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Glacier National Park Going to the Sun Road

SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
edited September 2011 in Commuting chat
Looks like I'm going on an extended family outing to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park next year. Looks like a group of us are going to be up for a bike ride. I've been doing some digging and found what looks to be like a nice bike ride along the "Going to the sun road" in Glacier National Park. See http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/g ... unroad.htm

Anyone on here done it and should I take my bike or hire one there?
--
Chris

Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5

Posts

  • Hi

    First post here. Lurked for a while but thought I might have something useful to say.

    We (Mrs McGee and me) recently visited Yellowstone. It was June and it was snowing when we got there - about 2 feet in one night! It stopped snowing and cleared up after a couple of days but I believe that they had snow again in late July.

    We did see some cyclists out and about round the park, mostly in the north near to the entrance there. But that is also where the wolves and bears tend to end up in the worst of the weather due to the ground being warmer from the thermal activity. Not sure I'd want to be trying to escape a bear on a bike on some of the roads to be honest.

    The place itself is absolutely amazing though and well worth the visit, and if I was given the chance to go again I definately would!

    Do you have any plans on where you might be staying whilst there?

    James
  • McGee2010 wrote:
    Not sure I'd want to be trying to escape a bear on a bike on some of the roads to be honest.

    Yikes! I had no idea they had developed such skills, but it seems you are right!

    958835_caae_625x1000.jpg
  • daviegbdaviegb Posts: 126
    I had the good fortune to spend 3 days cycling in & around Yellowstone National Park towards the end of July last year - it's pretty much the only month you are guaranteed to avoid snow!

    I've included links to each of the day's riding below. It's a truly amazng place to visit - perfect for cycling too! You'll get to see loads of wildlife at close quarters & the bears are very wary of humans, so nothing to be frightened of! We spent two nights in West Yellowstone, which is less than a mile from the entrance to the Park - I would suggest that you book accommodation in advance.

    Day one was spent cycling from Fishing Village to West Yellowstone.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/41420797

    Day one was an out & back ride to Old Faithful, taking in all the sightseeing spots on the way.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/41420786

    Day three was from West Yellowstone to Cody (but you can bail out at Lake Lodge)
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/41555682

    There are a number of awesome rides around the Glacier NP - try this link.
    http://www.cyclingescapes.com/bicycle-t ... asper.html

    Have a great time!!!


    Gavin
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    McGee2010 wrote:
    Not sure I'd want to be trying to escape a bear on a bike on some of the roads to be honest.

    Yikes! I had no idea they had developed such skills, but it seems you are right!

    958835_caae_625x1000.jpg

    Cycle goggles (and a dry spell) still make that look like Liz Hatch to me.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    notsoblue wrote:
    McGee2010 wrote:
    Not sure I'd want to be trying to escape a bear on a bike on some of the roads to be honest.

    Yikes! I had no idea they had developed such skills, but it seems you are right!

    958835_caae_625x1000.jpg

    Cycle goggles (and a dry spell) still make that look like Liz Hatch to me.

    That must be one BAAAAAAAAAAAD dry spell.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
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  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Went to GNP and Yellowstone in June about eight years ago, and drove the GTTS Road into Waterton NP.

    As said above, there were snow drifts on the road, and it's a bit tight in parts, with Winnebagoes squeezing past. In principle, it should be a great climb, but it was a bit too busy.

    About the same time, the bears were coming out of hibernation and only one of the trails was open (to Avalanche Lake, iirc).

    If you get the chance, head to the Grand Tetons (south of Yellowstone), too. Another stunning part of the world.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,686
    Typical careless bear behaviour - no helmet or lights

    amateur
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • The famous US national parks tend to be rammed in peak season. Yellowstone was the first of them and the roads aren't that well engineered. I cycled there, but not near any of the really famous parts. Its perfectly safe, mind you, because speeds are low, but might be frustrating.

    I don't think Glacier National Park is a huge draw by comparison. (And expect the glaciers to be more like tiny alpine stubs than Icelandic rivers of ice). I've cycled in the area of a few of the "lesser" US NP's (Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands.. ) and they are far far quieter (if not quiet as such).

    However, the entire Yellowstone area is surrounded by national forest lands about the size of western Europe. It would not be a challenge to find some quiet roads leading to the area. It is rather difficult to actually get to Yellowstone without going over a pass in the 10,000ft range.

    Don't worry about bears when cycling. Its like worrying about sea eagles grabbing babies. Bears attack due to suprise and it is rarer for example than getting nobbled by an avalanche in the alps.

    Roads are open and ride and if you see any you will be lucky and it will be a priceless moment from your holiday. Why else are you there but to see the amazing wildlife? If you were hiking or camping the advice might be different and you'd need to know what do do with food and clothes and so on. Buffalo are probably more of a worry, so don't do what I saw someone doing and plonk a toddler next to one to get a decent photo.

    Warnings about the weather are true though. You are going to be in a mountain range 500-1000 miles from the moderating influence of ocean. The plains below the mountains are as high as the tops of the Cairngorms. Personally, I would have a vehicle as a fallback - remember that you are visiting an area where the delights are separated by vast distances. You wouldn't go on holiday to Italy and think about doing a ride in the Matterhorn area, would you?
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Buffalo are probably more of a worry, so don't do what I saw someone doing and plonk a toddler next to one to get a decent photo.

    Roaming bison was the reason we didn't hire a bike in the Grand Tetons.

    "Shelter behind moving cars", we were told.

    "What if there are no cars?", we said.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • cjcp wrote:
    Buffalo are probably more of a worry, so don't do what I saw someone doing and plonk a toddler next to one to get a decent photo.

    Roaming bison was the reason we didn't hire a bike in the Grand Tetons.

    "Shelter behind moving cars", we were told.

    "What if there are no cars?", we said.
    censored .
    They really are giant cows. I had to drive through a herd of them in the Black Hills. Ended up cutting the motor (see what I did there?) and rolling along with them a while with the windows down. They don't seem to get excited unless you happen to be made of grass.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    cjcp wrote:
    Buffalo are probably more of a worry, so don't do what I saw someone doing and plonk a toddler next to one to get a decent photo.

    Roaming bison was the reason we didn't hire a bike in the Grand Tetons.

    "Shelter behind moving cars", we were told.

    "What if there are no cars?", we said.
    censored .
    They really are giant cows. I had to drive through a herd of them in the Black Hills. Ended up cutting the motor (see what I did there?) and rolling along with them a while with the windows down. They don't seem to get excited unless you happen to be made of grass.

    Yes, but what IF they get excited? You're a bit rogered then.

    Did you stay in Custer State Park?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • cjcp wrote:
    Yes, but what IF they get excited? You're a bit rogered then.

    Did you stay in Custer State Park?
    Well then you are about as f****d as if you have tried to abduct an elephant baby for the circus and been caught by mummy elephant before you've managed to get the boot of the car closed.

    But when did you last see a baby elephant in Yellowstone? See my point? Look at the silly monkey. You must acquit.

    I can't remember where I stayed. I took the - camp further than 100 yards from the road for as many nights as your pants will last before needing a wash in a motel sink - type of approach.

    I was a student.

    3 nights on average.

    All Super 8's and Motel 6's are the same. I could have been in Tuscon for all I know.
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