The Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Bicycle Route fulfills the request of so many cyclists visiting the ACA headquarters in Missoula for a northern connector between the TransAmerica Trail and the Northern Tier Bicycle Route — one that strings together the iconic American parks of Yellowstone, Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, and the famous Black Hills of South Dakota.
But don’t expect the connection to come easily! Located nearly smack dab in the middle are the compact, yet formidable Black Hills. This small mountain range exhibits a network of rollercoasting, winding roads that can frequently rise to 10% grades for short durations.
Many of these same roads are very popular for motorcyclists, especially in August for the world’s largest motorcycle rally centered in the nearby town of Sturgis. Roads and crowds notwithstanding, the Black Hills offers scenery and grandeur on a scale that may be surprising to the conventional out-of-state visitor.
The route begins in the gateway community of West Yellowstone, Montana and ends in the “City of Lakes” — Minneapolis, Minnesota. After riding 2.3 miles in Montana, the route enters Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park, which is renowned as America’s first national park. The route meanders past numerous geothermal hotspots, plunging waterfalls, and idyllic valleys teaming with wildlife.