The Freezing Cold Air Creates ‘Diamond Dust’ ❄️ Epic Yellowstone | Smithsonian Channel
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.
In the dead of winter, 60 Minutes went looking for wolves in Yellowstone National Park, and we weren’t alone. These fierce and feral animals are the darlings of tourists willing to endure frigid temperatures to catch a glimpse of a distant pack crossing a snow-covered ridge.
Protecting Wild Lands and Waters of Yellowstone Gateway
To protect the Yellowstone Gateway from the threat of industrial-scale gold mining by securing a permanent mineral withdrawal that prevents mining activity in 30,000 acres of National Forest lands in the Absaroka Beartooth mountains.
“The most primitive of Yellowstone’s campgrounds and sites, the accommodations are distributed among the banks of the stream, meadow land, and forest.” (Fodor’s Travel)
Slough Creek Campground—elevation 6,250 feet (1905 m)—is located in Lamar Valley near some of the best wildlife watching opportunities in the park. Located at the end of a two mile graded dirt road, this campground is best suited for tents and small RVs. There are plenty of hiking opportunities in the area, including the Slough Creek Trail which begins nearby. Nighttime offers a quiet, unimpeded view of the stars and the possibility of hearing wolves howl.
(As rated by Fodor’s Travel)
“…a 1,000-mile family road trip across Big Sky Country—with brief side trips to fly-fish a few trout streams. We wouldn’t do any backpacking, but Montana’s scenic highways offer plenty of chances to gawk at rushing rivers and jagged alpine vistas, not to mention scope wildlife. Our checklist included sandhill cranes, ospreys, and eagles; bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and bison; and grizzly bears, black bears, and wolves.”
Westways magazine (June 2019) posted this wonderfully detailed road trip through Montana and Wyoming. Read more by clicking on link below: