June family trip to Yellowstone, worth breaking out for a ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    June family trip to Yellowstone, worth breaking out for a ride?

    Hi, I'm planning a trip out with my family (wife, two small kids, with brother and his family) to yellowstone and Cody, with a couple folex days for just my family at the end . Right now I am thinking we will go to Teton, but tbd. I live in santa cruz, CA, and good with some climbing, though the elevation might kill me

    I'd love to get in some riding if it makes sense. However, 1) I don't want to commit a lot of time, and miss too much of the family time, 2) not sure if I want to bring my bike and worry about theft for the 10 non-biking days of the trip; and 3) I really don't want to f* with bears!

    I normally ride between XC and trail, but I thought one of the bike parks (big sky or targhee) might be nice for proximity and rentals, plus I can get in more riding in less time

    Any recommendations?

    BTW, I am also interested in trail running for places that don't allow bikes. But the bear rule still applies!

  2. #2
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    It's been a great snow year so far. Many of the rides nearest Yellowstone (including Big Sky's bike trails) are high enough in elevation that they may not be rideable in June. Even around Bozeman (lower elevation but maybe out of your way to drive to), June can be pushing it for good riding conditions.

    I would check back here for current conditions a couple weeks before you leave rather than lug all the bike stuff around for (possibly) no reason.

    That said, June is a great time to visit Yellowstone. Relatively uncrowded and the best time of year for animal sightings.

  3. #3
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    Wow totally didn't realize snow would be a thing in June. Thanks for the intel. Will be great no matter what. Will check back in May.

  4. #4
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    Yeah most of the best riding isn't available until July around here. June riding depends on what part of June you are here. Early June is when spring begins at higher elevations but by late June there are definitely some good riding options. That said, I rode Bangtail (one of the better rides in the area) on June 4 last year, which was a really big snow year, and it was snow free all the way through minus one short section. So there are some trails that melt out somewhat early, all of them around Bozeman.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshmj View Post
    Wow totally didn't realize snow would be a thing in June. Thanks for the intel. Will be great no matter what. Will check back in May.
    There will definitely be snow in places (possibly lots of them) in Yellowstone Park in June. Bring warm clothes.

  6. #6
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    If you're in Teton Park, it will be pretty easy to go to Jackson and rent a bike and ride right from the shop. In Jackson, go to Hoback Sports or the Hub, ride Ferrins/W.Game/Cache/Putt Putt. 3 hour loop if you stop to smell the wildflowers. Good chance it will be snow free in June.

    You could also ride from Wilson Backcountry Sports in Wilson, and do the Old Pass road/Arrow trail/Phillips ridge loop. More road riding, higher chance of bear encounter, and slower to clear of snow, but it's a really fun ride.

  7. #7
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    There's also good riding in Cody, right from town. Beck Lake trails are relatively new. I assume it's clear-ish of snow that time of year, but don't quote me on it.
    "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. -Ernest Hemingway

  8. #8
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    a good rule of thumb for high country riding is: you are usually good to go around the 4th of july. now this is for the high country not the low country or mid level stuff.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshmj View Post
    Hi, I'm planning a trip out with my family (wife, two small kids, with brother and his family) to yellowstone and Cody, with a couple folex days for just my family at the end . Right now I am thinking we will go to Teton, but tbd. I live in santa cruz, CA, and good with some climbing, though the elevation might kill me

    I'd love to get in some riding if it makes sense. However, 1) I don't want to commit a lot of time, and miss too much of the family time, 2) not sure if I want to bring my bike and worry about theft for the 10 non-biking days of the trip; and 3) I really don't want to f* with bears!

    I normally ride between XC and trail, but I thought one of the bike parks (big sky or targhee) might be nice for proximity and rentals, plus I can get in more riding in less time

    Any recommendations?

    BTW, I am also interested in trail running for places that don't allow bikes. But the bear rule still applies!
    RE: West Yellowstone, Freeheel and Wheel rents front squish and I'd think S. Side CDT/Targhee Pass towards Rheas Pass would be riding by then but as already indicated most of the high alpine goods are likely to be snowy until end of June/beginning of July.

    https://www.freeheelandwheel.com/bike-rental-rates.html

    I gather the South Side of the Centennial Mountains (west of West Yellowstone) has an earlier season, but not terribly convenient re: quick access and time and you're more likely to see bears in there than south side Targhee Pass CDT.

    You should ping back closer to your departure re: up to date beta, but we're having a solid winter re: snowpack so far...

    ETA: there are a bunch of ATV trails and some "mellow" riding at Harriman State Park as well in Island Park.

  10. #10
    rth009
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    The trails in Cody will be riding by June for sure, as its only about 5000', but its hard to say what the high country will be like in June. I have not been to Cody to ride for 6 years, and was only there once, but at that time they were developing trail and it was pretty good. I presume it is much better now. They are close to town, too. In your situation, Id look in to renting a bike in Cody for a ride or two.

    https://www.trailforks.com/region/cody/

  11. #11
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    If you end up in West Yellowstone, you can rent a bike from the shop in town there. For a close and convenient place to ride there are some cross country ski trails right outside town that are open to biking and hiking in the summer. Nothing extreme, and they don't really go anywhere special but it's close to town and would keep your time investment small. I hit them up a couple times a couple years back just to get in some fast exercise.
    Any time you're in Montana you're in bear country whether you're in town or out in the woods. You can rent bear spray from a few places around the park so you don't have to purchase it. It's about $40 a can to buy it.....big investment if you will never need it again.
    If you ever make it up to Glacier Park hit me up. I can hook you up with our local group of riders. We can take you on epic rides that you'd never find on your own around here.
    Trek Madone 4.5
    Surly Ice Cream Truck Ops
    Salsa Pony Rustler GX1
    And a couple other beater bikes.

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