Author Topic: Yellowstone for up to 4 days  (Read 7124 times)

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Offline knolltop

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Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« on: November 25, 2010, 12:42:55 pm »
During next year's x-c adventure I'm thinking of including up to 4 days in Yellowstone area.  Likely be there in 1st half June.
Interests (not counting cycling) include history, views, and wildlife.

What recommendations do you have re camping?

Where might I consider riding in the Yellowstone/Jackson/Cody areas?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 12:53:31 pm by knolltop »
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Offline John Nelson

Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2010, 10:59:30 pm »
Camping in Yellowstone and Grand Teton for a bicyclist is generally easy to arrange. This will be especially true in early June, which is well before the peak of the season for these parks. It may, however, be pretty chilly at night. There are a number of good campgrounds in these parks.

Offline valygrl

Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 02:06:52 pm »
If you can make it work, I really enjoyed and would recommend the Chief Joseph Highway AKA Sunlight Basin Road AKA State Hwy 296 between Hwy 120 and Hwy 212 from Cody to Cooke City.  This road is not in Yellowstone, it's quite remote and beautiful, and has very little traffic.

I've heard 212, the Beartooth Highway, is a must-do as well, but I haven't made it there yet.

Here's a picture from Sunlight Basin Road.


I would also recommend the western art gallery in the Buffalo Bill Historic Center in Cody.  There's an OK RV park right in Cody if you need to stay there.

Look at the National Park Service web site for camping info - there are plenty of campgrounds, a couple of them may be restricted to hard-sided only (RV, no tent) due to animals.  There are a lot of bears in the area, so it would be wise to start the trip with clean panniers and tent, never cook in your tent, and restrict your food storage to a limited number of panniers, which you will want to store in the bear proof containers located in the campgrounds.  You are not allowed to wild-camp inside the park. 

Riding inside the park can be a little scary, as the roads are narrow and the RV traffic can be heavy.  I agree June is early season so it should be a little better than usual.  The area right around Old Faithful is the worst.  The north/east part of the park roads are less traffic-y and have a lot of wildlife.

In the Tetons, Jenny Lake has a great hiker/biker camp site right on the lake.  The ride between Teton & Yellowstone is nice, and there is a lot of bike path in the Teton park.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 04:30:19 pm »
We found that in Yellowstone crowds started to clear out early sunday afternoon and remained lighter in the early part of the week.  It might help if you can hit it then and avoid Fri-Sun morning.  That or maybe plan a hike those days.  Also any day of the week the RVs seemed to not hit the road too early so the morning seemed better to me traffic wise.

Offline knolltop

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Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 09:14:03 am »
So far, EXACTLY the type info I was hoping for!
Yes, I'd like to include some riding i the Cody & Teton areas.
This will be my 1st visit to this beautiful area of our country and would like to make the very most of it.
Thanks for taking the time to reply & looking forward to any additional info/recommendations.
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Offline staehpj1

Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 09:49:51 am »
One other thing I forgot to mention...
There are a lot of nice places to stop and get off the bike and hike for a mile or two.  There are a variety of waterfalls and geothermal things to see.  Getting even 100 yards off the road is usually enough to get away from the crowds.

I also remember a bike trail that took us off the road and allowed a short hike to Fairy Falls and a hike up a short hill to a great view looking down on Grand Prismatic.  The view was spectacular and we used it as a lunch shot.  We really didn't like the bike trail much (sandy hard to ride surface) and would rather have been on the road except that the hike and overlook made it worth it.  There is a visitor center before entering the park and it is worth stopping to ask questions there and any other places you can corner a ranger.  They will sometimes point you to things that most folks would be unaware of like the the overlook of Grand Prismatic.

Offline knolltop

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Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 01:54:13 pm »
Once again, THANKS!

Am leaning toward spending 2-3 days @ Yellowstone.
Then over to Cooke City
Then over Beartooth Pass and into Red Lodge.
Then up 78 to Roscoe & Absarokee before rejoining NT at Columbus area & continuing east.

If anyone has recommendations re where to stay or what to see ... don't be bashful!  ;-)
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Offline knolltop

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Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 10:31:45 pm »
Valygrl ... did consider riding to Cody & on to Red Lodge.  Ultimately decided to do Beartooth from w-->e after leaving Yellowstone, then up 78 to Columbus to continue on L&C and NT.

staehpj1 ... will try to get there early week.

Wayne Estes posted journal on CGOAB focused on a short tour in YS & Tetons.  That's also been help on planning my stay there.
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Offline valygrl

Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2010, 12:45:40 am »
Valygrl ... did consider riding to Cody & on to Red Lodge.  Ultimately decided to do Beartooth from w-->e after leaving Yellowstone, then up 78 to Columbus to continue on L&C and NT.

staehpj1 ... will try to get there early week.

Wayne Estes posted journal on CGOAB focused on a short tour in YS & Tetons.  That's also been help on planning my stay there.

Awesome, I want to hear about the Beartooth when you're finished, I'm sure it will be fabulous from all I've heard.

Offline buster

Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2010, 09:22:30 pm »
I passed through Yellowstone the first week of July 2010. Some campgrounds have hiker/biker campsites available, no reservations are requried and the cost is very reasonable. I camped at Bay Bridge and Madison Junction. Some of the campgrounds donot open until the 2nd to 3rd week of June, so it would be best to research early on to confirm opening dates.  Hope this helps.

Offline litespeed

Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2010, 03:07:03 pm »
valygrl's suggestion to ride NE out of Cody on 296 and 212 is probably a good idea as US14/20 into Yellowstone from the east is not a good bicycling road. The climb is fairly tough - winding, shoulderless, narrow and heavily trafficked.
                                                     
Ignore the "Campground Full" signs at the campgrounds. They generally have room for a bicycler/tenter. Surprisingly,the Bridge Bay campground had fine restrooms but no showers.

The cafeteria at West Thumb had about the worst food I've ever eaten and I am not a fussy eater. I'd like to know if it has gotten better.

There is a very nice, albeit pricey, campground right downtown in West Yellowstone.

Avoid 191 between West Yellowstone and Bozeman at all costs. It is narrow, shoulderless, hemmed in by the river and plagued with impatient truck drivers.

Bicycling around Yellowstone has some advantages over motor vehicles. You can often skirt around the traffic.

You'll love Yellowstone. There is no place like it.

Offline knolltop

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Re: Yellowstone for up to 4 days
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2010, 07:16:54 pm »
Current plan is to enter Yellowstone by coming down from Missoula and enter park via West Yellowstone.  To avoid crowds as much as possible, am planning to arrive on a Sunday. I'd like to spend 1st night at the hostel in West Yellowstone.

Then spend 2-3 days in park to see some of sights.

Thanks for heads up re "Campground Full" signs.

Planning to exit park via Grand Loop Rd and then US212 to Cooke City, over Beartooth and on to Red Lodge.  Then plan to use 78 out of Red Lodge to get up to Billings area so can get back on ACA routes across MT and on to ND.
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