Much can be said both good and bad about our National Park System but for the most part our National Parks afford cyclists with world-class cycling options. Yellowstone is no different.
The park covers a huge swath of land mostly accessible via the Grand Loop Rd. With several hundred miles of paved roads the park is a road tandem team’s dream. The lower speed limits, ample turn-offs, and decent shoulders adds a measure of safety to this scenic wonder piece.
Remember to pack for changing weather conditions and always be aware of wild animals. In the ride below our editors came close to elk, buffalo, coyotes, and snakes. Be aware and stay safe.
This route begins and ends at Madison Junction (15 miles inside the park from the West Yellowstone Gate). Park in the marked lot and begin the ride south bound on Grand Loop road.
After 1/4 mile turn right onto the one way Firehole Canyon Road and enjoy a scenic trip along the Firehole River and climb along the falls and swim beach.
Climb the grade and turn right again on Grand Loop Road. After 3 miles look for Fountain Flat Drive and turn left (if you are riding a pure road tandem continue straight as this cut-off takes you along a gravel road on the back side of Geyser Basin).
Exit Fountain Flat Road at a parking lot and turn left onto Grand Loop Rd (or turn right and travel 5 miles to Old Faithful for your turn around).
In 1.5 miles turn right onto Firehole Lake Drive (another one way street) and climb to the Great Fountain Geyser.
Descend back to Grand Loop Rd turn right and travel back to Madison Junction. Round trip 23 miles and an experience to remember for a lifetime. While riding keep an eye out for the many creatures that are normally missed zipping by in a car.
This ride is a good quick trip that avoids many of the more aggressive climbs in the park. At the same time it travels along the more highly trafficked route within the park so stay attentive for distracted drivers.