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Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

La Jolla, California
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Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

I would love activities for my wiggly kiddos (8 and 9) and in theory bicycling sounds like fun, but with all the bear warnings and thermal pools, I'm wondering if this is a good idea. Below our the trails the website mentioned.

Does it seem like a good ide?

Popular trails

Morning Glory – 3 miles – Easiest

Daisy cut-off to Biscuit Basin – 4 miles – Easy

Lone Star Geyser – 9 miles – Moderate (with uphill on Grand Loop Road)

Fountain Flats Trail – 21 miles – Difficult (with several miles on Grand Loop Road)

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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1. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

I would definitely not do ANY biking on the loop road. It is busy, especially around the Old Faithful area. The road is narrow and people are watching for animals not bikers.

I would wait to make the decision when you are there as you may be able to walk the fidgets out of them on the boardwalks in the geyser basin.

If not, I would do Morning Glory, then you can continue on to Biscuit Basin that way, looping back by Daisy on the return trip.

I am thinking about Lone Star, and can't quite picture the trail from the Old Faithful area to the hiking trail parking lot near Keppler Cascade. Once you are on the Lone Star trail itself it is an old road bed and flat.

I am not particularly a biking person, but even with that being said, Yellowstone is not my pick of places to bike. The animals are a concern since there are almost always big old bison in the Upper Geyser Basin and occasional bears, but also because there is just SO much to see it seems a waste to spend time biking when you can do that anywhere. Having said that, I can understand wanting to keep your kids engaged and busy. (Ice cream-pick it up on the 1st floor then take it to the second floor deck, Old Faithful Inn.)

Pam

Spery, Iowa
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2. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

another thing to consider is that these trail are also used by people walking- and the bikers must be aware that they may stop suddenly to look at something, may cross the path in front of the bikers, etc. So kids are really not just free to ride off steam- there are still safety and rules to follow.

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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3. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

I would not want to have my kids ride bikes in YNP. First off, as noted, many areas are either congested with cars driven by distracted drivers or distracted hikers. Secondly, kids on bikes look very much like easy pickings to both mountain lions and bears in areas that are not congested with other people.

Another option to keep them busy is the Junior Ranger Program. My family has loved this, hopefully yours will too.

www.nps.gov/yell/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm

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4. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

I'm not sure if you'll be in Grand Teton, but I think you can rent bikes and there are bike/hiking paths. That sounds safer than Yellowstone.

Fruita, Colorado
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5. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

The GTNP bike trails looked really nice - lots of people on bikes and the views were awesome. No sharing the road with cars. You can rent bikes at Moose, and they come in lots of varieties.

http://dornans.com/adventures/bikerental/

Yellowstone Nat...
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6. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

I would have reservations about biking pretty much anywhere in YNP, ranging from serious concerns about safety to serious concerns about the appropriateness of bicycling in most areas. Better to check the Junior Ranger program, as SusieLou mentioned, or getting some hiking and program ideas from the information desk at any visitor center.

West Yellowstone...
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for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
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7. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

My husband and I once went bicycling early in the morning. We were talking and riding along with him just slightly ahead of me. He came to a VERY sudden halt and let out a little yelp just as he was passing a huge bush - on the other side was a multi-hundred pound bison chomping away on the grasses. We could not see it at all on approach. Fortunately the bison paid us no mind but you never know what is going to upset them and you certainly wouldn't want to get between a mother and her offspring or a bull and his intended during rutting season.

I think it might be the Daisy cut-off to Biscuit Basin we did with our daughter. That is a sandy dirt trail, if I recall correctly, and a fairly easy ride. I think it was also fairly wide open as far as seeing what you are coming upon, but I'm not sure I'd pack the bikes along just for that and the few bike trails offered in Yellowstone.

Junior Ranger Program is a great idea, though.

tampa
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8. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

We rented bike with our 5 and 7 year old boys (at the time) last time in YNP two years ago. The 5 year old used an attachment to my bike, but my 7 year old rode freely. We biked all the trails by Old Faithful and the nearby geysers with no problem. We plan on doing the same when we return in a couple of weeks.

Spery, Iowa
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9. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

just so you know, there are limited trails for bikes- you can not ride on all the boardwalks.

New Hope, PA
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10. Re: Bicycling with kids in Yellowstone

My 7 year old daughter and I rented bikes for an hour to ride to Morning Glory - 3 miles round trip. It was just enough to break up the monotony of walking and we got to see some nice sites on the way. She was a little shaky at first and needed some time to adjust to the rental but was fine after a few minutes. Rented bikes at OF snow lodge gift shop. Price included helmets and locks just under $15. for an hour. As mentioned previously you can not ride bikes on boardwalks.