Yellowstone Riding worth it?
Sorry for another Yellowstone thread - but my search terms didn't come up with much.
My wife and I are flying into Yellowstone on Friday. Landing at SLC, staying in Jackson for the weekend for a wedding, then going up to West Yellowstone for the rest of next week.
Anyways, we're packing the bags, and the debate has come up about packing our bike gear. Since it's a bit of stuff (helmet, shoes, clothing, etc.), we have some decision making to do. We've decided that since we can easily spend a week wandering around and going bike-less (*sob), we're only going to go through the hassle of bringing our crap, and renting bikes if there is some biking experience truly worth doing/seeing.
I'm sure the trails are great fun - but we want day-trip destinations that are going to blow our minds. Looking for kick-ass views, no-where else but here experiences, and the like. So far when I search mountain biking around there, I'm not coming up with much outside the norm.
Should we pack the bike stuff? Or book a day-spa trip instead?
If you like high alpine riding and don't mind pushing your bike occasionally, the Henry's fork range has great trails. Mile Creek or Sheep Creek are great out and backs, and Mile to Sheep is an epic. Probably a 45 minute drive from West. You can also head south to the Gallatins and Madison Range. Get the Montana Singletrack book and the Beartooth publishing Map.
Originally Posted by wuzilla
Good biking in Jackson and Teton Valley as well, lots of it easy to access if you're short on time.
well there's this:
Epic Ride Montana Style
which has: kick-ass views, no-where else but here (it's the CDT afterall) and the like...
I believe you can rent in West Yellowstone, if that would make the trip easier gear wise. You WILL want to ride in The Teton Valleys, (Jackson/Victor/Driggs) though! I cannot be more adamant on this!
That said, feel free to post more specifics on your itinerary, and I am sure we can help you come up with a plan. I think Pancho even knows a few little used roads where you can drive really fast. Just keep it under 60 on all of the primary roads! (local tip... ;-)
"We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....
And then we eat them."
Thanks for the tips! The "epic" ride looks gorgeous. Although I don't think my wife would appreciate the climbing!
We're going to be in West Yellowstone for the majority of the trip. Our itinerary in Jackson is already pretty booked. We'd be renting bikes - the ideal trip would be something out the door of West Yellowstone (since we'll have a rental car). And riding for the sake of the experience, and not for the sake of just getting some mileage in. Maybe a 20-30 mile, 3-4 hour ride?
I should add that the usual riding my wife and I do are rolling to semi-technical singletrack (my wife can handle really technical stuff - but she doesn't find it fun), and dirt roads/gravel grinds. We're both reasonably experienced riders - she's just explictly said no sadist activities while on vacation
I heard the roads are crap to ride on during tourist season, so would prefer to stay away from that. But it'd be cool if a shop had some cross bikes to rent to explore all the fire roads out there instead of driving around to see all the sites.
Beyond the dirt roads used for xc skiing you are not going to find much of interest from West Yellowstone unless you had a bike rack for your car. You would be better off bringing backpack gear and doing an overnight in the park.
re: West Yellowstone Rendezvous Trails (which I've never ridden, but are accessible right from town and not technical)
Rendezvous Ski Trails - Trail Maps
If you want to get road miles, easy enough to rent in town and do a big ride (around Hebgen or out and back to Quake, if you don't want to climb the pass...)
Riding in the park never appealed to me -- except for the 2 weeks in spring when the road is closed to RVs.
If you don't want to do a ton of technical riding (& climbing), you could do an out and back on Targhee Creek -- accessed after Targhee Pass or 15 minutes West of W. Yellowstone en route to Island Park The trail "barely" climbs for the first 4 miles or so, and I've been meaning to get my 6 yo out there (meaning it's not sadistic at all...)
Of course when you've seen the goods, you might be rethinking your decision to avoid pain at the expense of avoiding pleasure too...
Thanks for all the help - we're going to plan on packing bike gear. Hopefully the rental shops have something nicer!
If you have time, swing up to Big Sky and do some riding up there. There are some great trails that start at the resort. And the nice thing there is you can go as long as you want. I would definitely recommend stopping through for a day if nothing else.