Big Sky Classic Biking Tour
Jackson Hole, WY
(includes all lodging, breakfasts and dinners, park entrance fees, support van, transfers, leaders, tour maps & narratives)
If your image of the West is one of majestic, snow-capped mountains, crystalline glacial lakes, cascading streams, secluded valleys, and a vastness that will expand the spirit and soul of all who behold it, the Big Sky Country of Montana and Wyoming is the embodiment of the West.
In our Big Sky Classic Biking Tour, we believe that we have captured the irresistible essence of the West.
In the course of this 10-day Classic adventure, we’ll explore Grand Teton and Yellowstone and then leave the parks for the solitude of the Big Sky Country of Montana. The Montana that we’ll visit during the final six days of Big Sky is a land that is extraordinarily rich, not only in its unparalleled natural beauty, but also in its history and culture. In many ways, the story of the settlement of Montana is the story of settlement of the entire Rocky Mountain West. The hunger for precious metals and the booms and busts that attended their discovery; the inevitable conflicts triggered by the incursions of settlers onto sacred Indian lands; the emergence of the cattle industry and the cattle barons and cowboys who were the players in that saga—this legacy of Montana is ours to experience on this biking trip.
Our program assembles in Jackson Hole and we'll cycle in the shadow of the Tetons on Day 1 into Grand Teton Park and on to Jackson Lake and an overnight at the grand Jackson Lake Lodge. Day 2, a layover day, is anything but a rest day because we're hiking to Lake Solitude, the quintessential day hike in all of the Tetons (14 miles).
On Day 3, we'll cycle north through Grand Teton along Jackson Lake to the South Entrance of Yellowstone. We'll continue to Grant Village prior to an encounter with Craig Pass. From the Craig summit (8,262') at the Continental Divide, it's downhill to Old Faithful and a night at the Old Faithful Inn.
Early morning of Day 4, we'll cycle along the Firehole River to Madison, trace the Gibbon River beyond Gibbon Falls to the Norris Geyser Basin, and then ride across the park to Canyon Village. Following an overnight at Canyon, we'll spend much of the next morning exploring the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone as we cycle along its north rim. Late in the day, we'll ride along the Madison River through the park's west gate for an evening in West Yellowstone.
The massive Madison Canyon earthquake of 1959 profoundly altered the appearance of portions of the Yellowstone Country. On our way to Ennis on Day 6, we'll visit the Earthquake Interpretive Center and ride the shores of Quake Lake, a creation of that cataclysmic event. We'll climb from Ennis the following morning and then descend into the historic mining town of Virginia City. The downhill continues as we approach the Beaverhead River enroute to our overnight in Dillon.
A "hole" was the term used by early settlers to designate a valley, and much of our next two days belong to the magnificence of Montana's Big Hole. The Big Hole, ringed by the Pioneer Mountains to the east and the Bitterroots to the west, is the heart of Montana's cattle country. Two moderate passes, Badger (6,760') and Big Hole (7,360'), mark our journey to Jackson and an overnight at the Jackson Hot Springs Lodge with the promise of a long, leisurely soak in the natural hot springs at the lodge. A side trip to Bannack State Park, site of Montana's first territorial capital, is a great option on this day.
Day 9 is one of the most extraordinary days in our total biking trip. Following a short ride to Wisdom, we'll turn west toward the towering Bitterroots. Shortly before entering the Beaverhead Forest, we'll visit the Big Hole Battlefield National Monument, site in 1877 of one of the major conflicts in the sad saga of the government's conquest and removal of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce. From the battlefield, we'll begin a long moderate climb to the Continental Divide atop Chief Joseph Pass (7,264'), followed by a rapid descent to Lost Trail Pass astride the Montana/Idaho border. The downhill continues into the Bitterroot Valley to Hamilton, nestled in the heart of the valley in the shadow of the magnificent snowclad Bitterroot peaks. We'll spend our final evening in Hamilton and then continue downstream along the Bitterroot River the following morning to Missoula, where our biking tour concludes.
|Day 1||Jackson-Teton Village-Grand Teton National Park - Moose - Jenny Lake - Jackson Lake Lodge||43 miles|
|Day 2||Hike to Lake Solitude||(14 miles)|
|Day 3||Jackson Lake - Yellowstone National Park-(van shuttle to Grant Village) - Craig Pass - Continental Divide - Kebler Cascades - Old Faithful||40 miles|
|Day 4||Old Faithful - Biscuit Basin-Fountain Paint Pots - Firehole Canyon -Madison - Gibbon Falls - Norris Geyser Basin - Canyon Village||42 miles|
|Day 5||Canyon Village - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - Norris - Madison - West Yellowstone||50 miles|
|Day 6||West Yellowstone - Earthquake Interpretive Center - Quake Lake - Hebgen Lake - Ennis||72 miles|
|Day 7||Ennis - Virginia City - Twin Bridges - Dillon||72 miles|
|Day 8||Dillon-Big Hole Valley - Bannack State Park - Jackson||51 miles|
|Day 9||Jackson - Wisdom - Big Hole Battlefield National Monument - Chief Joseph Pass (Continental Divide) - Lost Trail Pass - Darby - Hamilton||96 miles|
|Day 10||Hamilton - Bitterroot Valley - Lolo - Missoula||48 miles|
Total cycling mileage
Total hiking mileage 14