2018 Spring Bicycling Season Starts in Yellowstone

Select roads in Yellowstone National Park are now open to spring bicycling.

From now until Friday, April 20, 2018, cyclists will be able to travel around portions of the park free of cars. Keep in mind, however, that snowplows and other employee vehicles will still be out and about as crews prepare to clear the roads for Yellowstone’s spring/summer seasons.

According to a Yellowstone press release, the following routes are open or will be open to cyclists, depending on conditions:

• Mammoth Hot Springs to Willow Park
• West Entrance to Madison, Norris, and Roaring Mountain
• South Entrance to West Thumb
• East Entrance to eastern end of Sylvan Pass

In addition, the North-Northeast Entrance road stays open to all traffic year-round. Read here for up-to-date information on Yellowstone roads.

Currently, cyclists cannot travel between Mammoth Hot Springs and the West Entrance due to road construction and muddy conditions. In addition, there will be no bicycle access between the West Entrance and Old Faithful or Canyon until those roads reopen April 20.

The Sylvan Pass/East Entrance Road will be fully plowed May 4, 2018 and will reopen to cars the same day, weather permitting.

Although spring bicycling is a fun, fit way to see Yellowstone National Park, you should be mindful of conditions on the ground and heed park regulations.

All bicyclists, for instance, must yield to snowplows and other vehicles they encounter. Cyclists should also ride single file and follow the rules of the road e.g. use hand turn signals and obey signage. Bicyclists must also stay out of closed areas.

Cyclists should note that weather conditions change rapidly in Yellowstone. If you think you’re cycling toward a rain or snowstorm, turn around immediately. Also be mindful of snow and ice on the road, as well as tall snow banks and pullouts.

When traveling in the park, cell reception tends to be sporadic. If you decide to take a spring bicycling trip around Yellowstone, be prepared to “self-rescue” and address any mechanical failures that occur while biking.

Keep an eye out for wildlife as well. Park staff have already sighted bears emerging from hibernation, for instance. Besides bears, you should be mindful of other wildlife like bison, elk, and wolves. All visitors must stay at least 25 yards away from wildlife like bison and elk and 100 yards away from wildlife like bears and wolves.

If you encounter wildlife on the road in Yellowstone Naitonal Park, turn around immediately and maintain a safe distance. For extra protection, consider packing bear spray.

With the exception of select places in Mammoth and Tower, most Yellowstone visitor facilities and services are closed. You can see the list of opening and closing dates here.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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