24 June 2013

8 of the Best National Parks for Bicycling

Glacier National Park
This summer, as you pack up and head out on weekend trips with your friends and family, don't forget to pack your bike. While not every national park is best suited for cyclists—what with so many trails off limits to anyone but hikers—there are definitely a good handful that you shouldn't leave your bike at home for. If you're looking for a good place to start, here are some of our favorite bike-friendly national parks:

Via Flickr user BLMOregon
Crater Lake National Park

The 33-mile loop around Crater Lake is certainly a physically demanding ride, what with the long, steep elevation gains when you're already well above sea level, but it's absolutely worth it. As you follow Rim Drive around the lake, be sure to stop at the vistas to get a glimpse of the gorgeous crystal-blue waters that fill that crater.

Acadia National Park

At Acadia National Park, you can explore both the beautiful New England coast, as well as the lush forests and granite slopes this incredible park has to offer. With 45 miles of historic carriage roads and plenty of paved roads, there's no shortage of good cycling.

Shenandoah National Park

If you're looking for a lengthy, hilly challenge, then Shenandoah is the park for you. The 105-mile Skyline Drive following the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a demanding route and is best reserved for more experienced cyclists. But do be careful: Skyline Drive is a two-way road with a lot of curves and blind spots, so just be aware of your surroundings and the cars passing you.

Grand Canyon National Park

Bikes may not be allowed in the canyon, but there are still plenty of options for bicyclists at this beautiful, iconic national park. Besides, the view from the top is simply outstanding. Both the North and South Rims have options for cyclists, including the 2.8-mile Hermit Road Greenway Trail on the South Rim.

Via Flickr user Andreas Johansson
Death Valley National Park

It may be the hottest, driest and lowest national park the U.S. has to offer, but Death Valley National Park has 785 miles of road and trail available to cyclists—you just might want to avoid the hottest of the summer months, when temperatures can rise to 120 degrees during the day and drop to zero at night.

Glacier National Park

Take your two-wheeled transport on a ride through the heart of Glacier National Park and around the mountainsides on the 55-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road. The scenery is gorgeous and you'll get a chance to view Jackson Glacier Overlook as well as local wildlife, like bighorn sheep and mountain goats. But it is a tough ride, so be prepared for some climbs.

Grand Teton National Park

There are plenty of awesome things to do at Grand Teton National Park, and biking is definitely one of them. With a multi-use pathway to ride along and see the park's sights, as well as several roads, there's plenty of great pedaling.

Redwood National Park

The paths and trails in Redwood National Park ride among the gorgeous redwoods of this Northern California forest, which tower 350 feet above the ground, and even offer incredible ocean views at certain points. With several different loops and trails to ride, you can easily spend an entire day (or a couple of days) exploring the area.

Are we missing your favorite? Let us know in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

Have ridden in two of these so far. Acadia and Death Valley. Acadia (and the surrounding local area) was a wonderful place to ride. Tackled it on a cross bike which turned out to be an ideal steed for the variety of roadway options and conditions. Some images from that adventure can be found here: http://highmountain.smugmug.com/Vacation/Mount-Desert-Island-Carriage/13496272_KBx7qs

Death Valley - a whole different experience when I rode the spring edition of the Death Valley Century about 3 years back. It was a combination of stunning landscapes and brutal weather conditions (extremely high gusting winds) that made it one of the hardest days on the bike I've experienced to date. It is a ride that I will do again so that the wonderful scenery can truly be enjoyed!

Unknown said...

Yellowstone is by far my favorite. But you have to ride it in September after Labor Day weekend and into October. It is a very unique experience to hear elk bugle while you're riding near hot springs and geysers.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for the sharing! COOL.. best road bike

Unknown said...

very informative post. I have been looking for a perfect place for riding hybrid bike and this guide will help me a lot.

Tanvir Rana Juwel said...
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Mathew said...

These places are awesome. I think these places are very suitable for biking. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful place with us. You can also read a review about the road bike at 5Cycling

James Jordan said...

Thanks for sharing the informative post. BTW I am writing a new blog post about gravel bikes under 1500. If anyone interested you can read the blog page. Thanks

Rick Hudson said...

Nice post! Awesome places for bike riding. I will love to use my mountain bikes for travelling and exploring.

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