Author Topic: New Orleans up Mississippi River Trail to Missouri River to Yellowstone to Bozem  (Read 4677 times)

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I'm looking for input...
New Orleans (March 23, 2011) north to St Louis (with a detour to Nashville), then west to Kansas City, then north to Omaha.  From Omaha to Rapid City, South Dakota.  From there west in Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park and on up to Bozeman, Montana.

Weather and wind (especially with La Nina)?
Road conditions?
Bike pathways?
Camping accommodations?
Suggested stops?
Anything else?

I will be riding a mountain bike (modified for comfort). 
I've got a tent (3 season) and sleeping bag (20 degrees). 
I was given Under Amour Cold Gear (will that be enough?).

I've done Seattle to San Diego, but I was already very familiar with the coast.  This will be entirely new to me.

The plan is to ride north out of New Orleans on March 23.  I'd like to take the MRT as much as possible.  I hear nice things about the Natchez Trace but that takes me away from the Juke Joints along the Northern Mississippi River.  So I was thinking of taking the MRT to Memphis and then head east to the Trace in Alabama and take that to Nashville.  Then head northwest to St Louis and connect with the Missouri River (possibly the Katy Trail?).

I have until May 7.  If time is running short, I was thinking of taking a bus or car from Kansas City to Rapid City.  Again, I don't know anything about this part of the country, but I figured if any part of the journey had to be expedited it should be these corn fields.

Then from Rapid City, South Dakota (Black Hills, Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Deadwood) I was thinking to head west through northern Wyoming into Yellowstone and Grand Teton, and then up to Bozeman.

Is there a more scenic route than what I am planning?
Am I going to be facing a head-wind through any (or all) of my journey?
What is Northern Wyoming like?  Is Montana nicer?  Should I follow the Yellowstone River instead?
Are the Bighorn Mountains passable?  Or am I going to get crushed?  (I heard there's something like a 10% grade!)
So many exciting questions!!!!

Please feel free to add any and all comments, questions, concerns, etc.....

Offline jamawani

You have until May 7 ???

Check the opening dates for the various roads in Yellowstone and then get back in touch with me.
Not to mention that you may encounter blizzard conditions in the Bighorns.

hmmmm.  I see......

So it seems I can't get into Yellowstone until May 6th (April 30 for Grand Teton).

Anyone have a suggestion?


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Offline litespeed

It sounds like a fine trip albeit a bit early for Yellowstone and the Bighorns. For the final stretch avoid 191 between West Yellowstone and Bozeman. It's no place for a bicycle - narrow, winding, shoulderless, hemmed in by cliffs and the river and heavily trafficked with lots of impatient truck drivers. Take 89 instead.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 10:31:23 am by litespeed »

Offline knolltop

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I'm planning a somewhat similar route following visit to Yellowstone.  Similar in the sense that I need to get onto Lewis&Clark so can get to Williston and then head east on NT route.

I'm planning to leave Yellowstone via the east entrance on US212 to Cooke City, over Beartooth, and down into Red Lodge.  Then jumping on 78 up to Columbus.  At Columbus will get on L&C route.  

While Beartooth, at almost 11,000 ft, will be challenge it's also beautiful.  I'm told Red Lodge to Columbus on 78 is also quite scenic.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 07:33:40 am by knolltop »
+-+ Michael +-+

Hmmmmm...This sounds interesting.  I'm beginning to hesitate the Northern Wyoming portion of the trip, mostly because of the fact that the National Parks will both still be closed until April 30 (Teton) and May 6 (Yellowstone) at the earliest.

Perhaps finishing my tour along the Missouri River and Yellowstone River is the way to go?

Or what about going from Rapid City, SD to Billings, MT along Route 212 (or there-abouts)?  And then west to Bozeman, MT?

I'd love to make it as scenic as possible (I'm not too concerned about the weather), but I realize the last week April/ first week in May sort of hinder my options.

And re: my multiple posts, I apologize.  I'm not only new to this forum, but am new to the whole concept of contributing. 

You all have something really great here.  Thank you!!! for allowing me to participate!

Offline knolltop

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Dang!  I totally ignored your travel dates.   ::)
+-+ Michael +-+

When are you planning your tour?