Bicycle Regret When Travelling

My friend and I just travelled for ten days across the country to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. We had completed the packing of the car and were just heading out of the city when I looked at my friend Emley and said, I want to bring my bike. She said let’s turn around and get them.

I said no, for various reasons.

One, we were already camping the whole time and our car was packed to the brim. Even though I know the bike rack would have been on the back of the car and would not have affected the space within the vehicle.

Two, we intended to hike. I know if I have my bike, I will only ride. I will not hike, I prefer cycling.

Three, I did not know the state of the parks and how many places would be accessible via bicycle. We had done quite a bit of research yet neglected to look into bicycle routes within the parks.

Therefore, we said no. And believe me people, Yellowstone is very beautiful without a bicycle. In fact, it is very car accessible because it was the first park to ever be established in the US and because it is SUPER touristy. I knew this in the back of my head even though it did not really sink in until we reached the park. Really, you do not even have to get out of your car to see the highlights of Yellowstone. And if you do, it is to walk less than half a mile to see the well known sites.

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This beautiful photo is from the car, can you believe it? It was early morning in Lamar Valley.

But if you want to see the real Yellowstone, I suggest you hike. Because the untouched beauty is indescribable. And the tourists are decreased almost one hundred fold. You will suddenly feel as though you went to a national park like you thought you did. Initially, you do not feel this way.

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Our hike around Yellowstone Lake

And there are cyclists. We saw many touring cyclists and racing cyclists, as well as the recreational cyclist with their family. The main road throughout the park is 142 miles long and is called the Grand Loop. The roadway traverses up and down large mountains and many flat valleys. For this reason, I am glad I did not attempt the bike here. That would have required a different type of preparation I did not complete prior to the trip.

It wasn’t until the Grand Teton National Park that I really experienced deep regret, specifically bicycle regret. If you want to experience the beauty of that part of the country in Wyoming without the large amounts of tourists and with more of the seclusion expected in a national park, I suggest you visit the Tetons. Spend the majority of your time at the Tetons and drive around to the points of interest at Yellowstone in a day or two.

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Imagine riding by these sites on your bicycle. It is incredible.

And bring your bike. Because from Signal mountain (approximately halfway through the park, there is a beautiful protected bike lane that rides south  alongside the beautiful mountains to and through Jackson, Wyoming for 16 miles. In fact, there are multiple paved bike routes throughout the Tetons.

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View the bike trail map in the Grand Teton Park from the National Parks website at the link below.

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About Katlyn

Bike commuter, environmental scientist, community advocate, feminist, foodie and traveler I love cycling and commuting.
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