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Old 04-15-2015, 12:57 PM   #1
shallowskiff OP
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Yellowstone in the summer

I am just starting to plan a ride from NC to the Rocky Mtn, Teton mtn. Yellowstone area. Either end of July first of August or First two weeks of September.
How bad is the traffic in Yellowstone during the last of July first of August?

Does the traffic let up once September arrives and schools start back?

Any websites to help me plan a route?

Any body trout fish? Colorado and Wyoming area? Are there a lot of smaller creeks where a person can get away from the crowds and catch a few trout on the fly rod?

Can you tent camp where ever you like or do I need to plan to stay in campgrounds. I realize this is a broad question just looking for feedback on what others have done.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:12 PM   #2
snowmark
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the place is packed, get ready to ride in a long line of tourist and out of state enviro's,rangers everywhere, all the campgrounds will be reserved, also can get really cold at night even at peak of summer
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:17 PM   #3
oldmanb777
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There are lots of fishing opportunities, out of state lic is expensive. In Yellowstone the fishing can be almost combat fishing at times. Especially in the hotspots. But walk a few miles and you can have it much to yourself. Traffic dies down after schools start. Lots of gridlock during mid summer. Camping in the park can be very difficult to find during the summer rush, and some of the campgrounds require hardside campers, not tents. Even some of the National Forest Campgrounds require hardside. Like 3 mile campground near Pahaska Tepee. "Typically" but not entirely, you can "disperse" camps anywhere on BLM land or National Forest land, but only in designated campgrounds in the National Park. Looks like fire restrictions will be tightly enforced again this year with draught conditions very prevalent.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:22 PM   #4
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Lines and traffic that time of year are pretty heavy, if you go the week after labor day it is pretty open. and most of the attractions are open till Oct something.

if your out in the sticks on BLM or Forest service lands you usually can camp where ever but if your close to populations or the parks you would need to stay in campgrounds.

LOTS of great fishing just about everywhere but you need an out of state license and they do patrol everywhere you can go.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowmark View Post
the place is packed, get ready to ride in a long line of tourist and out of state enviro's,rangers everywhere, all the campgrounds will be reserved, also can get really cold at night even at peak of summer

I remember one year they got 6" of snow on the 4th of July, melted the next day but can and does happen, welcome to life at 6000'
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:25 PM   #6
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Yes traffic, will be bad @ all of the Yellowstone gateway towns. Jackson, Wy is always bad from mid May to Labor dayish. Camping outside the park (but on national forest) is usually first come first serve. In the park you may be able to show up to tent camp @ campgrounds. Some years bears have been problems for "soft sided" campers in side and around the park. I am not suggesting avoid Jackson, but may be slow going and lots of unpredictable drivers. Fishing right of your bike in the Gros Ventre, Wyoming and Salt river ranges of western Wy. Don't forget fishing upper Green river area near Pinedale. I live south of Jackson 35 miles.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:28 PM   #7
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Oh ya, its snowing as we speak!
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:38 PM   #8
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Well I do not want to ride 2000 miles to sit in traffic and I do not want to do combat fishing.

I do not even to need to go to Yellowstone. I am looking for a route that lets me see a lot of beautiful land with out all of the crowds. I do not mind riding the back roads on dirt for miles and miles. I would love help on routes that would let me ride dirt safely by myself and fish a lot of smaller creeks. I ride a BMW 1200 adventure and very comfortable riding it in the dirt. NO single track or heavy off road riding.

I am turning 50 this year so this is a bucketlist trip.

BLM land and National Forest land is there a lot of it?
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:41 PM   #9
mdguy90
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Jackson resident here.

July and August are the most crowded months of the year. Loooong lines everywhere, crowds everywhere. Gorgeous weather though. Be warned, the drivers are terrible. No turn signals, braking suddenly for sights/animal, running across the road to get a picture of something.

First two weeks of Septmeber are usually wonderful. You may hit the prime time for season change, or it may snow 6 inches.

if you're going to trout fish, stop into the loca shops and ask what's good at the time and what the fish are going for. They're more Than happy to share a bit of info.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:56 PM   #10
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It's the west, everyone has this dream about moving west. So the west has become very crowded. There are places that you can still get away from the crowds. You just need to look for them. And they won't be what everyone else considers beautiful. Those have all been magnets for too many people. But you can find solitude and beauty in the deserts and less crowded places. The Big Horn's are wonderful as are the Wind River range. Find Sinks Canyon, and head up to paradise. Or Sun Light Basin. but be careful, "call it paradise, and kiss it goodbye"! The Mountain man museum is worth a stop as well. The less crowded places tend not to have ski areas, or national parks. If you go in summer, plan for hot windy conditions in the deserts. So I travel early, and stop for the night early. Less wind and less heat in the early mornings. I have one of those hydration vests, nice for summer desert rides.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:11 PM   #11
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If you wait until mid September or early October the crowds are much reduced to about 25% and leaves are pretty and fishing great. And ignore Jackson Hole but make sure you get to upper Green River, my fav place in the region.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:31 PM   #12
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If you get up before the sun you can usually get from one side of Yellowstone to the other easily without much traffic. It is worth the drive. The best part to ride is the North east corner over Beartooth pass into Red Lodge. You don't really have to go to the park for this. I have come in early from the Tetons and made it all the way across to Red Lodge without much traffic by starting at sun up. Lots of wildlife to see (you also have to watch out for it) . Definitely fish and camp outside the park.

If you are really more about fishing the Bighorns and the bighorn rivers are where you want to go.
Enjoy.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:12 PM   #13
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We spent a week in Yellowstone mid September last year. Crowds were mild. One of our favorite camps was outside Hoback Junction. There is an 8 mile dirt road back to a forest service campground and just another bit up the row is Granite Hot Springs. Small fee for the pool, or just a little below the hot springs is Granite Falls. Across the river at the base of the falls is a free hot spring, but you have to ford the river to get there. Only mid shin in the fall. It looks like great fishing on that stream as well.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:21 PM   #14
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I ride/drive through Yellowstone NP a dozen times a year. While there are traffic jams, it's usually due to animals near the road. It's not like you're stuck in some hell hole with nothing to look at. If you like seeing animals, it's the place to go.

If you're looking blast around on the moto, then it's not great riding. However, if you ride out of the northeast entrance to Beartooth Pass, it is GREAT riding.

You also ride through Lamar Valley, sometimes called the American Serengeti. Riding past a 2000 lb buffalo standing a few feet away is pretty darn exciting.

There are also a lot of miles of fishing and combat fishing is not anything like I've seen during salmon season on the Rogue River in Oregon or in Alaska roadside fishing. Not even close.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:19 AM   #15
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First week of August is the Rally in Sturgis. There will be lots of bikes. In Mid September the park is great and a lot less traffic always be prepared to stop for what we called "TEDS" tourist. I got stuck in a heard of buffalo along the Yellowstone south of Mammoth one time. It was scary but cool at the same time. Have to ride Beartooth pass and Chief Joseph's highway. Also upper Green river and the Big Horns for fishing as mentioned above. In the park the firehole. The Madison around Bozeman was always good also.
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