spring biking in Yellowstone

Yellowstone biking season opens April 7

Another sign of spring: ski

The following roads between the West Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs will open to bicycling:

  • West Entrance to Madison Junction
  • Madison Junction to Norris Junction
  • Norris Junction to Mammoth Hot Springs

As conditions allow, bicycles will also be permitted from the East Entrance to the east end of Sylvan Pass (6 miles). Also, bicycles are not allowed on the remaining park roads until they start to open to public automobiles at 8 a.m. Friday, April 21. Check out our page on Yellowstone opening and closing dates for information on 2023 Park roads.

The opening comes with plenty of qualifiers. First, you bear the risk of bad weather quickly moving through the Park, so monitor weather conditions closely. Second, with snow levels still high in the park, the biking conditions won’t be ideal; also, the snow levels are forcing animals to the roads, so you may end up sharing the road — or being forced to turn around.

Some bicycling tips from the National Park Service:

  • Bears, bison, elk, moose and other wildlife use roads as travel corridors when the snow is deep. They are stressed and weak due to the severe winter of above-average snowpack and continued cold temperatures. Be mindful as they endure this hardest part of the year. Higher than usual snowbanks prevent them from easily moving off the road. Do not crowd or push wildlife and be prepared to wait or turn around.
  • Stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards away from all other wildlife.
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
  • Travel during daylight hours only.
  • Ride single file and use extreme caution. Expect administrative vehicles such as snowplows, heavy equipment, contractor and employee traffic. Roadway shoulders are narrow, and curves can limit visibility.
  • Watch for quickly changing weather conditions and the possibility of temporary road closures. Snow and ice may cover sections of road.
  • No services will be available, except limited restrooms. Plan for self-rescue or repair. Cell phone coverage throughout the park is sparse and unreliable for communicating emergencies.
  • Prepare to spend an extended period in winter conditions in the event of a mechanical breakdown, injury or other emergency. 

Photo courtesy National Park Service.

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