Author Topic: Route  (Read 1650 times)

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Offline Splink

Route
« on: February 11, 2020, 09:09:19 pm »
Hello
I'm planning a trip from Bozeman, MT to Jackson, WY this coming September (early sept) and was hoping someone could give me some advice on trails...I'm from MA and have never done any riding out West. I like to tent it and I have a gravel bike, not a mountain bike. I was thinking of taking the Lewis and Clark trail to the Transamerica trail south or would it be better to take the Great Divide trail.

Thanks fellow bikers!!

btw, I'm 53 and will be with my 20-30 year old kids who I try to keep up with. I am so looking forward to the amazing scenery but don't want to get in over my head!

Peace!

Offline jamawani

Re: Route
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 11:32:58 pm »
Dear Splink -

I'm from Wyoming. Taught in Montana. Lived in Jackson.
I have cycled all over Greater Yellowstone for 30+ years.

The area in question is mostly national parks or wilderness.
Bicycles are prohibited in wilderness areas or off road in parks.

The Great Divide route runs mostly west of Yellowstone.
It is rather "meh" - heavily forested plateau, minimal views.

Blacktail Plateau Drive in Yellowstone - empty dirt road.
There is some really sweet two-track riding just east of Grand Teton NP.

Winter comes early, even early Sept. esp. at high elevations.
You must be prepared for dramatic change in conditions if remote.

Grizzly country. Must know clean camping techniques.
Much more likely to surprise bears on dirt roads / trails.

Elevation. You're from Boston - sea level, right?
Altitude sickness has ruined many an easterner's trip.

Camping. Random camping is prohibited in national parks.
It is allowed in national forests, but restricted in grizzly zones.

<<<>>>

From what little info you provided,
I'm not sure if you know what you are getting into.
If you want a magnificent off-pavement ride -
I would suggest Jackson and south thru Grays River country

Best - J

« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 11:49:45 pm by jamawani »

Offline Splink

Re: Route
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 06:54:17 am »
Thanks so much for your quick reply. I’ve done lots of backpacking in my neck of the woods, the Northeast, and know how to safely camp but grizzlies are a whole other thing!!! I’ve done some skiing and hiking and cross country skiing in Colorado and Utah and didn’t find the elevation a problem but we would probably go out early and try to acclimate first. We’ve ridden through France up to Belgium a couple years ago and rode over some alps without issues but I’m not sure of their elevations.

I guess I have a lot of research left to do but I am grateful for your response and will look into the area you mentioned. How lucky you’ve been to live out in that area!!

Thanks again.


Offline Iowagriz

Re: Route
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2020, 08:36:04 pm »
Since you have a gravel bike, riding backroads from Bozeman to Butte and connecting with the Tour Divide Route could be a good option. J is correct about that section not having the massive vista's, but it will still be enjoyable. Just skip the section going up and over Fleecer Ridge, won't be fun on a gravel bike.

Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk


Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Route
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2020, 08:04:14 am »
If you stick to the L&C and TA and are in even fairly decent shape I wouldn't work about altitude. I am from Philly and ride out west most years. I've hit 7,000'+ the second day with no issues.

Bozeman to Butte to pick up the GD is a long way out of the way, but go for it if you have the time. You can take MT 2 over Pipestone Pass. Not that hard of a climb and little traffic the three times I did it. The descent if well engineered, with sweeping curves. Might want to get a room in Butte. I have read some not so nice things about the KOA in town. And it's right near I-90. Highly recommend the motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen. Ask for a ground floor room so you can wheel your bike in.

If you take a more direct route to Ennis watch the crosswinds on U.S. 287. I went the opposite direction a few years ago and nearly got blown off the road. The fishing access campground in Ennis is right along the Madison River. There is no potable water, but there is at the nearby Lion's Club Park. (No camping allowed there.)

Offline Splink

Re: Route
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2020, 12:04:21 pm »
Since you have a gravel bike, riding backroads from Bozeman to Butte and connecting with the Tour Divide Route could be a good option. J is correct about that section not having the massive vista's, but it will still be enjoyable. Just skip the section going up and over Fleecer Ridge, won't be fun on a gravel bike.

Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk

Thanks so much for the info and advice. I’m looking forward to riding out there...somewhere...and your knowledge helps a lot!!

Offline Splink

Re: Route
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2020, 12:10:48 pm »
If you stick to the L&C and TA and are in even fairly decent shape I wouldn't work about altitude. I am from Philly and ride out west most years. I've hit 7,000'+ the second day with no issues.

Bozeman to Butte to pick up the GD is a long way out of the way, but go for it if you have the time. You can take MT 2 over Pipestone Pass. Not that hard of a climb and little traffic the three times I did it. The descent if well engineered, with sweeping curves. Might want to get a room in Butte. I have read some not so nice things about the KOA in town. And it's right near I-90. Highly recommend the motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen. Ask for a ground floor room so you can wheel your bike in.

If you take a more direct route to Ennis watch the crosswinds on U.S. 287. I went the opposite direction a few years ago and nearly got blown off the road. The fishing access campground in Ennis is right along the Madison River. There is no potable water, but there is at the nearby Lion's Club Park. (No camping allowed there.)

Thanks for the great info. I will share all this with my kids and see where we end up!! I’m hoping to find more camping options but love your description of the descent after Pipestone Pass which may seal the deal.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Route
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 08:00:26 am »
If you do decide to go to Butte you might want to make an intermediate stop at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park on MT 2 west of Whitehall. The only caveat is that the campground is at road level while the caverns are way up on the hill. There is no shuttle. IIRC, it's a 3 mile climb with sections in excess of 9%. Maybe you could hitch a ride up with fellow campers. Also bring food as there are no services around.The little river valley there is a nice setting. Saw what I would later learn were a couple of American White Pelicans fly over.  Who knew there was one species of pelican native to the state.

Butte has a lot of mining history. The Hotel Finlen is located in the old section of town. Some neat old architecture. Worth taking a walk through that area. After you come off the pass you bear right onto Continental Drive, which snakes its way up to the old section of town.  The first time I rode there I made the big mistake of going further northwest and then tackling the hill straight on through the sprawl.  Lots of traffic and steepness. I was actually happy when I would get caught at a red light so I could catch my breath. AFAIK, the only camping anywhere near town is the KOA.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 08:05:22 am by BikeliciousBabe »