Day 6: Burgess Junction to Lovell
Brrrrr! Woke up early to unseasonably low temperatures in the upper 30’s. I covered 61 miles and 2,800ft of elevation gain from Sibley Lake to Lovell, Wyoming. My favorite day of the trip so far. The views were spectacular and the sun came out to warm things up. It was great flying down the mountain pass, and Cody shot some excellent drone footage.
Lovell is a small town about 20 miles west of the Bighorn Mountains. Hiking is big in the surrounding area with popular destinations like Bucking Mule Falls, Porcupine Falls, and 5 Springs. The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is nearby which is great for wildlife viewing and breathtaking vistas. We ate lunch at 4 Corners Bar and Grill, a good burger but even better service. Somebody at the restaurant recognized us and made a donation to our campaign. That led to another donation, several requests for photographs, an autograph, and 4 Corners picked up our tab!
Day 7: Lovell to Cody
We met with Lovell Chamber of Commerce and a local media representative first thing in the morning today. I have to say that the people of Lovell were great and very welcoming. We even received a few cash donations for Big City Mountaineers to help with our mission of sending inner city kids camping for the first time.
After leaving Lovell I had my strongest ride so far, covering 40 miles to Cody Wyoming Trout Ranch in just over two hours. The Trout Ranch is an amazing property. From the road it looks like your standard RV park, but they actually have tipis with furnishings overlooking a river and more tipis with a tent site down on the river. The property is also a trout hatchery and has a fully stocked trout pond you can fish in.
The Trout Ranch is just 5 miles from Cody, Wyoming, which sits right on the edge of the mountains with the pass up to Yellowstone visible from town. It has a great downtown with lots of restaurants and a couple of breweries. Two big attractions in Cody are white water rafting and kayaking on the Shoshone River. Great family activities in the area include Yellowstone National Park, hiking in the Absaroka Mountains, fishing, climbing or floating in Shoshone River Canyon, and visiting the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Find campgrounds near Cody, Wyoming.
Day 8: Rest Day in Cody
We had a rest day off the bike in Cody, Wyoming, and spent much of the day trying to figure out a way to transfer massive data files of pictures and videos back to our team in Spearfish, South Dakota. We learned that good internet access is going to be a challenge, and even though Verizon has unlimited data, they ratchet you down to 3G after 10 gigs.
I came down with a nasty head and chest cold so crushing the vitamin C and trying to kick this quickly!
It was nice to give my legs a rest, but I was disappointed we didn’t have much time to explore Cody more. It seems like such a fun old west town. We did find a hidden gem in Wyoming Legacy Meats. It’s a small meat market with excellent cuts of beef and smoked meats.
We stayed a second night at Cody Wyoming Trout Ranch. It’s such a great place, I think I’ll bring my family next summer.
Day 9: Cody to Yellowstone
I got up early to take off for an 85 mile ride up to Yellowstone National Park. Other than the cold I’m struggling with, the day of rest helped my legs and I rode the first 60 miles strong. Once I entered Yellowstone National Park at the East gate, the fun began. From the gate there is about a 12 mile climb up to Sylvan pass, and after 60 miles, this was a real grind. Once I got to the top I was met with 40 degree temperatures and a thunderstorm that dumped rain. I pedalled the last 13 miles as hard as I could, but I was so cold and wet by the time I got to our campsite that I was shaking and couldn’t feel my hands. I hopped in the van, got dry clothes on, and wrapped up in a sleeping bag. Part of the issue was not eating enough, Strava says I burned 5,700 calories and I’d probably consumed only 1,500. After a couple hours I finally got my core temperature back up.
Yellowstone is beautiful and worth the drive through, but I’d recommend a day trip into the park rather than staying there. We stayed at Fishing Bridge RV Park which is in a beautiful location near Yellowstone Lake, but we didn’t have a great experience at the campground. There wasn’t any tent or pop-up camping available due to bears, so I slept on the couch in the van and Cody had to sleep in the passenger seat. I know there are better options, so during peak season you definitely need to book your site months in advance.
Yellowstone National Park is packed full of great family recreation. From amazing geysers and springs to thundering waterfalls and miles of trails, there is something here for every age group. Must-see attractions include: Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Lamar Valley.
If you’re thinking of doing a day trip, here are some options just outside of the park. Find campgrounds near Yellowstone.
Day 10: Yellowstone to West Yellowstone
What a beautiful day! Probably the nicest day of the trip so far. Sunny with high temperatures in the 60’s in Yellowstone, and much of the smoke haze is gone. The rain from yesterday greened everything up, and I took off on a 65 mile ride. The riding was easy with some nice lengthy downhill portions. The only challenge was dodging the traffic using very small shoulders. I came within 10 ft of a bison, which on a bike is a bit too close for comfort, but still really cool. The views were incredible with smoke/steam coming from spots, riding along the Yellowstone and Madison river, and the mountains. I came out of the West gate into West Yellowstone and officially crossed Wyoming into Montana!
We stayed the night at Madison Arm Resort which offers tent sites, RV sites, cabins, and a marina. It’s a great property that sits on the shore of Hebgen Lake. Fishing seems to be exceptional. I walked out on the docks and saw what seemed to be thousands of fish. The views around the lake are panoramic mountains, just spectacular! The property is less than 10 miles out of West Yellowstone, there is very limited cell service, but they have surprisingly fast WiFi. Overall a really nice, family-friendly property. Find campgrounds near West Yellowstone.
West Yellowstone is a cool little town. There are a surprising number of very authentic Asian restaurants, but I love Asian food so no complaints from me! I got some beef and noodles soup and coveted the strong 4G signal to catch up on some work. Besides for exploring Yellowstone National Park, the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, Earthquake Lake, fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and winter sports are all popular activities in the area.
We have partnered with Big City Mountaineers to raise $5,000 to give the gift of camping to under-resourced youth. If you would like to help us reach our goal and support this amazing non-profit, you can donate here. Thanks for your continued support! Follow the campaign at ridewithwoody.com