Bicycling in Cody Yellowstone
There’s so much to see and do in Cody Yellowstone that sometimes it makes sense to move a little faster and cover more ground.
Now, we aren’t suggesting running to as many attractions as possible or strapping a rocket to your back while wearing roller skates like you’re Wile E. Coyote. Instead, we think you should consider a good old-fashioned bicycle. Cody Yellowstone is home to fantastic biking for beginners and experienced pedalers alike.
What are your options for bicycling in the region?
To get a lay of the land in Cody Yellowstone, check out Park County Pedalers. Founded in 2006, this organization is dedicated to promoting cycling throughout Park County’s extensive trail work, increasing bicycle-safe practices, providing funding for cycling facilities and parks, and promoting recreational and competitive cycling. Simply put, they can help you find the right cycling paths for you. And we sure are grateful, because there are a lot!
Options range from gentle pedals through Cody to heart-pumping and hill-jumping rides along world-class trails. Here are some ideas:
As the name suggests, purpose-built trails are designed with riding in mind. Park County Pedalers is one of multiple organizations responsible for creating the Beck Lake Bike Park. Located an easy ride from downtown, the park features 10 miles of trails, jump lines, a pump track, a drop zone, and skills trails.
Cody is very bikeable and easy to navigate. Like many western municipalities, its streets are wide because they were laid out when horses and wagons prevailed. There was nothing wrong with making a U-turn as long as you had enough room. The town is also laid out in a grid system that makes it easy to take a secondary road instead of the main drag to reach your destination.
You can find a great map of in-town cycling routes here.
Looking for natural trails where you’re unlikely to see other cyclists or hikers? There are tremendous options in the region — with more than 1-million acres of public lands in the northern half of the Bighorn Basin, including many trails in the Absaroka Mountains west of town.
The Shoshone National Forest – the first national forest in the country – covers 2.4 million acres in our corner of the state. It allows for a wide variety of recreational uses, including bicycling. If you’re looking for a real challenge, put the pedals to the metal and try the Blackwater Fire Memorial Trail. Over 10 miles, this trail will take you 2,200-feet up to a bronze monument dedicated to 15 firefighters who perished fighting a blaze nearly a century ago. in 1937. And what goes up, must come down — so your reward for the grueling climb is a rip-roaring descent.
You can find more information on trails in Shoshone National Forest here.
Absaroka Bikefitters and Backcountry Guides are known for single-day trips as well as multi-day excursions. Northwest Wyoming is blessed with vast stretches of land featuring pristine geologic features, varied plant life and abundant wildlife.
Inside the Park
In Yellowstone National Park, you can easily explore the road from spring through fall on your bike. While traffic can be heavy during the prime tourist season from May to October, the good news is that the roads are closed to the public in the fall to prepare for over-the-snow traffic and in spring to clear the snow. Cycling dates are not firm, but locals know that they typically start in early April and last until the roads are opened sometime in May. Early November is standard for closures. At those times, cyclists can find some prime riding with only vehicles belonging to employees and park administrators. Just give the plows a wide berth. The road between Gardner and Cooke City, Montana, is plowed and open to cars all winter. This map is a useful reference.