Riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route: Part 3 – Wyoming and Idaho

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If you haven’t read Part 1- Arizona and New Mexico or Part 2 – Colorado, you should go back and check them out.

While Colorado was the state Jeff and I looked forward to the most, Wyoming, specifically the Great Basin, was the section we had the most concern about. Southbound riders told us many stories of fierce headwinds and thunderstorms, but few of sunshine and tailwinds. How much water and food should we carry, will a headwind slow us to a crawl, will a storm come and make the route impassable, etc? This all got put to rest after meeting the inspiring Todd family in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. When I asked Mike, the family ringleader, what his favorite GDMBR section was, he paused for a moment, then said “the Great Basin”.

While the Great Basin showed its strength with strong winds, it spared us from rain and rewarded us with sunny skies. This being said, Wyoming had some of the most varied weather, with almost triple digit temperatures one day, hail and sleet the next, followed by a night of below freezing temperature that left everything in a coating of ice come morning.

A few notes from Wyoming and Idaho:

    • We rode the 2015 Tour Divide race route deviation through Wamsutter rather than the standard Adventure Cycling route through Rawlins.
    • The southern Wyoming fracking wells make nice camping spots.
    • The Loves truck stop in Wamsutter has a 24 hour Subway.
    • Water is scarce so travel fast or carry a lot. We carried around 8 liters each and found it was plenty.
    • The “singletrack” portion of the route about 47 miles south of Atlantic City is a faded two track and is difficult to spot.
    • Look for the lush green vegetation marking Diagnus Well, about 26 miles south of Atlantic City.
    • Miner’s Grubstake in Atlantic City has limited resupplies, but good food, beer, and free front yard camping.
    • Unless you sneak through the gate at night, northbound riders need to pay the $15 bicyclist fee to enter Grand Teton National Park.
    • There are some great “first come” campsites north of Grand Teton National Park, on the way to Idaho, with toilets, picnic tables, and lockers for food storage.
    • The railtrail portion of the route through Idaho was pretty rough from ATV usage.

For the most part, much of my time on the GDMBR has blended into one great memory, so rather than writing an inaccurate recount of my time on the route, I’m ending this post with these photos.

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The fracking fields of southern Wyoming
Looking at Clouds
Looking at clouds and taking a break from the heat
Crossing the Great Basin
Riding through the Great Basin of Wyoming. What is not visible in the photo is a 40+ mph crosswind that was slowing us to a crawl.
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Camping in the Great Basin of Wyoming
Still Crossing the Great Basin
Still Crossing the Great Basin
Curves Ahead
Yep, still crossing the Great Basin
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Diagnus Well, the first water supply heading north, or the last heading south, through the Great Basin of Wyoming
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Enjoying a pint at Miner’s Grubstake in Atlantic City, Wyoming
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Good times with the locals at Minor’s Grubstake
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Sleeping in the tipi out front of Minor’s Grubstake
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After being told we couldn’t camp in the county fairgrounds, we settled for this abandoned garage.
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The cost of a sidewall tear = One dollar and an inner-tube
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You don’t get descents like this in the east
Storm over the Teton Mountains
A storm over the Teton Mountains that ended up chasing us through Grand Teton National Park
Lake of Lilies
Lots of lilies on a lake in northern Wyoming
Cabin in a Field
A cabin along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in Idaho
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Bummer, the route doesn’t go through the tunnel.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 4 – Montana and Canada

2 thoughts on “Riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route: Part 3 – Wyoming and Idaho

    1. Riding the Tour Divide reroute through Wamsutter almost felt like a continuation of the Great Basin and added about 80 miles on to the 120 miles of Great Basin desolation. All total it took about two and a half days to cross. The small town bars and the great people we met there were definitely highlights of the GDMBR.

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