On the road with customer Shane Larson
Our Adventure on E-bikes through National Parks using Rivian R1T. Here's what we discovered on this epic trip.
We recently visited Grand Canyon National Park and soon followed up with a trip to our country’s first National Park, Yellowstone. What we found out is that biking the national parks was a wonderful new way to discover the environs. But before arriving at the parks, while road tripping in our electric truck, we had opportunities to take our bikes out for a quick spin while the truck recharged. This made the journey to the parks so much more enjoyable. The key was having our quick and easy Ride88 system for offloading and reloading the bikes. Once at the parks, we were pleasantly surprised to find the lodgings at both Grand Canyon and Yellowstone had plenty of places to charge our Rivian. Other than the one evening where every light went out in Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs area due to a lightning strike, we never had any worries about getting stranded due to “lack of electrons”. Luckily, they had the power back on in a couple of hours.
Grand Canyon National Park No Reason to Leave Your Bike at Home
The Grand Canyon is a definite bucket-list destination. It’s South Rim is quite a busy place but there is plenty of room for people to spread out along the literally dozens of miles of roads and paved paths. And while you can’t ride down into the canyon, (Is that a bad thing?) there is so much to see up top that you won’t even miss it. It can be strenuous as many people forget that it’s more than 7000 foot elevation on the rim. This is another reason to skip the miles of hiking and bring along an e-bike. And the very best reason to bring the bike is to avoid the lines for the shuttlebuses, midsummer they can be massive. The Tusayan Greenway trail is the newest addition to the paved trail system at the Grand Canyon. It’s six miles uphill to get to the rim but if you’re on an e-bike and your hotel is in Tusayan, it’s a much better choice than the massive lines to get through the main entrance. Luckily, we stayed in Grand Canyon Village so we were only minutes from Hermit Road Greenway. With the road closed to cars, we felt like we had the place to ourselves! The Hermit Road Greenway is about 16 miles road trip. While riding the car-free road was a kick, the best part was the 3-mile Greenway Trail at the farthest end. It is a paved path that traces the canyon rim, separate from the road. We had a nice lunch at Hermit’s rest, on one of several picnic tables before returning to Grand Canyon Village. We did see some non-E-bike riders elect to return via the bike racks on the front of the shuttlebuses. We also took in the Grand Canyon Village Bicycle Loop and took a jaunt out to the South Kaibab Trailhead on the bikes. There are tons of spectacular viewpoints and somehow the canyon looks just a little bit different from each one. I highly recommend this trip!
Yellowstone National Park The Original
We love Yellowstone. Living in Northern Utah, this seems like it’s in our backyard. We both remember frequent trips there during our youth. At first glance, with all of it’s ubiquitous wooden boardwalk surrounded hot springs, who would think of going biking there. And tipping your bike into one of them would be a serious bummer. But, believe it or not, there are miles of trails one can bike along through the park, like Lone Star Geyser, Fountain Flat Drive, Bunsen Peak, and Natural Bridge, as well as access to the Upper Geyser Basin Trail a couple mile paved mixed-use path between Old Faithful and Morning Glory Pool. The shortcut between Daisy Geyser and Biscuit Basin is also a fun way to get off the beaten path.
On the way to Yellowstone, we were able to get a ride in at Idaho’s Harriman State Park. The Silver Lake loop was just amazing. It was a little muddy from recent rains but definitely worth the stop. Seeing a family of swans was very special. This trip to Yellowstone, we took in the Fountain Flat Drive, driving along the beautiful Firehole River and past the very steamy Grand Prismatic Spring.
We went all the way to the Fairy Falls Trailhead but in doing so we did have to do battle with some rain that was moving through the area. Thank goodness for excellent raingear! We went next up to Mammoth Hot Springs thinking we would ride the Old Gardiner Road Trail into Montana. Apparently, the Park Service decided to pave this last year and now it serves as the main entrance into the North side of Yellowstone, NP. Not to be detoured we heard about an abandoned railbed trail along the Yellowstone River adjacent to this North entrance. We passed two different large herds of elk on this little excursion which turned out to be a nice flat single-track overlooking the river that was just our speed. Loads of fun!