons I needed to cut off some days and still make it to the Pacific. I just have to end up somewhere I can get my bike shipped back to Illinois and get to an airport.

MKK - I have ridden cross country a half dozen times and a dozen more major trips in the West.
Yes, there is a stunningly beautiful and shorter route from Jackson, Wyoming west thru Idaho.
This route has moderate to low traffic most of the way - certainly less traffic than Yellowstone Park itself.
I have posted some maps and a journal over at Crazyguyonabike.


Willow Pass in central Idaho - - the Sawtooth Mountains are also spectacular.

Here is a journal with maps and photos from a trip last summer.
I tend to do a few stretches of dirt - but the Idaho route is complete -
Although W-to-E - it would be Jackson, WY to Stanley, ID to John Day, OR

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=tS&doc_id=16199&v=78

I prefer the route through Rexburg rather than Idaho Falls - but I had to get a replacement bolt in Idaho Falls.

<<<>>>

If you are planning on leaving in early May and expect an 8-week trip, you will be in the West in mid to late June.
Mid to late June in the high country can still be winter. Did you know that?
Yes, you will have fabulous wildflowers - but be prepared for a late snowstorm, too.

Offline MKK

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2015, 10:47:19 am »
Thank you all for your suggestions. Based on the feedback I will just play it by ear as to the time it takes to make the trip. I  certainly appreciate the tips on a shortcut around Yellowstone. That was the one area I couldn't figure out how to bypass if I chose to do so. No one in my area has done this ride so having suggestions from those who have is very helpful.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 12:35:56 pm »
Starting the first week of May in Yorktown is perfect. Eight weeks to Astoria is doable, but ten weeks is more fun.
Yep.  Eight weeks would be a lot more of a grind for most folks, but is possible.

Shortcuts usually increase traffic and/or miss scenery. But it's your trip, so do what makes you happy.
Maybe, but I find that there are many places where I can't understand why they take a longer way.  I often have puzzled over why they apparently thought something was more scenic.  I typically find a fair number of places on AC routes where I'd just as soon cut off a corner to trim a few miles here and there.  The problem is that it can be hard to tell where it makes sense and where it doesn't.

If I wanted to cut time, I'd take a bus or rental car from Walden to Dubois--the most desolate stretch of the TransAm.
Yeah, but you wouldn't be riding coast to coast then.  I'd rather just cut corners here and there.  That was a desolate piece of road, still some of it was pretty.

Bikes and Beyond in Astoria will do a good job of shipping your bike home. Take a bus from Astoria to Portland and fly home from there.
Most bike shops will.  I have just randomly ridden into a bike shop at the end of a number of trips and they were always fair on the price and did a good packing job.

If you want to cut a few miles using the Florence alternate might be a good idea.  Going the other direction, we sort of did that and I think quite a few people do (actually we started in Newport so we could see a bit of the coast).  I don't know the shop(s) there, but I am sure there is probably one that will box up and ship your bike home.

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2015, 08:57:13 pm »
I believe the ACA tours cannot go through Yellowstone and I believe their route is similar to this one;
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 09:30:53 am by SlowAndSlower »

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2015, 08:11:54 am »
I believe the ACA tours cannot go through Yellowstone and I believe their route is similar to this one;


Heh. Check your map borders.

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2015, 09:29:47 am »
Well it wasn't the "map" borders its the way this BB handles images. Duh
I made it that large so OP could read the cue sheet if interested. Keep busy.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 09:32:33 am by SlowAndSlower »

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2015, 10:06:56 am »
I was referring to the labeling of Idaho and Wyoming, in case that wasn't clear. E.g., Driggs is shown as being in WY instead of ID.

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2015, 10:01:30 pm »
That was/is Googles Maps overlay. They get right for Utah though.