June 21, 2010
Common knowledge among the mountain-biking crowd is that there's no off-road riding in Yellowstone National Park, where the hiking paths are indeed off-limits to bicycles. Last week I made a circuit around the park with my full-suspension Jamis to determine if the rumor is true or not.
The photo at the top of this page was taken at the southern end of the Bunsen Peak Road, an old two-track path that offers a challenging ride of about six miles (twelve miles out and back) not far from Mammoth Hot Springs. Total solitude, and this sign at the trailhead did get my attention. (The black scribbling reads, "Sow w/ four cubs in the area.")
Always bear aware in Yellowstone, another good, albeit short two-mile out-and-back ride (four miles total) led me along a lovely stretch of the upper Firehole River to Lone Star Geyser, located not far from the much better known Old Faithful geyser.
Other options are available, too, a couple of which I sampled. All in all, I say it's definitely worth hauling your mountain bike to Yellowstone. There's also a ton of great riding — some of the best on Earth, in fact — in the national forests surrounding the world's first national park.
Yellowstone National Park photos by Michael McCoy
BIKING WITHOUT BORDERS was posted by Michael McCoy, Adventure Cycling’s field editor, highlighting a little bit of this or a little bit of that — just about anything, as long as it related to traveling by bicycle. Mac also compiles the organization's twice-monthly e-newsletter Bike Bits, which goes free-of-charge to over 45,000 readers worldwide.