In honor of the U.S. National Parks’ free admission on various dates throughout the year, enCYCLEpedia presents its favorite parks to cycle in, all on easy and very scenic bike trails and routes.
For 2018 the dates are January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day; April 21, first day of National Park Week; September 22: National Public Lands Day; November 11: Veterans Day.
Some may notice that there are 11 fewer free days than under the previous administration.
A closed-to-cars road leads to Yacqui Point and connects to the east segment of the rim-side Greenway Trail that leads to the Visitors Center and Mather Point — at which point bikes are banned and the Greenway Trail continues away from the rim. Also from March through November the 8-mile road to Hermits Rest is closed and the car-free ride near the rim is a bit hilly but unbeatable.
Zion National Park, Utah. Shown here is Pa’rus Trail that leads to the main scenic canyon road that is closed to most vehicles in peak season!
Everglades National Park’s 15-mile Shark Valley loop trail next to gators is an amazing adventure! It’s not as dangerous as it sounds.
Yosemite has a great bike path system, crowded in places, but the perfect way to get around the valley.
The old carriage road system in Maine’s Acadia National Park is extensive and level, meandering through the forest past pretty lakes.
Bikes are not allowed on Joshua Tree National Park’s trails, but some uncrowded dirt roads such as Queen Valley Road are a lot of fun to explore.
Grand Teton NP is an up and coming cycling destination, as bike trails continue to be built in the park and to the town of Jackson.
Yellowstone National Park’s 2-mile paved bike trail near Old Faithful can be extended via dirt paths to other areas. Just watch out for grizzlies, cougars, wolves, bison, elk and boiling pools!.
Cactus Forest Trail in Tucson’s Saguaro NP is a rare National Park dirt trail that allows bikes. It’s surrounded by a very scenic though hilly paved loop road that completes the ride.
Cycling Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is pure excitement with several ability levels of ride available – probably best done with an experienced tour company because of natural hazards. Contact the park first due to occasional closures (photo courtesy bikevolcano.com).