Our road biking season starts as soon as the roads in Yellowstone National Park are cleared of snow. From then until late April, the Park is open to non-motorized traffic only. There are a few restrictions on different roads (to protect wildlife) but there is no doubt that this is the best time to ride in the world’s first National Park. http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/springbike.htm

    The route between West Yellowstone and Madison Junction, a 28 mile round trip, is by far the most popular ride. Bison, elk, coyote and eagle sightings are very common along this section of the road. Riders are reminded to give wildlife plenty of space. If you run into a buffalo jam the best course of action is often to turn around and give the animals time to move off the road. And don’t forget, springtime in the Rockies can mean rapidly changing weather any day, any time. Be prepared and wear or carry warm clothing.  See the Spring Riding page for more information.

    Even after Yellowstone’s roads open to motorized traffic, the cycling in the Park is good. Most of the roads in Yellowstone have a wide enough shoulder to provide safe riding although it is also true that some sections of road have no shoulder. The speed limit in the Park is 45 miles an hour which is great but never let your guard down; drivers do crazy things when they see wildlife!  The TransAmerica Trail goes right through West Yellowstone and is consistently used throughout the summer months.

    Outside the Park, a 64 mile loop called “the block” is a popular ride. From West Yellowstone you head west into Idaho on Highway 20, along the north shore of Henry’s Lake on Highway 87, up and over Raynold’s Pass, across the Madison River, along the shores of Quake Lake and Hebgen Lake on Highway 287 and, finally, back into West Yellowstone on Highway 191. The Highway 20 portion of this ride can be dangerous as the rumble strip runs down the middle of the shoulder – be careful and ride single file!

    For those looking for a shorter ride, Highway 287 is a good bet. It’s probably the most scenic and safest section of “the block”. You can park your car at the intersection of Highway 191 and 287 and head out from there. The shoulder is wide enough and there are several scenic pullouts as you travel along the north shore of Hebgen Lake.

    The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway is nearby and was repaved recently.  It is a beautiful road ride from Harriman State Park to Ashton, ID.