Cyclists can enjoy 50km of traffic-free roads at beautiful Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming for free this spring.
A 40km stretch of road from the South Entrance to the West Thumb will be open to cyclists only until 14 May, while motor traffic will be banned from a 10km route from the East Entrance to 'six-mile' corner until 7 May.
“The park opens some of the entrances early, prior to allowing cars in, so that people can bike,” a park ranger told BikeRadar. “The South and East Entrances are open a little earlier this year because we had a lighter snowfall and were able to clear the roads much earlier than normal. There's no charge to go in on a bike.”
Cyclist from all over the world come to ride their bikes at Yellowstone, which was established in 1872 as the USA's first national park. The tracks are mainly paved and suitable for road bikes. However, there are currently sections of light snow that might require the use of a mountain bike.
Park rangers recommend carrying bear spray and warn cyclists to keep an eye out for wildlife, including bears, elk and bison. "At the South Entrance, I’m not sure you would see much of anything yet because the animals hibernate during the wintertime and chances are good that they haven't come out yet," said the ranger. "But you might see elk and stuff like that.”
Cyclists entering the park should be prepared for unpredictable weather and should be aware that many park services have not yet opened. Call 307-344-2109 (8am-4.30pm, weekdays) for the latest access information and 307-344-2113 for 24-hour weather information.
Yellowstone is home to Old Faithful, the most famous geyser in the world, as well as hundreds of other geysers and hot springs.