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Yellowstone roads yield to bicyclists until April 14

Cyclists encounter bison in Yellowstone National Park while touring during spring, prime time to enjoy the park’s wildlife with a minimum of vehicular traffic. Visitors spent almost $382 million in communities near Yellowstone last year. (File)
Cyclists encounter bison in Yellowstone National Park while touring during spring, prime time to enjoy the park’s wildlife with a minimum of vehicular traffic. Visitors spent almost $382 million in communities near Yellowstone last year. (File)

BICYCLING -- Yellowstone National Park officials are opening a section of the park to bicyclists only for the next two weeks, giving them a chance to ride without competing with tourist traffic.

The 49 miles between West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming will be open to cyclists through April 14.

Bicycling in Yellowstone during spring can be a challenge, as snow and ice are possible along sections of road.

Riders are encouraged to carry bear spray and stay out of closed areas. The first grizzlies were spotted out of their winter dens in February.

No park services are available along the road now as park crews work to plow other roads and open facilities for the summer season. Cell phone coverage is sparse in the park.

In Glacier National Park, road crews are just getting ready to begin plowing snow.

The crews are scheduled to begin clearing Camas Road on Friday before taking on the scenic, 52-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road. Park officials say it usually takes 10 weeks to clear the narrow two-lane road, depending on weather conditions and snowpack.

Bicyclists and walkers also get a shot at traffic-free riding as the road clearing progresses.

The final obstacle is the so-called Big Drift at Logan Pass, a one-mile section of road where the snow can be 80 to 100 feet deep.

Last year, following a mild winter, Logan Pass opened on June 19 – two weeks earlier than then previous year. The full road is usually open by late June or early July.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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