GRAND TETONS & YELLOWSTONE

The Grand Tetons & Yellowstone Ride is a 4 day, 1,218 mile tour starting and ending in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This tour will take you into parts of Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.  The tour averages 304 miles per day.  This tour can easily be extended to allow for extra days in the National Parks for hiking and/or sightseeing or add additional riding areas from any of the other greatrideswest.com Tour Routes.  The Grand Tetons & Yellowstone Ride offers one of the best riding areas in North America.   The ride is in and around two national parks, Grand Teton and Yellowstone, and includes the Beartooth and the Chief Joseph Highways.

 

A Note about Google Maps.  If you are clicking on a map link below in the winter time, many of the roads on these tours are closed.  Google will route you around closed roads, so be aware of this issue so you don’t plan a trip that excludes many of the highlighted roads.

 

Day 1 Maps & Directions: 306 Miles

Starting out east of Salt Lake we begin our trip with a nice warm-up ride of sweepers and twisties through East Canyon State Park on Routes 65 and 68 towards Huntsville, Utah.  It begins with a nice 1.5 hour ride through a winding mountain pass, down past the East Canyon Reservoir and then through rural family farm areas.  The end of this first leg is over Trappers Loop past Snowbasin Ski Resort and down towards the Pineview Reservoir in the beautiful Ogden Valley.       

The next segment of today’s ride continues onto Route 39, the Monte Cristo towards Bear Lake. The Monte is a 56 mile stretch of grade A riding road through the Cache National Forest.  This unheralded road is mostly twisties with beautiful views and great road scale.  This is also open range, so be cautious of cattle in the road.

The ride continues with sweepers on Route 16 through farms and ranches and then onto Route 30 through the desert until you descend upon Bear Lake.  You ride along shores of the aqua colored Bear Lake and continue on Route 89.

The second half of the ride follows Route 89 all the way to Jackson.  This segment has a bit of everything with ranches, mountains and rivers.  After leaving Bear Lake you follow a high altitude climb and then descend into the town of Alpine Wyoming, on the shores of the Palisades Reservoir. From there the riding pace picks up on higher speed sweepers as you wind along the Snake River Canyon into Jackson, Wyoming.  Overnight in Jackson, Wyoming.

 

Day 2 Maps & Directions:   290 Miles

The ride begins north of Jackson on Route 89 and into the Grand Teton National Park.  This beautiful National Park is home to the Grand Tetons Mountain Range and  runs along the Snake River.  The first stop is at the famous Moulton Ranch barn which is a great place for a photograph of the Grand Tetons.  Next we enter through the main entrance and cruise north on the John D. Rockefeller Jr., Memorial Parkway thru the main part of the park.  There are several amazing areas along the way including Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake.

As you continue towards the northern border of the park you merge back onto Route 89 just before Jackson Lake as you head towards the entrance of Yellowstone National Park.  Yellowstone was Americas first National Park and contains 60% of the world’s geysers.  This unique place is also a great riding area.  We stay on Rote 89 to first stop, the Old Faithful geyser.  We then back track seventeen miles to West Thumb and work our way Route 20 alongside  Yellowstone Lake and towards the East Entrance.  A typical day in Yellowstone you will see bears, buffalo, eagles, elk and more. Once outside the East Entrance we ride sweepers on Route 14 or the North Fork Highway (other known as the Buffalo Bill Cody scenic Byway) to Cody, Wyoming.

The next part of this day’s ride includes two of the top roads in North America, Route 296 the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and Route 212, the Beartooth Highway.  When it come to riding, it doesn’t get any better than this.  The Beartooth is consistently ranked #1 for motorcycle roads in the U.S.  This road has it all; 67 miles of switchbacks, scenery, elevation changes and great scale. Half of the road is in Wyoming and Half in Montana.  It is like a Grand Prix track in the Rockies.  But don’t write off the Chief.  The Chief Joseph is one of the most underrated roads in America.  While considered a second cousin to the Beartooth, I would argue that this 47 mile stretch of scenic road rides better, has better pavement and the scenery is beautiful.  The bottom line is that this could be the best road duo anywhere.

After ascending to 11,000 feet on the Beartooth, you cross into Montana  and cruise down to the great western town of Red Lodge. Overnight in Red Lodge, Montana.

 

Day 3 Maps & Directions:   320 Miles

We start the day by back tracking over the Beartooth to the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone.  This ride gives you a different look at the Beartooth.  Just before you enter Yellowstone you pass through two remote western towns Cooke City and Silver GateThe northern route across Yellowstone is a nice relaxing ride through miles of open range with buffalo everywhere.  The Northeast Entrance Road (Rte 212) merges onto the Grand Loop Road of which you follow all the way to the West Yellowstone.

The biggest sleeper when it comes to great riding in the Rockies is the State of Idaho.  There is no fanfare whatsoever, but the riding is fantastic.  You will see more cows than vehicles, the pavement is in good shape with excellent road scale and the scenery is great.  Idaho has it all.

Start out on Route 20 east for 35 miles and turn onto the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway.  This is a great example of Idaho back roads. Traveling over the rim of the nation’s largest volcanic 1062093_10200858434917031_1700314882_ncaldera, dipping into a tumultuous river confluence and ending in gently rolling farmlands, the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway takes you through some of southeastern Idaho’s most compelling scenery.  Originally a popular path to Yellowstone National Park, the byway offers plenty of reasons to justify a trip in itself.

After the byway you follow Route 32 to Route 33 through farmlands to the town of Victor, Idaho.  Victor lies on the west side of the Teton Mountain Range at the intersection of the Teton Pass Highway (Rte 22), a short 24 mile ride to Jackson, WY. Overnight in Victor, Idaho.

 

Day 4 Maps & Directions:   302 Miles

The last day of this route begins on Route 31 which is a mountainous road through the Targhee National Forest.  From there we turn onto Route 26 at Swan Valley and cruise through ranch lands and then past the beautiful Palisades Reservoir.  At the end of the reservoir is Alpine, Wyoming which we passed through on the way to Jackson. Then we back track down Route 89 to Bear Lake.  At Garden City we continue on Route 89 through the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway to Logan.  For the homestretch, we take Route 15 to Salt lake City.  Trip ends in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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