Off-Season Opportunities for Hardy Cyclists
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Off-Season Offers Opportunities For Hardy Cyclists
Yellowstone National Park’s interior roads have closed to snowmobile and snowcoach travel for the season. It will be a month or two before some of those roads are cleared and ready for an ever increasing number of cars, trailers, RVs and buses as spring turns into summer.
During the time employees are plowing and preparing park roads for motorized wheeled vehicles, adventurous bicyclists have an opportunity to experience the change from winter to spring first-hand without other visitor traffic.
Despite the construction underway at the park’s West Entrance, arrangements have been made to allow bicyclists to enter the park on the weekends. This will allow them to ride from West Yellowstone to Madison and on to Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs starting this weekend. Access from Mammoth Hot Springs will be available 7 days a week. There is no bicycle access to Old Faithful during this time.
The road from the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, to Cooke City, Montana, at the park's Northeast Entrance, is open all year to cyclists and automobiles, weather permitting.
Cycling in Yellowstone during this time of year is not for the faint of heart. The weather is unpredictable, and severe winter conditions can be encountered at any time. There are no services open in the interior of the park, and no regular ranger patrols. The cleared section of the road may be narrow and covered with a layer of snow and ice, and pullouts may remain filled with snow. Cyclists may encounter vehicles operated by construction or park employees who are not expecting to see bikes on the road. Cyclists are asked to ride single file, encouraged to carry bear spray, and should be prepared to turn around and backtrack when encountering wildlife on the road.
More information is available online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/springbike.htm. Cyclists are urged to call 307-344-2109 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays for updated road access information, or 307-344-2113 for 24-hour weather information before traveling to the area.
Weather permitting, the roads will begin opening again to motorized vehicles on Friday, April 18, from Mammoth to Old Faithful; Madison to the West Entrance, and Norris to Canyon. The roads from Canyon to Lake and from Lake to the East Entrance are scheduled to open on Friday, May 2; Lake to the South Entrance and West Thumb to Old Faithful, Tower to Tower Fall on Friday, May 9; and Tower Fall to Canyon over Dunraven Pass on Friday, May 23.
– www.nps.gov/yell –
Did You Know?
Some groups of Shoshone Indians, who adapted to a mountain existence, chose not to acquire the horse. These included the Sheep Eaters, or Tukudika, who used dogs to transport food, hides, and other provisions. The Sheep Eaters lived in many locations in Yellowstone.