If you have a hunger to experience the remnants of the old west, the one you’ve probably only witnessed in Hollywood movies, then Wyoming is the place you want to go. You’ll also be able to fit in some quality cycling. If you go, have a good destination in mind. Mine was the Grand Tetons.
Unlike the plains of Kansas or the midwest where you see endless grasslands and cornfields stretch to the sky, Wyoming is wild, a place untouched by a lot of human development with open pastures and mountains. At least it seems that way until you get to Cheyenne, which is at the far southeastern end of the state.
I was greeted by what seemed like a blizzard after I entered the state at the western end and was forced to get off the road. Keep in mind this is the middle of summer, late July to be exact.
Once I reach Jackson Hole, the weather vastly improves with the sun and blue skies. The town of Jackson Hole is at the base of the Grand Teton National park and feels like an entrance to the Twilight Zone.
Jackson Hole Time Warp
The town has wide dirt streets with buildings only two stories high and built of wood and glass that look like they were erected by a Hollywood film crew. In other words, you feel like you’ve time-warped into the old west.
At any moment, I jokingly think I’ll be accosted by a Marshall with a silver star on his chest and a six-shooter strapped to his leg. This was thirteen years ago, so things may have changed a bit since then. I hope not because I stayed in a lovely saloon-style hotel and I want to believe it’s still there.
Grand Teton National Park
The park is located in northwestern Wyoming and encompasses 310,00o acres, including the Teton Range. The mountain range received its name from a group of 19nth century French trappers/ explorers.
The area of Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park is 10 miles from Yellowstone National Park, which is accessible via the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. This is basically a two-lane road and has very little traffic, so it is possible that you could bike between the two parks.
Cycling in Grand Teton National Park
There are a lot of places to bike both inside the park and around Jackson Hole. And the National Park Service states that cycling is permitted on any paved road in the Grand Tetons. Just keep in mind some of the roads get narrow at points and have no shoulder.
Not only is it possible to do road rides through and around the park, a cyclist can also choose to ride what the NPS calls a “multi-use pathway.” This trail runs for 8 miles and parallels the main Teton Park Road that leads to Yellowstone National Park.
A good point to be aware of is that road cycling isn’t really possible until April 1st due to the slow process of snow removal. Furthermore, the bike path can sometimes be closed due to Elk migration and usually isn’t open until late April. Another point is there is a fee for cyclists of $20.00 to enter the park. But make sure to keep your receipt safe because it is good for 7 days, or you can purchase a digital pass and store it on your phone.
If you decide to visit Grand Tetons National Park, you are in for a real treat. You have the open beauty of mountains around and great roads or a nice bike path to ride. And, of course, there’s always the chance you might see some wildlife, such as bears or bison.
Have you ever been to Wyoming? Have you visited and ridden your bike in the Grand Tetons National Park? Please like, comment, and share this post and let me know.