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Old 12-23-2012, 10:25 PM   #1
rodr
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Yellowstone 2013!

Note to the reader: Start here if you want to skip the pre-ride chit-chat and go to the actual ride report.

I wanna take off 7-10 days and do a loop to Yellowstone in May or June. Haven't been there since I was a little kid - and that was a LONG time ago!

UPDATE July 30: Revised plan is to leave around September 1, depending on weather forecasts. This will put me in Yellowstone after Labor Day, hopefully with not too much crowding.

The route is planned (so far) to be something like the following, with each letter on the map being a nightly stop. Note that the first leg is 1,033 miles! Yes I'll start things off with an Iron Butt Saddlesore 1000.

[gmap]<iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/lochp?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=I-80+E&amp;daddr=US-93+N+to:48.6782661,-113.5958851+to:47.8424731,-112.2154184+to:10th+Ave+S+to:47.110772,-110.826263+to:S+Broadway+Ave+to:Unknown+road+to:43.7878091,-110.7054312+to:N+Cache+St+to:43.1727778,-111.0158843+to:Idaho+St+to:I-80+W&amp;geocode=FRZySAIds-m5-A%3BFRbB1wId6B0y-Q%3BFXrF5gIdE6o6-SklmToLIaVoUzH1-Vl8f5kvIw%3BFakE2gIdhrpP-Sk5s23xHipoUzGMk11XRq4XQQ%3BFeKz1AIdSPZd-Q%3BFXTazgId6exk-SmJzYc3JuhDUzHFXdjv7twrmw%3BFdpzsQIdLAZ9-Q%3BFXLqrAIdKVNm-Q%3BFSEmnAId6cRm-SlzJCyt7VNSUzGOfI_YHkEV1w%3BFR-NlwIdi-Zl-Q%3BFanDkgIdNAhi-SnHi0eYDlBTUzHiou5t3Rtm_w%3BFYMWbwIdWqEZ-Q%3BFb7cSwIdPwu--A&amp;sll=44.881053,-110.736265&amp;sspn=0.024297,0.044031&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=dme&amp;mrsp=7&amp;sz=15&amp;via=2,3,5,8,10&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=43.548548,-116.015625&amp;spn=15.283766,28.125&amp;z=5&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=I-80+E&amp;daddr=US-93+N+to:48.6782661,-113.5958851+to:47.8424731,-112.2154184+to:10th+Ave+S+to:47.110772,-110.826263+to:S+Broadway+Ave+to:Unknown+road+to:43.7878091,-110.7054312+to:N+Cache+St+to:43.1727778,-111.0158843+to:Idaho+St+to:I-80+W&amp;geocode=FRZySAIds-m5-A%3BFRbB1wId6B0y-Q%3BFXrF5gIdE6o6-SklmToLIaVoUzH1-Vl8f5kvIw%3BFakE2gIdhrpP-Sk5s23xHipoUzGMk11XRq4XQQ%3BFeKz1AIdSPZd-Q%3BFXTazgId6exk-SmJzYc3JuhDUzHFXdjv7twrmw%3BFdpzsQIdLAZ9-Q%3BFXLqrAIdKVNm-Q%3BFSEmnAId6cRm-SlzJCyt7VNSUzGOfI_YHkEV1w%3BFR-NlwIdi-Zl-Q%3BFanDkgIdNAhi-SnHi0eYDlBTUzHiou5t3Rtm_w%3BFYMWbwIdWqEZ-Q%3BFb7cSwIdPwu--A&amp;sll=44.881053,-110.736265&amp;sspn=0.024297,0.044031&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=dme&amp;mrsp=7&amp;sz=15&amp;via=2,3,5,8,10&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=43.548548,-116.015625&amp;spn=15.283766,28.125&amp;z=5" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>[/gmap]

I wasn't originally planning on camping, but it looks like that will be the only reasonable way to get lodging in Yellowstone. So the campground at E will be my base there, and I'll likely stay in it two nights to have time to explore the park (yes I know it will be cold at night). It's about 7 miles from a decent restaurant so I won't have to worry about cooking.

Thanks to Ken209 who pointed me to some great info here. All other suggestions are welcomed, and if anyone is interested in joining me for part or all of this let me know.

Last edited by rodr; 05-10-2015 at 07:45 PM.. Reason: Fix for Google Maps suckage
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:46 PM   #2
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I have done that route(or very simlar) 3 times in the cage. It's a lot of slab. Make sure you give yourself lots of time and dont commit to to many miles per day. It would defiantly make your trip more fun and probably safer if you road with at least one other person. Post it up when you decide on a date and you may get some takers
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:27 AM   #3
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depending on the date i'd love to go ... although i bet nevada will be quite warm!
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:57 AM   #4
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depending on the date i'd love to go ... although i bet nevada will be quite warm!
Would be great to have some company.

Actually most of Nevada is high desert, like 4000 feet and up. When I went through on hwy 50 in June last year, it was quite chilly in the morning!
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:59 AM   #5
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I have done that route(or very simlar) 3 times in the cage. It's a lot of slab. Make sure you give yourself lots of time and dont commit to to many miles per day. It would defiantly make your trip more fun and probably safer if you road with at least one other person. Post it up when you decide on a date and you may get some takers
You bet!

I'm thinking around 300 miles/day. Learned that lesson on my last cross-country trip.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:28 PM   #6
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I'm planning on doing the same thing in late Aug or early Sept. I did it solo in 2007 and was blown away by Yellowstone. Make sure to spend at least two days or more there.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #7
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would all your roads be open in may, or even in June?
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:26 PM   #8
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be prepared for cold weather at night - I was there in August a few years ago and it was pretty chilly...
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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been there, done that...on four wheels.

Wife and I took a 4,200+ mile jaunt through much of the territory Rod is contemplating visiting. Great adventure.

Observations:

Always the potential for bitter cold at elevation. Rod's not a novice, but for you folks that think about traveling over mountain passes during the summer. Be a Boy Scout. Be prepared.

Summer is when road crews can work on roads. You will encounter detours, delays and da most awful asphalt...or worse.

We were in a convertible. At the onset of wet weather, top went up. Saw many a biker still trying to dry full suits of leather the next morning. It won't. Wear water resistant textile and/or cover quick.

Sucks to miss pictures or stopping to take one. Get a GoPro or have a pocket camera that you can fumble into focus while on the move.

Found out there is no Jack-In-The-Box in Montana, Wyoming or North/South Dakota. Thought my phone NAV programs was malfunctioning.

Suggestions:

Go to Glacier National and travel the "Going to the Sun Road". Awesome. Best vista views I've encountered.

Consider going counter-clockwise on your loop. Fast slabbing at the end of the trip and the Grand Tetons are grand, but less to do than Yellowstone. Jackson Hole worth a day.

Rod has "been there, done this", but anyone else would best consider going through Oregon and see Crater Lake. We did and followed up through the eastern portions of Oregon and Washington, thus enabling us to see Spokane and the beautiful terrain around Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.

Hilton Garden Inn was our preferred choice. Never let us down.

Consider pushing a little farther east to see "The Big Heads". Mt. Rushmore is worth the effort and a side trip to see Sturgis, Deadwood, Black Hills, etc. should be included. Don't bother with Crazy Horse.

Buffalo. They roam Yellowstone. It is their turf. You are on a bike. As mentioned above, be prepared. Watched a biker dude with camera in hand saunter toward a buffalo whose group had stopped traffic. Buffalo noticed biker and decided to wander his way. Biker retreated behind his massive Harley. Bet as he peered over the seat, it didn't feel that massive anymore. Luckily for him, my honking (and laughter?) distracted said beast. Moral of story, give them a wide berth and use a telephoto lens.

Pick the right day in summer and I might head out with you for part of the journey. It'll be a grand one.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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I was in Yellowstone a year ago October, drove not rode. The buffalos own the road, give them lots of room

COLD too.

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Old 12-24-2012, 08:15 PM   #11
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I've you had more time I would try to reach Glacier National Park.
But less is probably more. I could spend the whole week there or split it with Teton National that's right there too.

I did I trip up in that area this September, http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/fo...d.php?t=408540

Mammoth was on spot I wanted to revisit. Lots of great roads!

^^^ And yes, the above happened to me too. Those bisons are BIG!
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by veefereefer View Post
I'm planning on doing the same thing in late Aug or early Sept. I did it solo in 2007 and was blown away by Yellowstone. Make sure to spend at least two days or more there.
Yeah it's starting to look more like 10 days than 7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi_outdoors View Post
would all your roads be open in may, or even in June?
I think so but I'll certainly be keeping an eye on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgrrdr View Post
be prepared for cold weather at night - I was there in August a few years ago and it was pretty chilly...
Yeah... I'm thinking hotels may be more fun than camping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSmith View Post
Wife and I took a 4,200+ mile jaunt through much of the territory Rod is contemplating visiting. Great adventure.

Observations: [...]
Thanks so much Bill, great suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeama View Post
I was in Yellowstone a year ago October, drove not rode. The buffalos own the road, give them lots of room

COLD too.
More great feedback from Bill #2. Thanks!
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:55 PM   #13
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I've you had more time I would try to reach Glacier National Park.
But less is probably more. I could spend the whole week there or split it with Teton National that's right there too.

I did I trip up in that area this September, http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/fo...d.php?t=408540

Mammoth was on spot I wanted to revisit. Lots of great roads!

^^^ And yes, the above happened to me too. Those bisons are BIG!
Nice writeup of your adventure, I'm in the middle of reading it now.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:19 PM   #14
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I did a few day ride up to Yellowstone last summer, write-up in my sig. Chief Joseph and Beartooth highways to the east of the park are not to be missed...
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:07 PM   #15
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Drove to Yellowstone in the last full week in May a couple years ago, May 25th-30th I think. In the late afternoon we had 50-75 miles of wet, sloppy, ugly, slushy snow and about 32 degrees driving into West Yellowstone. I've ridden in that kind of weather a couple times but I'm good if I never do that again. The rest of the week it was close to 80 degrees in the afternoon but it seemed warmer than that, blazing sunny. That year we arrived just 5-7 days after the park fully opened for the season.

If you are prepared and somewhat flexible late May can be great. We beat the crowds that year but not by more than a week or so. If you want to ride the whole park it is a whole lot easier with less people.

Your route home is pretty much the route we drove looping through Yellowstone on the way there and Jackson on the way back. We really liked Grand Tetons and Jackson. The parts of Idaho we drove on that trip and 80 through Nevada pretty much sucked. We drove straight home from Jackson starting at 2:00 in the afternoon. Nothing to see from there to here the way we went.

I've ridden Lolo through McCall and that was GREAT! Wish I had time to add more riding in the area west of McCall. I think there is some neat riding in the Oregon/Washington/Idaho border area. I gotta go back there. And Chief Joseph and Beartooth near Yellowstone is something I just have to do in my lifetime. Both times I've been in the area both roads were still snowed in.

Enjoy your trip.

Edit: Chief Joseph and Beartooth are so damn cool. Check out THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO.
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