Biking

 
Cyclists enjoying Yellowstone
 

Summary: Mountain bikes, road bikes, and e-bikes are permitted on established public roads, parking areas, and designated routes in Yellowstone National Park in the summer. In the spring and fall, they are permitted on roads closed to regular vehicles while weather conditions allow. They are always prohibited on all backcountry trails, boardwalks, and oversnow routes. Read and understand the regulations and safety information below before bicycling in the park. 


 

Biking Regulations

  • All bikes are prohibited on backcountry trails, boardwalks, and oversnow routes in the park.
  • Mountain bikes, road bikes, and e-bikes (class 1 and 3) are permitted on established public roads, parking areas, and designated routes in Yellowstone National Park when open to motor vehicles during the summer season.
  • Additionally, bikes are authorized on certain established roads when closed to public motor vehicles during the spring and fall seasons (more information below).
  • All bikes are subject to the same traffic rules as automobiles (such as speed limits).
  • All cyclists must ride single file on the right shoulder.
  • Riding is permitted during daylight hours only.
  • Wild animals have the right-of-way. Stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards from all other wildlife. Prepare to wait or turn around if you encounter bision or other animals in the road. Know how to travel safely in bear country.
  • All food, trash, and scented items must be kept inaccessible to wildlife at all times and stored securely. Be aware that in some areas, ravens have learned to unzip packs and bike bags and scatter the contents.
  • Camping for bicyclists is limited to the developed campgrounds located throughout the park. Most park camping is reserved far in advance so make a reservation as early as you can. Note that not all campgrounds can accomodate groups.

Biking Safety

  • Vehicle traffic can be heavy, and the park's winding roads offer poor visibility and narrow, or nonexistent, shoulders. There are no bike paths along roadways.
  • Road elevations range from 5,300 to 8,860 feet (1615 to 2700 meters) above sea level, and services and facilities are typically 20 to 30 miles apart (37 to 56 kilometers).
  • Be prepared. You are strongly encouraged to bring a helmet, high visibility clothing, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, and a repair kit for your bike.
  • Motorists frequently do not see bicyclists or fail to give them sufficient space on the road. Drivers sometimes pass on hill crests, blind curves, or in traffic. Vehicles, especially motor homes or those towing trailers, may have wide mirrors, posing an additional hazard.
  • Slow down at intersections and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the intersection. Drivers may not be aware that you are traveling close to their speed.
  • Especially when riding an e-bike, mount and dismount the bike carefully. The added weight of the battery and motor assist technology can add 20 or more pounds to the weight of the bike.

Biking in Spring and Fall

Every spring and fall, bicyclists willing to brave the unpredictable weather may also be permitted on park roads while they're closed to motorized, public vehicles. Roads will not be completely free of cars during these times, however: bicyclists may still encounter park employees, contractors, and plows. Also be aware that high snowbanks may negate road shoulders and make travel more dangerous.

A map of Yellowstone National Park showing the roads open to spring and fall biking.

Spring Biking

Spring bicycling season usually starts by early April, although there is no set date. Designated roads are only opened once snow removal and other pre-season business can accommodate cyclists. Please note that roads may not be plowed on weekends and snowfall can be heavy at times. The following road segments may open to bicycling each spring (dates determined after roads close to oversnow vehicles):

Road Segment Mileage Cycling Season
Mammoth Hot Springs to the West Entrance 49 mi (79 km) Dates determined March 2024
East Entrance to the east side of Sylvan Pass 6 mi (9.6 km) Dates determined March 2024
 

Fall Biking

Fall bicycling season begins after park roads close to public vehicle traffic, typically in November. Designated roads are only opened to cyclists once post-season business can accommodate them and close to cyclists when plowing operations stop (in order to allow snow to accumulate on roads for oversnow travel). The following road segments may be opened to bicycling each fall (dates determined after roads close to regular vehicles):

Road Segment Distance Cycling Season
Mammoth Hot Springs to the West Entrance 49 mi (79 km) November 1, 2023 - December 6, 2023
East Entrance to the east side of Sylvan Pass 6 mi (9.6 km) November 1, 2023 - November 22, 2023
Madison Junction to Old Faithful 16 mi (25.7 km) November 1, 2023 - December 6, 2023
Tower-Roosevelt to Chittenden Road 6 mi (9.6 km) November 1, 2023 - November 21, 2023
South Entrance to West Thumb 22 mi (35.4 km) November 1, 2023 - November 22, 2023
 

Designated Bike Trails

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    Last updated: December 11, 2023

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    Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

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