Yellowstone and the Teton Mountains – Wyoming USA, Bison and Big Hill Cycling

We cycled towards Yellowstone past Quake Lake, which was the site of an earthquake disaster in 1959 when 26 campers where killed by a combination of a giant wave over the dam and two hillsides collapsing during the night. The landslide formed the new lake called Quake Lake.P1070106

The whole region still seems very unstable.

The original trees from the river edge are still standing in the lake
The original trees from the river edge are still standing in the lake which gives a very weird effect
They have encouraged bird life by putting bird boxes on the dead trees
They have encouraged bird life by putting bird boxes on the dead trees
Leaving Montana and entering Wyoming
Leaving Montana and entering Wyoming

We finally made it to Yellowstone on a bad day. We arrived on a Friday afternoon along with a couple of thousand motorists who were more interested in spotting Bison than avoiding the odd cyclist in front of them. The roads in Yellowstone are old and narrow and do not have the wide shoulder most American roads have. It was quite a scary afternoon made more so by the fact that there was a herd of Bison on the road looking quite fierce.

Trying to cycle past a Bison without upsetting him
Trying to cycle past a Bison without upsetting him

This year has been a really good year for visitors to Yellowstone, up to August 3 million people had been through and they are expecting a total of 4 million by the time they close. As we entered the park there was a sign saying all the campsites were full, but luckily they all reserve spaces for hikers/bikers.

Despite a large forest fire a few miles away in East Yellowstone we were allowed camp fires in West Yellowstone. We had not been allowed a campfire since leaving Banff in Canada.
Despite a large forest fire a few miles away in East Yellowstone we were allowed a campfire in West Yellowstone. We had not been allowed a campfire since leaving Banff in Canada.

The following day we cycled down the west side of the park were there were several off road bike routes, so we could get away from the cars and enjoy the steaming landscape and wild animals and birds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was great to see herds of Bison roaming freely across the park.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Quite a few of the Bison were having a good roll in the volcanic mud
Quite a few of the Bison were having a good roll in the volcanic mud
I was glad we had a good telephoto lens so we didn't have to get too close to this bad tempered looking fellow
I was glad we had a good telephoto lens so we didn’t have to get too close to this bad tempered looking fellow

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There were also Elk wandering around the campsite. Luckily only females as the males are head butting anything they see at this time of year
There were also Elk wandering around the campsite. Luckily only females and youngsters like these as the males are head butting anything they see at this time of year
There were plenty of eagles around
There were plenty of eagles around
This eagle was trying to get a carcass out of the river
Not sure if this was an eagle or an Osprey that was trying to get a carcass out of the river
There were a lot of colourful steaming areas such as this one at the Prismatic Springs
There were a lot of colourful steaming areas such as this one at the Prismatic Springs

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And of course Old Faithful, with its timed display and benches full of hundreds of onlookers.
And of course Old Faithful, with its timed display and benches full of hundreds of onlookers.
Leaving Yellowstone by the southern exit was a much steaper matter as we had to cross the Continental Divide 3 times. It would have been much easier if we had not had to go down so far between them!
Leaving Yellowstone by the southern exit was a much steaper matter as we had to cross the Continental Divide 3 times. It would have been much easier if we had not had to go down so far between them!
Fall is now well under way and the Aspen colours are stunning
Fall is now well under way and the Aspen colours are stunning
We cycled down towards Jackson Hole to get a good view of the Teton range
We cycled down towards Jackson Hole to get a good view of the Teton range
And had this brilliant view of them across Jackson lake from our campsite
And had this brilliant view of them across Jackson lake from our campsite

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It all seemed so idillic in the hot sunshine, so it was quite a shock to wake up the next morning to torrential rain and more liquid mud on top of our tent ground sheet then there was under it.

This is a short video of different parts of our ride from leaving Missoula in the hail, through lovely scenary, Yellowstone and ending cycling over Togwotee Pass in the snow.

We are cycling from Banff, Canada to the Mexican border to raise money for the humanitarian charity ShelterBox. ShelterBox are currently providing emergency shelter for the refugees in Greece, continuing to help in Nepal after the earthquake, and in Milawi after the flooding. If you would like to donate to ShelterBox click on the link at the side of this blog.

One thought on “Yellowstone and the Teton Mountains – Wyoming USA, Bison and Big Hill Cycling

  1. You two are incredibly tough. While seeing some of the most spectacular scenery and natural features of the world, you have endured some harsh weather and travel conditions. I can’t imagine biking in Yellowstone Park. Wow! Ellen Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 01:05:37 +0000 To: eefeaver@hotmail.com

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