Alright, bought the bike, joined the club, now a suggestion. For those of you who can ride gravel there is a road from Sundance over the Bear Lodge & Warren Peak, and down the north side to Devils Tower. Great views from the top on clear days.
Another suggestion is head east just north of Sundance towards Moskee/Cement Ridge area & on to Spearfish/Lead/Deadwood. Again, all gravel.
PLEASE be careful with fire, cigarettes, anything that will start fires! It has been very dry there for a few years and it doesn't take much.
No matter what road I took into Wyoming I always saw a nice welcome sign...
According to National Geographic's "Guide To Scenic Highways and Byways" the Big Horn Mountains Scenic Byway on US (not WY) Route 14 between Shell & Dayton Wyoming is a very scenic 2 hour (by car) 60 mile trip going through Granite Pass @ 9,033 feet, following the Tongue River, with scenic turnouts for Sand Turn Pullout, Little Tongue River Canyon, & Fallen City limestone rock formations, with an hour detour on US 14A to Medicine Wheel (not included in the 60 miles above). US 14 Scenic Byway also goes through Shell Canyon and Shell Falls Interpretive Site, following Shell Creek before heading across a desert floor to Shell, Wyoming. According to Google Maps, Dayton is about 125 miles from Gillette WY. The above would be a great 400 mile (return trip from Gillette to Shell via Dayton & back to Gillette) day ride for riders attending the Nat'l Rally in Gillette. The pictures speak for themselves ... beautiful.
However, if your retired military with 20+ years of service, multiple combat tours, with VA acknowledged combat related disabilities, you don't qualify. You pay $80 a year, just like our foreign visitors. What a country!!
As an alternative to US16, take Crazy Woman Canyon road from near Kaycee up to intercept 16 without having to go all the way to Buffalo. Not for the gravel-averse, but a very nice ride. Also, there is a very nice ride (unpaved) that goes from 14a near the Medicine Wheel over to the upper end of Shell Canyon (US14). Along the way, you can open a gate and ride down to Moonlight Mesa, which gives some spectacular overlooks of Shell Canyon.
Medicine Wheel is now a half-mile walk from the parking area, but if you are going to ride trails past there, the ranger should let you through the gate to ride right up. The Medicine Wheel is a true place of power. In 1993, I had a hilarious brush with fame up there, wherein I heard first-hand a story that Peter Fonda subsequently incorporated into his part in "The Limey".
The Beartooth loop is a 2-1/2 day 2 night loop (leisurely pace) that would be tough to beat anywhere in North America. The track file is part of my 8,350 mile loop with my 11 y/o son in June 2006.
I would spend night 1 in Red Lodge, MT and night 2 in Cody, WY. This loop can be done in 2 days and 1 night if you leave at sunrise on day 1.
The Blackhill Loop is also one of my favorite. I usually include Hot Springs and Wind Cave National Park, but that turns this loop into a pretty long day so I included the waypoints, but dropped that section of my loop.
And the Devil's Tower loop which includes Custer's Last Stand is another favorite.
How about a good route to Yellowstone? I'm in a quandry as to whether to take a more northerly scenic route such as 14 to 14A into Cody and then 296 to 212 into Yellowstone. I could add an out and back to Bear Tooth Pass. That might be too much for one day. Alternatively, I could take a faster route of I-90 east to Buffalo then take 16 to Greybull then follow 14 to Yellowstone. Or perhaps some combination of the two. I will do this ride on Sunday then camp in Yellowstone for the night before I head back to Colorado. Any suggestions?
if you want the coolest route, take I-90 past Sheridan WY to US-14, then 14A, US-310 to just south of Bridger MT. left on MT-72 to Belfry MT, then MT-308 to Red Lodge MT.
Beartooth Highway (US-212) to Silver Gate MT (Yellowstone NP northeast entrance).
Taking 14A is also a great road with much greener backdrops. At the West end of the ride you should do the Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area. Get to the Canyon overlook parking area just into Montana. I've always seen plenty of bighorn sheep in the parking area and never a person.
You could even rent a speed boat for an hour or so and enjoy the canyon from another perspective. Take a look at the canyon in google maps or google earth. It is well worth the trip and a great road too.
Oh, and it is also home of the National Wild Horse Preserve to boot.
See you all there. Can't wait.
You know what? Stupidity SHOULD be painful!
Good news. In the recent Black Hills club newsletter, Jim Hansen let on that he and a few others from the Rapid area will be scouting off-pavement routes in the environs of Gilette. I have been looking forward to exploring, but I don't mind going to school on guys who know the area better.