Author Topic: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm  (Read 601 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline nasdak

Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« on: May 05, 2019, 05:50:54 am »
Hello guys :)
We are a french couple, 40, going to cycle the US this year
You helped me deciding the route : we are landing at Boise July 26th and flying back from Denver august 27th.
We will ride the transam to Jackson and then rent a car to go to denver airport.
I ordered the maps for section 3,4,5.

Here is the first question : how to get to the transam from Boise?
There seems to be a great route from Boise to New Meadows on road 55 ? Anybody did it ? There are not a lot of campings, is it allow to free camp ???
Thanks !
pierre

Offline jamawani

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2019, 10:44:50 am »
Highway 55 is very, very dangerous.
High traffic, high speeds, and no shoulder (accotement).
Summer traffic is even worse, weekend traffic worst of all.

July 26, 27 & 28 is a summer weekend.

Offline nasdak

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2019, 12:16:23 pm »
Thanks,
So what would you advise? Bus to baker city? Is it easy to takenthe bycicles on greyhound, do we need a box or a bag?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2019, 07:48:16 pm »
Glad to hear you have settled on a route and booked your flights.

Like Jamawani, I too agree that ID-55 can be a bit busy on weekends and probably not the best choice for Day 1 for an international visitor.  Yes, Greyhound has a bus to Baker City and the route is not that bad.  You leave 7:45am and get into Baker City at about 9:20am, assuming it leaves on time, which is no a sure thing.

Your bike will have to be boxed and it will cost extra for the bike, maybe $15-$40 each.  Pad you bike well.  Other than that, pretty simple but do not expect European quality or efficiency.

You might want to take a day to semi-acclimate to the higher elevation in Baker City or make sure your first couple of days are short.  While only about 3,300 feet high, you will be in the hottest part of the year too.

Tailwinds, John

Offline John Nelson

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2019, 01:04:02 am »
If you’re flying to Boise, the bike will already be boxed.

Offline nasdak

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2019, 09:42:47 am »
We're thinking about taking the great divide mountain bike section 2 tonavoid traffic in the yellowstone aera. Any thoughts?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2019, 09:50:24 am »
From where to where specifically?  Flagg road would be pretty rough in places on a regular non-mountain bike.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2019, 10:42:01 am »
Yellowstone is the crown jewel of America's national parks.  Avoiding it to miss the traffic would be like an American going to Paris but avoiding the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre to avoid the crowds.

A couple of things can help.  First, only the tour busses are out on the roads before 9:00, and most tourists straggle out for a couple hours after that.  So plan to be on the road no later than 8:00, and you'll have a couple traffic-light hours, and shoot to hit your campsite or motel by close to noon.

Second, use the pull-outs to let traffic pass you when necessary on the uphills.  Going downhill, don't worry about it.

Third, consider taking one of the tour busses around the park.  The north end has some great scenery, and the south end (along the Firehole River) has the greatest concentration of thermal features.  The TransAm crosses the southern portion, but you'll miss the Yellowstone Canyon if you stick to the route.

Finally, after you get to West Thumb, you're going to hit a long downhill going to the Tetons.

Offline nasdak

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2019, 11:36:41 am »
Thanks!
Wich part? Well i don't know yet but from missoula tonyellowstone it seems you can choose the transam or the great divide...
Is the traffic from missoula to west yellostone on the transam bad?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2019, 11:51:46 am »
I would just stick to the TA.  It is a very good route.  Trust the tens of thousands who have done it over the past 40+ years.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2019, 12:17:52 pm »
We're thinking about taking the great divide mountain bike section 2 tonavoid traffic in the yellowstone aera. Any thoughts?

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo

As everybody else said, skipping Yellowstone would be a catastrophe! Pat Lamb said it well. I support his suggestion to take a bus tour. Yellowstone is so big that it's hard to do it justice on a bicycle. I camped at Coulter Bay, took the free shuttle from there to Jackson Lake Lodge, and took a full-day bus tour of Yellowstone from there. It was great! But biking through Yellowstone and Grand Teton was also great!

And I agree with John Nettles. Stick to the TA. It's a great route.

Offline nasdak

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2019, 05:28:58 am »
Sorry i wasn't clear : It's not about skiping yellostone, it's going from missoula to yellowstone via the great divide that i'm questionning

Offline John Nettles

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2019, 08:38:55 am »
Parts of each are nice.  However, I would suggest you stick with the TA since you are on a time schedule. 

From Missoula area and to the south, it can get fairly difficult with several sections of carrying your bikes and gear up very steep hills and other sections turn to a super sticky miude and you seriously are unable to ride when it gets wet.  Since you are on a time table, you would have to make up for lost days as the mud dried (about 12-18 hours after it quits raining I have heard) and that may require you to miss out on things down the road and/or do 75+ mile days repeatedly.

The TA really is the crown jewel of our routes. Try it, you will like it.

Offline shannonpaul

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2019, 10:28:01 pm »
Hello Pierre - Fellow cycle tourist and Boise resident here.

I agree with other users on this forum:  stay off of Idaho Highway 55.  It is heavily trafficked with no shoulder and narrow river canyons.

The bus to Baker City is one option, but my college-age daughter rode it from Salt Lake City to Boise this past school year, and will never do it again.  As has been mentioned, it is not of "European quality", and my daughter agreed with this sentiment.

If you have the time, a better cycling tour route is to go north and west from Boise through the towns of Emmett, New Plymouth and Payette.  From there turn north through Weiser, Cambridge and Council.  The Weiser River Trail connects these towns (www.weiserrivertrail.org).  From there you can easily connect to New Meadows, Idaho and catch the TA there.  The Google Maps cycling route from Boise to New Meadows roughly follows this route suggestion.

My family and I are also Warmshowers hosts here in Boise, as are many others.  Be sure to look us up if you need lodging upon your arrival to Boise.  We love to host other bicycle travelers!

Shannon G.
"You gotta let it riiiide!"  - Cosmo Kramer

Offline nasdak

Re: Bike trip from Boise to Denver following the transAm
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2019, 07:41:09 am »
Thanks,
I just got the paper maps. They're great ! But gets me worried as it says some parts are with heavy traffic...
We'll try to ride as much "bike only" roads or trails as possible
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 07:42:49 am by nasdak »