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In the zone.
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Hi,

I'm going to be driving cross country this summer (Seattle to Harrisburg PA) and I decided that it would be neat to go through both Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain national parks on my way over. I'm planning on doing a few bike rides already near these parks. I want to ride the Beartooth Highway and Mt. Evans. I know that there must be some other rides that are worth doing. Does anyone have any suggestions? Extra points for rides with less traffic.

Thanks in advance!
 

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TWD
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ynp ride

try the ride from west yellowstone to old faithful... what traffic there is will be moving fairly slow. likely to see bison and other large animals along the way. fairly flat to start, pretty decent climb up a canyon which you could take the scenic route and avoid some traffic, then flattens again at the top of the valley. I would try early in the day to avoid the typical afternoon wind. anytime after memorial day and you should not see too much ice. watch for flyfishermen talking a long back cast and potentially snagging you near the firehole river :)
post some pics
 

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Unrepentant Mountainbiker
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If you plan on heading East on I94, don't discount Teddy Roosevelt NP in North Dakota. You can do the loop of the South unit just off of the innerstate. A beautiful ride through the badlands. The road through the park is a about a 35 mile loop and has just been repaved so it should be super smooth.
 

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Adventure Cycling

The Adventure Cycling Association has two routes that go through these areas. Great Parks South section 1 and TransAmerica Trail sections 4 & 5 cover most of this area. You can get a lot of ideas from them. The big challenge in both areas is the large amount of tourist traffic, with a lot of less-than-skilled drivers of large RVs and cars and trucks hauling trailers. Try to ride as early in the morning as possible, and recognize that the weather can be challenging in both locations. Last year's Ride the Rockies leg over the top of Rocky Mtn. Nat. Pk had to be canceled due to black ice and freezing rain.
 

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And South Dakota too

freezin_is_the_reason said:
If you plan on heading East on I94, don't discount Teddy Roosevelt NP in North Dakota. You can do the loop of the South unit just off of the innerstate. A beautiful ride through the badlands. The road through the park is a about a 35 mile loop and has just been repaved so it should be super smooth.
The Blackhills and SD Badlands are worthy ride stops.
Here's a ride report of mine from summer 2003.
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=441

Just complete the loop I show on the map. If I was doing it again I might reverse my route. Park at Sylvan Lake, climb up to the Needles, then coast dowm to the southern gate, climb up the Wilderness Loop road to the Norbeck scenic highway, then down and up to Rushmore, then down and back up to Sylvan Lake. Check the dates for the Surgis (motor) Bike rally in August and skip it if you overlap.

Have fun.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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Fantastic opportunity!

Okay, RMNP. Two "must dos" in my view. First, Trail Ridge Road. Do it on a weekday and start at sunup, and you'll avoid the tourists. From Estes Park you climb about 5,000 vertical over 25 miles and you are truly above the clouds. The ride of a lifetime route, seriously.

Less spectacular but still an Estes Park classic, IMO, is south out of Estes Park down Big Thompson Canyon, "left" at the town of Drake, up through Glen Haven and climb back into Estes via Devil's Gulch. That's probably only about a 30 mile loop.

The riding around Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota is terrific and I can give you some good loops there if you wind up going that way, but don't know how much you want to zig-zag your way through the West.
 

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Unrepentant Mountainbiker
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Scot_Gore said:
The Blackhills and SD Badlands are worthy ride stops.
Here's a ride report of mine from summer 2003.
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=441

Just complete the loop I show on the map. If I was doing it again I might reverse my route. Park at Sylvan Lake, climb up to the Needles, then coast dowm to the southern gate, climb up the Wilderness Loop road to the Norbeck scenic highway, then down and up to Rushmore, then down and back up to Sylvan Lake. Check the dates for the Surgis (motor) Bike rally in August and skip it if you overlap.

Have fun.
Good stuff out there Scot! I was out there 2 summers ago with the mountain bike. There are some great trails out that way. Sylvan to Needles etc. is one of the most beautiful stretches of paved road I have been on. Next time I'm out there I will have to bring the roadie (or at least put the slicks on the Fuel) and actually ride that stretch.
 

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Scot_Gore said:
The Blackhills and SD Badlands are worthy ride stops.
Here's a ride report of mine from summer 2003.
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=441

Just complete the loop I show on the map. If I was doing it again I might reverse my route. Park at Sylvan Lake, climb up to the Needles, then coast dowm to the southern gate, climb up the Wilderness Loop road to the Norbeck scenic highway, then down and up to Rushmore, then down and back up to Sylvan Lake. Check the dates for the Surgis (motor) Bike rally in August and skip it if you overlap.

Have fun.
Excellent ride report. I must have missed that one.

What a ride it must have been!

Bison, Burros, and great scenery! Oh my.
 

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Rmnp

You'll love riding in RMNP. As previously stated, Trail Ridge Road is probably some of the best and most beautiful climbing you'll likely ever do. The Devil's Gulch is a great ride as well. I usually do that starting in Loveland, going up the canyon through Drake and Devil's Gulch to Estes Park, then back down. Great ride. You mentioned Mt Evans, but that isn't near Estes Park. Its a great ride, but south more near I-70. Good luck, maybe I'll see you out there.
 

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Shirtcocker
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bikersteve said:
Hi,

I'm going to be driving cross country this summer (Seattle to Harrisburg PA) and I decided that it would be neat to go through both Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain national parks on my way over. I'm planning on doing a few bike rides already near these parks. I want to ride the Beartooth Highway and Mt. Evans. I know that there must be some other rides that are worth doing. Does anyone have any suggestions? Extra points for rides with less traffic.

Thanks in advance!
You can ride in YNP, but I wouldn't. RV drivers looking at Bison make it a bit dangerous. Go hiking instead.
 

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In the zone.
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys!

I'll add Trail Ridge Road to my itinerary. It sounds like what I'm looking for. I'm not sure if I'll have time to zag over to badlands and get a ride in or not, but I appreciate the ideas given.
 

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Definitely ride Trailridge Rd RMNP on a weekday - and start early per above... On weekends it's fricking crazy busy w/ motorhomes and harleys and no place to be on a bike. Also, I'd bring the 25 unless you're crazy fit.

Evans can be done from Evergreen, from Idaho Springs, from Echo lake (close), or from Denver if you want to do a 120 miler w/ 10K of climbing (easy to do unsupported though). Best to do that ride when it's hot as balls out - makes it comfy up high. Weekdays are better for that too - but not nearly as crucial as RMNP
 

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Kerry Irons used to do Trail Ridge Rd., Mount Evans, Pikes Peak, and then the Triple Bypass Route, all before noon every Wednesday, on a fixie.
 

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Have a nice day
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alienator said:
Kerry Irons used to do Trail Ridge Rd., Mount Evans, Pikes Peak, and then the Triple Bypass Route, all before noon every Wednesday, on a fixie.
Was he trying to keep up with Chuck Norris?
 

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undies said:
Was he trying to keep up with Chuck Norris?
Kerry Irons has to keep up with no one. People keep up with him. When Chuck Norris, once, tried to keep up with Kerry Irons on a ride, he lagged and begged Kerry Irons to stop so Chuck could take a short nap. That enraged Kerry Irons so much he bellowed, "Rest? Rest? I granted you life, and now you want to rest?" And he delivered a roundhouse kick to Chuck Norris' face so hard that Chuck flew back in time and landed on the set of Gone With the Wind. He looked so girly and weak that he was given the part of Scarlett O'Hara.
 
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