Mammoth Hot Springs Loop Bicycle Trip – 2009
Having planned a trip last year that was too ambitious with respect to the climbing involved, I spent a lot more time planning this year's trip, trying to avoid a similar problem this time. In doing so, I researched the profile of every segment of the trip, and watched for undulating up-and-down sections, which are indicative of a lot of climbing and re-climbing.
My plan was to leave our van with my son Laron, who works at Mammoth Hot Springs. By doing so, if we ran into any problem we couldn't overcome, we could call him, and he could come get us in the van.
I also wanted to start with more modest distances at the beginning of the trip, and work up to the longer mileages in a day or two.
I remembered (from decades ago) that the Gallatin River area (highway 191, going north from West Yellowstone) was very beautiful, and wanted to include that area. 'Flying' over the area using Google Earth confirmed those memories, and I became very excited about doing the trip.
We originally planned a day in the trip going out into Island Park, past Earthquake Lake and Hebgen Lake, but cut out that section to make sure we had time after the bicycle trip to spend with Laron in Yellowstone. The resulting trip came out to 297.3 miles (according to Mapquest). On the bicycle odometer, it was 306 miles.
So here is a map of the trip we did:
We started at Mammoth Hot Springs (in Yellowstone), and made it to Norris Campground the first day. We had planned to go to Canyon, but the numerous storms on that day slowed us down a lot.
The next day we went east to Canyon, then along the Yellowstone River to Yellowstone Lake, and to Bridge Bay Campground. The next day we went along Yellowstone Lake to West Thumb, and west to Old faithful, then north to Madison Campground, which caught us up with the original schedule.
The next day, we went west to West Yellowstone, and north to the Buffalo Horn trailhead (where people often camp) behind the 320 Guest Ranch. The next day we went north to Gallatin Gateway, then east to Bozeman Montana.
The next day, we went east over Bozeman Pass to Livingston, then south to near Emigrant, Montana, where we camped near the Yellowstone River. The final day, we went south to Gardiner, then finally (a thousand foot climb in 5 miles) back to Mammoth Hot Springs. It took us seven days.
Here are the statistics of the entire trip:
Here are the links to the account, pictures, and climb-profiles of each day:
Sunday, July 19th (day 1)
Monday, July 20th (day 2)
Tuesday, July 21st (day 3)
Wednesday, July 22nd (day 4)
Thursday, July 23rd (day 5)
Friday, July 24th (day 6)
Saturday, July 25th (day 7)
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