The start of our mountain biking season depends largely on how heavy our winter snow pack is come springtime. At lower elevations, it is often June before roads and trails dry out enough to make cycling possible. At higher elevations, we sometimes have to wait until July before we can access the trails. Montana's SNOTEL site is a useful tool in determing snow depth.
The Rendezvous Ski Trails provide West Yellowstone’s most popular and easy to access mountain biking. The trailhead is located at the south end of Geyser Street. From here you can access a variety of rolling single track that winds through the middle of the ski trails. The Rendezvous Trails are great for visitors that haven’t had time to get used to the thin air at 6600 feet. There are cutoffs throughout the trails system allowing riders to choose short, medium or long distance rides. The Riverside Trail is accessible from the eastern edge of West Yellowstone at the corner of Boundary Street and Madison Avenue. The trail is a little more than a mile each way and is relatively flat. It is a great spot to take younger kids or head to the picnic tables next to the Madison River for a unique lunch spot. There are a limited number of bike trails in Yellowstone National Park. Most are reclaimed roads and more information can be found on the park's website.
For the more ambitious, there are plenty of long and challenging rides waiting for you outside of town. Tepee Creek to Red Canyon, Coffin Lake, Lion’s Head and Mile Creek are all rides that are located on US Forest Service land and every one of them will challenge you aerobically and technically. For a map of these trails and for specific information about the rides, contact Free Heel and Wheel at 406-646-7744. The Bozeman-Big Sky-West Yellowstone map from Beartooth Publishing highlights a variety of rides and terrain in the area. West Yellowstone is also very close to stretches of the Continental Divide Trail. Although located in Idaho, you will find the Targhee Creek Trail and the Sawtelle Trail easily accessible from West Yellowstone.
Remember you are traveling in the backcountry. Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Happy Trails!