YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – Bicyclists willing to brave the often-unpredictable elements of spring in Yellowstone National Park are now able to travel 49 miles of park roads from the West Entrance at West Yellowstone to Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo.

The stretch of road from Mammoth to Norris Junction opened March 13, and the road from Norris to West Yellowstone opened March 16. There is no bicycle access to Old Faithful or Canyon until the first interior park roads open to public motorized vehicle access on April 17.

The road from the North Entrance at Gardiner, to Cooke City at the park’s Northeast Entrance is open all year to cyclists and automobiles, weather permitting.

A bicycle trip into Yellowstone this time of year is not to be undertaken lightly.

The quickly changing weather can be challenging, snow and ice may still cover sections of road that could be lined with tall snow banks, and pullouts may remain snow packed. Extra caution is advised while traveling through the five-mile long road construction zone north of Norris Junction, which is not paved and may be muddy.

Bicyclists must stay out of closed areas, and are required to ride single file while following all other rules of the road. Cyclists should expect to encounter and yield to snowplows or other motorized vehicles operated by park employees or construction workers traveling in conjunction with park operations.

Bears, bison, elk, wolves and other wildlife could be encountered at any time. Riders are strongly encouraged to carry bear spray, and should be prepared to turn around and backtrack when encountering wildlife on the road.

No services are available along these sections of road. Cell phone coverage throughout the park is sparse and unreliable for communicating emergencies. Riders need to have a plan for self-rescue or repair, and be prepared for exposure to severe winter conditions for an extended period of time in the event they experience a mechanical breakdown, injury or other emergency.

Cyclists are urged to call (307) 344-2109 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays for updated road access information, or call (307) 344-2113 for 24-hour weather information before committing to any ride in the park. Additional planning information is also available at nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit, or by calling (307) 344-2117.