Mountain Biking Trails in Yellowstone can be hard to come by. You’re not going to find any single-track, well-groomed flow trails in this National Park, but there are plenty of trails that welcome cyclists. If you plan accordingly, biking to some of Yellowstone’s coolest sights can also save you time on your next visit!
Are there biking trails in Yellowstone National Park?
Yes, there are biking trails in Yellowstone National Park. It is a great place for biking! There are a number of trails that are open to biking throughout the park. Additionally, road bikers can enjoy miles of scenic routes – late Spring is the best time for road bikers to experience Yellowstone. There’s always a short period of time in late Spring and early Fall where the park road is closed to vehicles and open to biking.
Where can I bike in Yellowstone?
Although there may not be any single-track mountain biking trails within the park, there are so many great trails you can ride to experience more of Yellowstone!
Miles: 3.1 mi.
Location: Bridge Bay Campground Area
The Natural Bridge Trail is a fun one! It follows an unused road from the West side of Yellowstone Lake to a natural arch in the rhyolite plateau. Although the bridge is not one of Yellowstone’s major attractions, it’s worth a quick bike ride. The best views come from the backside of the bridge – you can climb up to and over the bridge from the viewpoint at the bottom. This trail is often closed in late Spring/early Summer to avoid Grizzly bears hunting for trout in the creek.
Lone Star Geyser
Distance: 4.8 mi.
Location: Old Faithful Area
Lone Star Geyser is by far one of the coolest geysers the park has to offer. When it erupts, it spews 45 feet high from a 12-foot cone for 20 minutes at a time. This is a well-known biking trail in Yellowstone National Park. You’ll arrive there via a partially paved road that follows the fire hole river for 2.4 miles. At the bike rack (yup, there’s a bike rack at the end) you’ll walk 50 feet to a great viewing area. Find a spot on a comfy log and enjoy a snack! The Lone Star Geyser erupts every 3 hours or so.
Fountain Flat Drive
Distance: 4.3 mi.
Location: Midway Geyser Basin Area
Fountain Flat Drive connects the Nez Perce Picnic area with Grand Loop Road near Midway Geyser Basin and Prismatic Spring. It’s a gravel road that’s only open to hikers and cyclists. You can use this road to access Goose Lake, Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook, Fairy Falls Trail head, and the Firehole River. It’s a beautiful ride and a great way to get away from the crowds. We rode the trail to the Fairy Falls trail head, stored our bikes, and hiked to beautiful waterfall views.
Upper Geyser Basin Trail
Distance: 2.0 mi.
Location: Upper Geyser Basin Area
Bring your bikes when you spend time at Old Faithful! The paved path between the Old Faithful Lodge and Morning Glory Pool is only 2 miles round-trip, but it’s a quick way to see three really amazing geysers. Make sure you stop at Castle Geyser, one of the oldest geysers in the basin. Daisy Geyser and Riverside Geyser are other viewpoints along the way. Additionally, there is a short trail from Daisy Geyser to Biscuit Basin that is also open to bikes. Bikes are not allowed on the boardwalk. This spot becomes incredibly busy throughout the day so the best biking occurs in the morning hours.
Bunsen Peak Loop
Distance: 10 mi.
Location: Mammoth Springs Area
This long loop begins at the railhead of Bunsen Peak. This strenuous ride starts out mostly flat before becoming steep and winding. It drops 960 feet in 2.5 miles as it nears Glan Creek. At Glen Creek is meets the Golden Gate Service Road where it begins to follow the Glen Creek drainage steeply back uphill until it meets Grand Loop Road. You will finish your ride on Grand Loop Road heading back to the trailhead.
Osprey Falls Trail
Distance: 10 mi.
Location: Mammoth Springs Area
If you don’t want to ride on Grand Loop Road or bike the full 10 miles, there is another option. You can ride from the Bunsen Peak Trailhead to the Osprey Falls Trailhead and back for 6.5 miles. There are no bikes allowed on the Osprey Falls Trail so you’ll have to complete a hike and bike if you want to visit the falls!
Biking Mount Washburn
Distance: 5 mi.
Location: Canyon Village Area
The only biking trail in Yellowstone National Park that will bring you to the summit of a mountain! If you’re up for the challenge, you ride three miles to the top of Mount Washburn. This steep ride on a dirt and gravel road is not for everyone; you will gain 1,500 feet in 2.5 miles. If you want to bike yourself up to 10,000 feet, this is the trail for you!
Old Gardiner Road Bike Trail
Distance: 5 mi.
The Old Gardiner Road Bike Trail is a dirt and gravel road that begins just behind Mammoth Hot Spring hotel. It’s one of the most sought out biking trails in Yellowstone. This road is one way for automobiles, however, bikes can travel in both directions. The trail is 5 miles in one direction; traveling north consists of steep downhill while traveling south is mostly steep uphill. Mountain bikes are recommended for this trail.
Riverside Bike Trails
Distance: 1.4 mi
Location: West Yellowstone
This is a great place to stop when you enter the Western park entrance to stretch your legs and enjoy Yellowstone’s beauty! As you could imagine, this trail brings you along a riverside; it’s a great place to watch deer, elk, and moose form afar.
Ride the Roads!
Riding the roads from one place to another is a great way to avoid sitting in traffic and waiting for a parking spot. Unless you road bike and plan to ride some serious mileage, I would keep the road biking to ‘local’ places. For example, when staying in Canyon Village, we rode to Inspiration Point. Taking the bikes to grab a bite to eat or check out the visitor’s center is a great idea as well!
Biking Tips for Yellowstone
Biking is great, however, it doesn’t come without some added risk. Take a look at these 6 tips for an enjoyable biking experience in Yellowstone National Park.
- Bike with bear spray and know how to use it.
- Wear a helmet, duh.
- Wear bright-colored clothing.
- Modify your biking route if animals are on the road.
- Weather can change quickly and unpredictably
- Look for a bike symbol at trail heads.
Explore National Parks
National Parks are the real deal! There are so many amazing ways to experience nature. From biking trails in Yellowstone National Park, to hiking East Coast Mountains at Acadia National Park, and everything in between… nature is neat and there are so many amazing way to experience it.