Kids Biking Yellowstone

Yellowstone’s Best Bike Trails + Safety WARNINGS

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Yellowstone has many great biking opportunities for the whole family. Whether you’re looking for a short, scenic ride or something more challenging, Yellowstone offers it all!

Biking is an amazing way to explore Yellowstone National Park with your kids. The trails in Yellowstone are often paved and lead to some of the most iconic places in the park.

If you want to find out where Yellowstone’s best family-friendly bike routes are located then read on!

Rules About Biking In Yellowstone

biking yellowstone with kids

Bicycling is allowed in Yellowstone, including on e-bikes and pedal assisted bike, on roads, parking lots, and designated biking trails. All bikes should follow the same traffic rules as cars do. If you choose to ride on the road, all cyclists in Yellowstone need to ride single file on the right shoulder. Bikes are not allowed on backcountry trails, boardwalks, or on snow routes in Yellowstone. Bikes can be rented at Old Faithful, which we highly recommend since the Old Faithful Geyser basin is really large and this is the fastest way to see a lot of geysers at once.

Bike Safety in Yellowstone

Kids Biking yellowstone

Bicycles are permitted on all Yellowstone National Park roads, as they are in all other national parks. However, we DO NOT recommend riding on regular roads in Yellowstone, since they have virtually no bike shoulder to ride safely on and drivers in Yellowstone are among the most distracted we’ve ever seen (they’re more concerned with looking for wildlife than they are about watching out for cyclists). Especially if you’re biking with kids in Yellowstone, plan on sticking to Yellowstone bike paths instead of trying to ride on the roads in Yellowstone on a bike (many are focusing much more on looking for wildlife than on watching the road).

To make sure that you’re always visible to both cars and pedestrian traffic, make sure to dress in bright clothing so you’re easily seen. As always, a good fitting bike helmet is essential as well. If you are doing any biking on Yellowstone roads, make sure to bring a flashing light for both the front and back of your bike to make you more visible. When you’re bike riding in Yellowstone, make sure to carry basic bike repair tools with you since bike shops aren’t anywhere near by (extra tubes, bike tools, chain, pump, etc).

Wildlife Safety While Biking Yellowstone

Wildlife have the right of way at all times. Do not approach any wildlife on your bike and give them plenty of room. Give all animals at least 25 yards of space and stay at least 50 yards away from bison and 100 yards away from bears. Carry bear spray while biking in Yellowstone – this bear spray with a holster is a great option.

Biking In Yellowstone Without Car Traffic

biking yellowstone with kids

Bicycling is allowed on Yellowstone National Park roads that are closed to the public for automobile use each spring and fall. There is a short window each spring and fall when the roads aren’t covered in snow, but they still are not open for the public to drive on. This is when the parks service does a lot of maintenance, and it can be a great time to bike through Yellowstone without car traffic.

Spring Biking In Yellowstone

Spring biking in Yellowstone typically opens up in early April, though be prepared to encounter snow and for unexpected weather conditions. Roads are not always plowed, so check the parks service website for current conditions. Here are some of the most popular spring biking routes in Yellowstone:

  • Mammoth Hot Springs to the West Entrance (49 miles)
  • East Entrance to the east side of Sylvan Pass (6 miles)
  • South Entrance to West Thumb (22 miles)

Fall Biking in Yellowstone

Fall bicycling season in Yellowstone opens when the park roads close early in November and typically ends by the third week of November. Snow will be common during this time of year and temperatures can be quite cold. Here are the main bike routes in Yellowstone in the fall:

  • Mammoth Hot Springs to the West Entrance (49 miles)
  • Madison Junction to Old Faithful (16 miles)
  • Tower Junction to Chittenden Road (6 miles)
  • East Entrance to the east side of Sylvan Pass (6 miles)
  • South Entrance to West Thumb (22 miles)

Note: If you do plan to bike in Yellowstone in the spring or fall, services in the park are very limited. Plan on being fully self supported (including plenty of food and water), since park services may not be available to you. Cell coverage is really poor inside Yellowstone, so don’t depend on using that.

Best Bike Trails In Yellowstone

There are several fantastic bike paths in Yellowstone for families and riders of all ages and abilities. Here are some of the best Yellowstone bike trails:

Old Faithful To Morning Glory Pool Bike Trail

Kids Biking Yellowstone

A visit to Yellowstone would not be complete without seeing Old Faithful. As we mentioned above Old Faithful is more than just one geyser, but an entire geyser basin. The best way to get past the crowds (this is one of the most crowded areas of Yellowstone) is to bike. There is a great bike path down to Morning Glory Pool, about a mile from Old Faithful. The ride is slightly uphill on the return, so if you’re riding with younger kids, consider bringing a tow strap to help them back up the hill to the parking lot.

Lone Star Geyser Bike Path

kids biking in forest

This is without a doubt my favorite Yellowstone biking route, and I’d put it up there with the best bike trails in Yellowstone. I love this ride because most of it is in the shade and there’s some simple dirt riding that you get to enjoy as well. The best part is that at the end, you finish at the Lone Star Geyser, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch it with only a few other people. This Yellowstone bike route and the Lone Star Geyser are rarely crowded, though the parking lot is pretty small so plan on going here early in the day or later in the afternoon to increase your chances of getting a parking spot. When you get up to the geyser, there’s a shallow river that’s the perfect place to soak your feet for a bit or splash around on a hot day in Yellowstone. This is very close to Old Faithful, so if you want to combine multiple routes, we recommend doing those two at the same time. Total ride length is 3.5 miles RT.  

Mount Washburn Bike Trail

While many people hike up Mount Washburn, we recommend biking to the top. Start riding up from the Chittenden Road parking area, up the dirt road. THis is a Yellwostone bike trail that’s best suited for mountain bikes and all riders should be at at least an intermediate level and comfortable with shifting gears on climbs. At the end of this Yellowstone bike ride, you’ll be rewarded with some amazing views of the area.

Riverside Bike Trail, West Yellowstone

girl biking in yellowstone

The Riverside Bike Trail is a fantastic option for bike lovers who want to get on their bikes as soon as possible. It’s located just inside the west entrance of Yellowstone, along the Madison River, and it’s perfect for cyclists looking for something new. THis bike path is a gravel road (you’ll want knobby tires or a mountain bike here) and takes you right alongside the Madison river with calm and quiet scenery. Keep an eye out for elk and moose who frequent the river banks! This is one of the best Yellowstone bike trails for kids since it’s fairly level.

Old Gardner Road Trail

biking yellowstone with kids

Consider bicycling the Old Gardner Road path if you’re entering Yellowstone via the North Entrance. The trail starts at Mammoth Hot Springs behind the hotel and continues north on the dirt road to the north entrance of Yellowstone. This is one of the best easy bike trails in Yellowstone and is perfect for family biking or anyone wanting to relax on their bike for the day.

Camping Benefits of Biking In Yellowstone

Yellowstone is one of the most difficult places to find a campground in the entire United States.  Most campgrounds fill up close to a year in advance, and the walk-in campsites are often taken shortly after sunrise.  

If you’re looking for a good way to camp in Yellowstone where you have a good chance of getting a campground, consider bike packing.  Bikepacking is similar to hiking backpacking, where you carry all your camping gear with you on your bike.  Campgrounds in Yellowstone have a certain number of sites that are designated for bike campers, making bike-packing in Yellowstone a great way to get to camp in the park.  

For $4.00 per camper, campgrounds offer hikers and bikers a few sites to stay: Slough Creek Campground is the only one that does not.

Can you bike into Yellowstone?

Yes, you can bike directly into Yellowstone.  The fee to enter Yellowstone by bike is $20 and to drive-in is $35. 

it is important to note that most of the popular sites are quite far from the entrance stations, so they may be difficult to quickly see by bike.