Road or dirt, baggies or lycra, West Yellowstone is surrounded by biking of all variety in the spectacular settings that make the area so popular.
- Mountain or road, you’ll find no shortage of biking around West Yellowstone.
- Spring bike tours through Yellowstone National Park are perhaps the best way to experience Yellowstone.
- Take a ride ‘around the block’, a truly classic 64 mile loop that takes you up and over mountain passes and past rivers and lakes.
- Both rentals and guides are readily available in and around West Yellowstone.
Hammer up mountains and pin it through the turns on the way down; pedal your way over paved passes and past mountain lakes; West Yellowstone’s biking community is strong and thriving, evidenced by the plethora of top-notch roads and trails available to cycling enthusiasts.
While West Yellowstone is often thought of as more of a road biking spot, the trails and mountain biking have no problem standing on their own. With trails that provide easy access from town and all-day rides through mountainous forests, there’s nothing mundane about the mountain biking here.
Rendezvous Ski Trails
As the snow melts and the mud dries, the Rendezvous Ski Trails are a popular place for mountain bikers to come. The 20 miles of rolling trails are just outside West Yellowstone and provide a great place to warm up before attacking some of the longer, harder rides nearby.
Yellowstone National Park
Using a mountain bike to tour Yellowstone National Park is a good way to avoid some of the busier main roads the rough the Park since, while bikes are not allowed on trails or boardwalks, there are plenty of gravel and dirt roads that are more suitable for mountain bikes than road bikes. The Old Gardiner Road and Blacktail Plateau Drive are two good places to start.
Forest Service Lands
Both the Gallatin and Targhee National Forests, each just outside of West Yellowstone, have more than enough trails and service roads to keep you pedaling all day, or all week, long on everything from mellow, rolling roads to steep, technical downhills. Trail maps are available at local shops.
While there may not be as many roads around West Yellowstone as you’ll find back East, what the area lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality.
Yellowstone National Park
While heavy traffic along the main park roads during peak summer months can lessen the appeal of road biking through Yellowstone National Park, spring months are without a doubt the best time to come visit our first national park. Once the roads begin to clear (usually in March), the West Entrance opens to non-motorized traffic only, and bikers are quick to take advantage of having the park all to themselves. While the weather is unpredictable and often cold, the chance to watch Yellowstone wake back up after a long winter and see the wildlife free from the hustle and bustle of cars makes for a beautiful ride. If you choose to cycle through the park during the busier summer months, be aware that some roads are narrow and have little to no shoulder.
West Yellowstone Old Faithful Cycle Tour
Each fall as the trees change color and the temperatures cool, cyclists meet en masse in West Yellowstone for the annual Old Faithful Cycle Tour, a 60 mile ride that begins in West Yellowstone and makes its way past some of Yellowstone’s most popular hot springs, geysers and thermals before reaching Old Faithful, perhaps the most famous geyser in the entire park.
Around the Block
A popular ride with locals, the ‘around the block’ ride is a 64 miles loop that takes you from West Yellowstone over Targhee Pass and down to Henry’s Lake (via Highways 20 and 87), over Raynold’s Pass and across the Madison River (via Highway 287) before heading back into West Yellowstone on Highway 91. If the entire block sounds a little daunting, the ride can easily be done in smaller sections, each of which are beautiful rides on their own.
Whether you plan on spinning along the roads through Yellowstone National Park or cranking up some dirt hills on a mountain bike, you can find bike rentals in and around West Yellowstone.
Experienced guides for both road bike tours and mountain bike rides can also be found both in and around West Yellowstone. In addition to helping you find the trails or roads that best meet your desires, these guides are valuable sources of information about natural history and lesser-known trails and scenic spots.