Yellowstone National Park Road Bike Tour
   
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891 info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Yellowstone National Park

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Please click here to jump to the Overview section with all tour details including pricing.

Yellowstone National Park Bike Tour: Highlights

Lizard Head Cycling Guides is an Authorized Permittee of Yellowstone National Park

A Yellowstone National Park bike tour is a otherworldly experience especially if you happen to enjoy wildlife, geysers and fabulous landscapes! This tour spends three days in the National Park and then 4 days in the lesser known, but equally compelling Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We consider Day 7’s Bear Tooth Pass to be one of the top three climbs on any of our 30 bike touring itineraries!

Join the local experts at Lizard Head Cycling Guides as we explore the Yellowstone Country together and are challenged by some of North America’s most dazzling cycling terrain.

F.Y.I.: Although our Yellowstone tour is a great tour for the Upper-Intermediate rider level, it’s optional rides offer BIG challenge for the every-freak-inch (E.F.I.) type rider. For example, in the five years that we have run this Yellowstone itinerary, only 5 riders have ever ridden E.F.I. on the tour! NOTE: Quite a few more riders would have ridden E.F.I., but a combination of rain and wind shut down a group outside of Cooke City on Day 6 a couple summers ago.

(Our group) completed the Yellowstone ride last week, it was a typical Lizard Head tour, pretty tough but doable, with some outstanding majestic scenery. (I wish) to comment on the outstanding team that lead our tour, DeAnn and Emily were such great guides, both pitched in to make sure that everything went smoothly, they are very professional and I did not hear one complaint from the group about the support. And it also helps to ride behind one of them after 5,000 plus feet of climbing. – Bill

Click here to read a daily journal by Edward, a guest on a recent Yellowstone National Park Bike Tour.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park

Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park

Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Lake

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

The twisty roads of Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

On the road to Red Lodge, Montana

On the last day of this tour we will tackle the incredible Beartooth Highway which has been proclaimed by some to be the most scenic 68 miles of mountain road to be found in America. Here’s part of the 27 mile descent from Beartooth Pass into Red Lodge, Montana.

Here are just a few of the amazing places that we will visit on this tour.

Yellowstone National Park Bike Tour: Dates

Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891

Summer 2020 Tour Dates

Yellowstone National Park Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: 7-Days Cycling/6-Nights Lodging

Starting/Ending Town: Bozeman, MT/Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN).

Meeting Hotel: Quality Inn Bozemnan 828 Wheat Drive, Bozeman, MT, 59715, US (406) 587-2222 (not included in tour cost)

Total Miles: 250-395. (Can I keep up on this tour?)

Ability Level: Upper Intermediate (3)  to Advanced (3/4) 

Tour Includes: 6-nights of lodging, meals include 5-dinners, 6 lunches, 6 breakfasts, guide service, entrance fees, daily lunch en route, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, massage & bike rental are additional.

Tour Cost (7-Day Tour): $2,850 per person.
Group discount of $200 per person for groups of 4 or more. Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

Non-Riding Spouses & Partners on Tour: If a non-riding spouse or partner would like to join you on tour and they have their own transportation, they can stay in your room for the cost of the tour's single room supplement. Non-Riding spouses and partners can join a tour's meal plan of three meals a day for $85 per day.

Holiday Discount: Take $150 off 6-Day 2020 Road tours plus a $50 bike rental discount, or $100 off 2020 MTB tours for reservations made thru December 15, 2019. (NOTE: Western US tours only; this discount is not stackable with other discounts)

Single Room Supplement: Add $545 total to the Tour Cost for a private room (6 nights).

Lodging for 6-Nights: (subject to availability)

NOTE: Meeting Hotel and Ending Hotel reservations and costs are NOT included unless specified otherwise. Guests are on-their-own to make reservations at the Meeting Hotel or Ending Hotel, or other nearby hotels.

Ability Level: Can I Ride This Tour?

Definition of Ability Levels
= Intermediate (2/3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 1 to 3 times a week for a total of 50 or more miles.
= Upper Intermediate (3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 2 to 4 times a week for a total of 75 or more miles.
= Advanced (3/4) Rides and/or takes spin classes 3 to 5 times a week for a total of 100 or more miles. Has ridden multi-day tours and done a century ride.
= Expert (4) Rides 4 or more times per week totaling 150 or more miles. Rides E.F.I. with regularity. Has done numerous multi-day tours, century rides and races.

How Fit do I Have to Be?
If one month prior to the tour, you can ride 2 to 3 times a week equalling a total of 75 or more miles a week, you'll do just fine. We like to jokingly say that "one is ready for a Lizard Head Cycling Tour when they are finished with tour" and this is true! The only way to simulate a week long bike tour is to go on a week long tour.

Our average rider age is 55 years. These are bike tours, not races so we take our time to stop, take pictures and see the sights. We have all day to reach our destination and most riders take "bumps" at some points. We offer reduced mileage options for each day. Of course if someone wants to ride E.F.I. (Every Freaking Inch), we love to show them all the extra climbs, loops and hidden canyons that can be included!

Do the Bump!
Daily mileage options allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy this tour. One of our favorite options is to give cyclists a "bump" via the support vehicle, or a 10 to 20 mile lift down the road representing an hour of pedal time. After the bump the rider is "off the front" and riding at his or her own pace without feeling they are being left behind the group. They'll then have time to linger and take in the spectacular scenery. All cyclists come together in time for lunch. Afterwards, cyclists can take another bump and/or continue riding.

Seamless Mileage Options
Lizard Head Cycling Guides designs multiple mileage options for each tour – something we're well known for in our business. This technique is similar to heliskiing in that one does not ski everything, they ski the best. :-)

Slow or Fast?
Many cyclists who sign up for our tours have worried themselves silly about not being able to keep up, but then they're surprised to find that all the worrying was about nothing. They do just fine! Slow and Fast only exist relative to other cyclists. Speed does not matter as long as one is moving on the bike. As long as one is moving, they are truly going fast enough.

If you have questions about your ability to ride this tour, please contact our office via email or call us at 970.728.5891 - we'll more than happy to guide you!

Please also see this blog post for more information.

How is the Traffic in Yellowstone?

In Yellowstone there are roads that are more conducive for cyclists (shoulders and good pavement) and we seek these out. Overall, three of the our Yellowstone’s tour’s seven days are within the national park and on two of these days we offer the option of world class hikes that we ride our bikes to! On the four days of riding outside the park, you will find traffic to be very light.

Within the park, when we run our tours in late August, vehicular traffic is less than high season (July and early August) due to the fact that most kids and their families have returned to school. Overall, the nature of the traffic within Yellowstone park is generally “tourist” in nature; meaning they are driving at slower speeds and stopping at pull-offs. In general, there in not cell phone reception within the park and this means drivers are not distracted by the impulse to text or make calls. Also since traffic is less in the morning hours, we take advantage of this window to start our rides.

Overall, as a result of the design of our tour, our cyclists have found the riding experience within Yellowstone National Park to be safe and fulfilling. Please feel free to ask additional questions.

Bike Rental

Road Bike Rental: In 2020 Lizard Head Cycling is renting a fleet of Scott Addict 10 carbon road bikes for only $250/week, or $150 for 3 or 4 day tours. The Scott Addict offer full carbon frames, Shimano Ultegra components, 34x32 low gearing, 32mm tires, and disc brakes. Altogether, the Scott Addict provides a smooth and comfortable ride for our guests. Rental bikes include pump, tools, and spare tubes. NOTE: Bike rentals can be limited, so please reserve in advance.

Please also see this blog post for more information on bike rentals. If you need more info on our bike rentals, please email info@lizardheadcyclingguides.com or call 970.728.5891

If you liked your bike rental, you can take that bike home! Please see this page for more information.

Electric Bike Rental (E-Bikes): We now have a limited selection of SCOTT electric bikes that can be reserved for our tours. These are road bikes with straight bars that make the slowest rider the fastest rider in the group. Rental Price is $375/week.

Couples Bike Rental Discount: Sign up as a couple and receive one free bike high performance rental per couple ($250 value. Pedal bikes only, E-Bikes excluded).

Tandems and Recumbents: Lizard Head Cycling Guides happily accommodates both tandem and recumbent bikes on its tours.

Read more on our Road Bike Rental FAQs page.

Meals On Tour

Lunches: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and of course plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works for you during the week. Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

Dinners: Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients. Guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu: including appetizer, salad, entree and of course dessert... yum! :) Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post-ride element.

Overall Route Map

Yellowstone National Park Bike Tour: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Day 0: Arrival in Bozeman

Riders either drive or fly to Bozeman, Montana. If flying, the airport is Yellowstone International Airport (BZN).

Day 1: Madison Junction to Grant Village
43 miles with up to 2,665 feet of climbing

After a morning shuttle from Belgrade to West Yellowstone, Montana through the picturesque Gallatin River Canyon (‘A River Runs Through It’ was filmed here!), we start our ride about 10 miles from the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park – keep a look out for the commonly sighted bison and elk, often right in the middle of the road! Also keep a keen eye for the more elusive grizzly bear, or perhaps even some wolves! This is wild and rugged terrain where wildlife abounds amid the beauty of Mother Nature and her geothermal wonders.

Along the way we take a short loop along the one-way Firehole Lake Drive and then a stop at Old Faithful for light hiking and lunch. Departing Old Faithful we continue east through the dense pine forests to end the day at Grant Village to check into our accommodations for this evening.

Elevation Profile: 43 mi +2665 ft / -1670 ft

Day 2: Yellowstone Lake to Shoshone Lake
Morning Ride: 46 miles with up to 2,200 feet of climbing
Afternoon Hike: 6-8 Miles Out and Back Hike to Shoshone Lake

On this second day we embark on an out and back ride along the shores of Yellowstone Lake, one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America which is also centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest ancient super-volcano on the North American continent. With an aid station at our turnaround point, riders will enjoy a return trip along Yellowstone Lake with a stop at West Thumb Geyser Basin for some light hiking while guides prepare lunch. Post-lunch is a short 9-miles to complete our ride and then we take to the Delacy Trail for our hike to Shoshone Lake. After the hike you can either shuttle the 12-miles back to Grant Village or ride.

Elevation Profile: 46 mi +2200 ft / -2050 ft

Day 3: Grant Village to Canyon Village
62 miles with up to 3,305 feet of climbing

Starting from Grant Village, today’s route will ride clockwise along a large portion of the Lower Geyser Basin and Grand Loop Road. We will retrace a portion of our route from the first day as we pedal west with the rising morning sun at our backs and the steaming geysers making for a dramatic scene in the cool morning air. With an aid station at Old Faithful and then lunch at Madison Junctions, we continue on Grand Loop Road turning east onto Norris Canyon Road. The ride ends at Canyon Village, our lodging for this evening.

If you are up to it there will be an optional short late afternoon hike at the nearby Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – an amazing 900 foot deep canyon carved into the ancient rock by the Yellowstone River that offers picturesque views of waterfalls and deeply eroded golden red rock formations. While Yellowstone National Park is best known for it’s geysers and thermal water features, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a hidden gem that must be visited to be appreciated. It’s simply gorgeous!

Elevation Profile: 62 mi +3305 ft / -3225 ft

Day 4: Canyon Village to Cody, Wyoming
94 miles with up to 2,835 feet of climbing

Today offers an epic day on the bike! After a hearty breakfast for the long day ahead, riders depart from Canyon Village, pedal along the northeastern shore of Yellowstone Lake, and then exit Yellowstone National Park via the East Entrance. After some moderate climbing for the first third of the route, riders will enjoy losing 4,500 feet along a 60 mile descent as we make our way along the North Fork of the Shoshone River, through the scenic Wapiti Valley, along The Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, past Buffalo Bill Reservoir to eventually make our way into the rustic western cowboy town of Cody, Wyoming. Wow! What a day!

Note: Lower mileage options exist for this ride by simply taking a bump for the first 32 miles of the ride or by taking a bump between the first and second aid stations. However, look at all that downhill on the 2nd half of the profile below – you definitely want to ride that!

Elevation Profile: 94 mi +2835 ft / -5750 ft

Day 5: Layover Day – Cody, Wyoming
Optional 52 mile ride and/or hiking

Today is a layover day in Cody, Wyoming. There will be an optional “South Fork Out and Back” ride offered today for those that want to keep up their daily pedaling. Other activities can include exploring the old western downtown area, attending a real western rodeo, exploring the Buffalo Bill museum of the west, hiking on nearby trails or simply relaxing.

South Fork Out and Back Elevation Profile: 52 mi +1705 ft / -1705 ft

Day 6: Chief Joseph Scenic Byway
Standard: 47-miles with 3,000-feet of climbing
E.F.I. Option: 77 miles with up to 7,300 feet of climbing

Today offer possibly the most scenic riding of the entire week as we cruise along the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and dip into Montana at the end of the ride. The standard plan is to start with a quick shuttle (to avoid less scenic riding) and drop cyclists at the base of the climb of Chief Joseph Pass. NOTE: Chief Joseph pass was newly paved in the summer of 2017! The tarmac is smooth and fast. 🙂

For the E.F.I. rider today is certainly the “queen stage” of the week with over 8,000′ of climbing and a HC (beyond category) 10 mile climb to Chief Joseph pass.

Of course there will be plenty of opportunities to “bump” ahead for those not wanting to put in all the miles or climbs allowing those riders to literally cherry pick the best of the best along today’s route.

We will conclude the ride at Cooke City, Montana and check into the Soda Butte Lodge for the final night of our week-long adventure. It’s hard to believe that the week is almost over as we share one last dinner together in this truly wondrous place.

Elevation Profile: +8300 ft / -5700 ft

Elevation Profile: +8300 ft / -5700 ft

Day 7: Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, MT
Standard: 44 miles with 4,200-feet of climbing
E.F.I. Option: 64-miles with up to 5,400 feet of climbing

It would not be a classic Lizard Head tour without a classic ending… and today is the day! With an early morning start, we’ll take on the mighty Beartooth Highway and head northeast up to Beartooth Pass maxing out at nearly 11,000′ elevation. The climb is long and gradual and the views are amazing! As we past tree line on our ascent, we’ll ride past dozens of fresh water lakes sprinkled throughout the barren landscape where there is often snow pack at these altitudes year round. We consider Beartooth Pass a top three climb of all the climbs in all the itineraries we offer! When one reaches the top of Beartooth Pass they just don’t go down, they get to go across an alpine landscapes for miles before descending. Up high above the trees the views and wildflowers are tremendous.

At the top of Beartooth Pass we’ll stop for lunch with 100+ mile views in all directions – it is truly spectacular! Post lunch will be a mind boggling 27 mile twisty descent to the town of Red Lodge, Montana… this is one ride you are certainly not going to forget. Upon arrival in Red Lodge, we end at Red Lodge Ales to toss back a few celebratory brews and then pack up to shuttle back to Bozeman to end the tour.

What an incredible week!

Yellowstone National Park, Day 6 Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile: +5400 ft / -7300 ft

Yellowstone National Park Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs

Bike Shipping

Lizard Head Cycling recommends shipping with BikeFlights.com. Bikes can be shipped either to our partner bike shop in each meeting town for professional assembly or directly to the meeting hotel for self-assembly. Bike boxes can generally be left at the meeting hotel during the tour. Bikes shipped across the continental US should be shipped 8 days prior to your tour.

Meals on the Tour
Most meals (aside from two) from lunch on the tour’s first day (Sunday) through breakfast on departure day are included. The exceptions are that guests are own their own for meals on the layover day. In total 5 dinners, 6 breakfasts and 6 lunches are included.

Breakfasts and dinners are in restaurants where clients either order off the menu or choose from a buffet. Fresh lunches that include salads, local fruit, vegetables and meats are served in roadside parks by the Lizard Head Cycling Guides. Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form. Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contains gluten free options.

If on any given night a guest is tired or not feeling particularly social, they can choose to eat early and retire. Lizard Head Cycling enjoys hosting its guests for meals each evening, but understands some of us may just need to lie down after a day in the saddle. A meal should not feel like marathon after a big day on the bike.

Ride Difficulty
Due to the mountainous terrain, this tour is designed for upper intermediate to advanced cyclists. Each day there are additional mileage options for advanced riders.

Tour Support
A 15-passenger van and trailer that carries luggage, food and equipment supports Lizard Head Cycling’s tours. Cyclists keep a day bag that is accessible within the support vehicle.

The vehicle will sag and then pass riders to set up aid stations every 20 to 25 miles. This allows cyclists to linger at the back and then take a ten-mile, fifteen-mile or whatever mile “bump” forward to catch-up or get ahead of the group. Energy food, drink mixes, and fresh fruit are available throughout each stage.

The Daily Schedule
Cyclists ride their own pace. Lizard Head Cycling does its best to support riders in their varying desires and efforts. Cyclists can either use our tours to simply support their tour experience or to engage in a guided experience along the route.

Cue sheets with directions, profiles and locations of aid stations are given out for each stage.

General Tour & Cancellation Policies

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.

Travel Insurance

Lizard Head Cycling Guides highly recommends clients purchase Travel Insurance through MH Ross Travel Insurance. A policy can be purchased individually through the sales link below or Lizard Head Cycling Guides can also set-up a policy for its clients.

The estimated cost for a 50-year old buying insurance for a $2,500 tour ranges from $100 (standard plan) to about $200 (cancel for any reason plan).

Lizard Head Cycling Guides Custom Sales Portal Link is:

https://www.mhross.com/index.php/consumer/portal/LIZA0855CO

  • The best options for our clients are either the Asset or Bridge plans.
  • The Asset-Plus & Complete plans both include a Cancel-For-Any-Reason option.
    • As a result these plans cost more.
    • The Cancel-for-Any-Reason option is only available when insurance is purchased within two weeks of initial deposit.
 

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