Yellowstone’s spring bicycle season begins
by Yellowstone National Park
March 21, 2010
While crews have begun clearing roads of snow and ice, it will be a month or more before the roads in the interior of Yellowstone National park are ready for visitors traveling in cars, trailers, RVs and buses. During this time, adventurous bicyclists have an opportunity to experience the park without other visitor traffic.
Starting Saturday morning, March 20, hardy bicyclists will be allowed to ride between West Yellowstone, Madison, Norris, and Mammoth Hot Springs.
Cycling in Yellowstone National Park during this time of year is not for the faint of heart. 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. The road in the active construction zone between Norris and Madison through Gibbon Canyon is unpaved, rough, and may be very muddy.
Cyclists should also expect to encounter snowplows or other vehicles operated by park employees or construction workers traveling in conjunction with park operations.
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.
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 riders should be prepared to take care of all their own needs. Cyclists are urged to call 307-344-2109 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays for updated road access information, or call 307-344-2113 for 24-hour weather information before traveling to the area.
Snow removal efforts may also allow for a brief period of bicycle-only access into the park sometime in May from the South Entrance to West Thumb, and from the East Entrance toward Sylvan Pass. There is no seasonal bicycle-only access to Old Faithful or Canyon.
Interior park roads are scheduled to begin opening to motorized vehicles on Friday morning, April 16. Some interior park roads don’t open to automobile travel until Memorial Day weekend.
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. Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.