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Rocky Mtn. Park to Yellowstone


TonyS

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A friend, Alan, and I headed for Rocky Mtn. National Park five years ago this Sept. from southern CA. We got about fifteen miles north of Leadville, CO before being turned back by a multi-day rain/snow storm (closed passes, even I70 was shut down for several hours). We are trying it again this Sept. Alan has since moved to Alabama so we are planning on meeting in RMNP and then heading up to Yellowstone. I've ridden through Utah! several times and have my route planned to RMNP. I'd appreciate suggestions for a route to Yellowstone. A couple of years ago I rode to Yellowstone and camped a few days in the park so I'm pretty well versed in that portion of the trip. Should I be able to get some extra time I'm going to try and get to Glacier National Park. Advice on riding/camping from Yellowstone to Glacier will also be appreciated. A bonus to such an excursion is the pre-trip mental vacations that come with the planning; yeah, I'm already excited.

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Not wanting to rain (or snow) on your parade, I have to say that you might again encounter snow. September can be like that around here.

 

Bob

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Last year went through this area. We took Highway 220 north out of Rawlings. About half way to Casper you go through a spot called Muddy Gap and another 15 miles you come to a historic site. This area (valley) is where every wagon train heading west passed through. Go to the visitor's center operated by Mormons. Very interesting part of Americana.

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Here is what I would suggest. After leaving Steamboat Springs, head north out of Craig to Baggs. Turn right at Baggs onto 70 and go over Battle Pass in the Sierra Madres. Then head north through Rawlins and Dubois, no mountains here but the Plains are interesting in their own right. After the Grand Tetons/Yellowstone, take in Beartooth Pass, but only if the weather is good. I have a section of my website that shows some pictures along this route if you are interested.

 

Have fun!

Rod

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Thanks for all the suggestions. Bob, I understand about the weather. When I was in Yellowstone three years ago it was clear and in the mid eighties during the day. I left on a Thurs. The forecast was for a high on Sat. of forty, with wind and snow. The route will certainly be dictated by the weather. I'll put up with some inclimate weather to avoid the crowds. (Storms do make for better pictures.) We plan to ride in early Sept. this time.

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+1, at least from RMNP to Craig, CO. That's my stompin' grounds, and it doesn't get much better than that for road bikes in northern CO.

 

In September, anything could happen weather wise. Even if it doesn't snow, wind can be a pretty significant hazard. Might be wise to leave some white space in your plans to deal with whatever curveball Mother Nature might throw you.

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I agree with Twisties, except I would go through Flaming Gorge North of Vernal before heading NW.

 

The suggested route does go through Flaming Gorge north of Vernal. The road splits and goes either way around the lake. I suggested the western side as it goes through the Sheep Creek drainage, a seriously nice bit of riding there. I believe that's the view that gives the place it's name.

 

Regards Rod's (Mr. Yuk) suggestion, I was assuming you would get to the Chief Joseph and Beartooth on the way from Yellowstone to Glacier, although 191 on the west side of Yellowstone is nothing to miss either. One way or another, make sure you do get the Beartooth.

 

Sheep Creek:

 

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170989434_by54n-L.jpg

 

 

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+1 on the route through Flaming Gorge. We did this trip last September. It rained on us through Craig. We spent the night in Green River and the next day it rained and snowed. When we checked in to the Lake Yellowstone hotel late that night it was pouring cold rain. The next morning the heavens opened and the sun came out. Still cold as hell but tolerable riding weather.

 

I'll see if I can dig out our itinerary (Google maps). I should also spend some time posting some pics.

 

Have fun and stay safe. Some of the mountain passes can get real scary, real fast.

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