Lassen Volcanic Park is often overlooked and less crowded than nearby Yosemite.

A Ride Through 4 Western National Parks

This 7 day ride winds through western backcountry roads taking in 4 national parks, 2 of which are famous for their volcanic activity.  The ride begins in Missoula Montana a western town of 75,000 located at the convergence of five mountain ranges and home to the University of Montana.  From this picturesque starting point the tour takes you through backroads to Yellowstone National Park, the nation’s first, and on through Grand Teton National Park and eventually Lassen Volcanic National Park and Crater Lake National Park.  In between parks the tour winds through big and small western towns including Helena Montana, Jackson Wyoming, Twin Falls Idaho, and Reno Nevada.  All told, your tires cross into 6 states and cover more than 1,885 miles. 

There’s a lot to see on this tour with many interesting places to stop and look around.  Keeping that in mind, we planned about 200 to 300 miles of riding each day.  It quickly become apparent just how big the United States actually are when we unsuccessfully tried to connect worthwhile destinations within that self-imposed limit.  So you will see that in a couple cases the best we could do was a 300 mile day and one that stretches nearly 500 miles.  Even so, we think you’re going to like the route we laid out.

This tour is full of good roads and great scenery right through to the conclusion in Roseburg Oregon.  We recommend enjoying every mile.  But some might yearn for coastal vistas and for them we suggest doing an American Sport Touring Mix & Match with the A Taste of California Coast tour.  Jumping over to this tour is an easy option from Reno NV.  Just wake up early and head to Red Bluff to take a fun ride down California Highway 1. 

Volcanic National Parks Tour Plan

Day 1 Missoula to West Yellowstone MT
WaypointMiles to WaypointRide TimeNotes
Start at Missoula Montana23.70:31
Potomac MT29.40:35
Ovando MT75.31:29
Helena MT175.53:09Stop for lunch & fuel, tour the Montana Historical Society Museum. 
West Yellowstone MTFind a nice place to stay, check out the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.
Daily Miles & Riding Time303.95:44
Map of the route from Missoula to Yellowstone
700700Map data ©2021 Google – Helena MT is the highlight along this route offering a glimpse into Montana history.
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Day 2 West Yellowstone to Jackson WY via Yellowstone N.P. & Grand Teton N.P.
WaypointMiles to WaypointRide TimeNotes

Enter Yellowstone National Park toward West Thumb

47.7

1:33

Enjoy the scenery following Grand Loop Road from the entrance, keeping left at West Thumb where the Grand Loop Road meets John D Rockefeller Jr Parkway.  You will have to turnaround to come back to the Parkway, but the ride along Yellowstone Lake is worth it. 

West Thumb – turn left toward Old Faithful Loop Rd

19.4

0:29

 

Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins

19.4

0:29

If you took your time to enjoy the scenery, here’s a great place to stop for lunch.

West Thumb WY

57.6

1:28

Sorry, but no way to avoid doubling back to West Thumb.

Jenny Lake WY

15.8

0:36

Enjoy Grand Teton National Park on your way to Jackson WY.

Teton Village WY

12.3

0:24

Nice place for a late lunch or snacks if you skipped stopping at Lake Yellowstone.

Jackson WY

 

 

 

Daily Miles & Riding Time

172.2

3:59

 

Map of the route from Yellowstone to Jackson
700Map data ©2021 Microsoft – Give yourself plenty of time on this ride through Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
Day 3 Jackson WY to Twin Falls ID 
WaypointMiles to WaypointRide TimeNotes

Leave Jackson WY toward Wayan ID

73.3

1:36

 

Wayan ID

92

1:49

 

Pocatello ID

113.3

1:47

 

Twin Falls ID

 

 

Be sure to walk across the Perrine Bridge over the Snake River Canyon.

Daily Miles & Riding Time

278.6

5:12

 

Map of the route from Jackson to Twin Falls
Map data ©2021 Microsoft – This ride is for riding, arriving at Twin Falls ID where you will find photo-worthy views of the Snake River Canyon.
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Day 4 Twin Falls ID to Reno NV
WaypointMiles to WaypointRide TimeNotes

Leave Twin Falls ID

224.4

3:33

 Leave early, this is one long day.

Crescent Valley NV

86.5

2:00

 

Austin NV

137.1

2:21

 

Silver Springs NV

41.9

0:53

 

Reno NV

 

 

 

Daily Miles & Riding Time

489.9

8:42

 

Map of the route from Twin Falls to Reno
Map data ©2021 Microsoft – You will fully appreciate the vastness of the United States as you take in the panoramas along this ride.
Day 5 Reno NV to Redding CA via Lassen Volcanic National Park
WaypointMiles to WaypointRide TimeNotes

Leave Reno NV toward Milford CA

62.9

1:01

Mix & Match Route Option – If at this point in the ride you are pining for some California Coast, you could re-route to Red Bluff (02:38, 128 miles) and pick up the A Taste of California Coast tour toward San Francisco.

Milford CA

46

0:55

 

Westwood CA

43.8

0:54

 

Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center

22

0:50

Take your time through Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Loomis Museum near Shingletown CA

7.9

0:14

 

Viola CA

16.6

0:22

 

Inwood CA

25.6

0:30

 

Redding CA

 

 

 

Daily Miles & Riding Time

224.8

4:46

 

Map of the route from Reno to Lassen
Map data ©2021 Google – The first segment of this ride takes you to the visitor center at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Map of the route from Lassen to Redding
Map data ©2021 Google – This segment takes you through the park and on to Redding California. Don’t worry about the “road closed” icons, this map clip was taken during the winter months.
Day 6 Redding CA to Klamath Falls OR 
WaypointMiles to WaypointRide TimeNotes

Leave Klamath Falls toward Burney CA

53.1

1:03

 

Burney CA

15.7

0:20

 

Cayton CA

15.7

0:26

 

Obie CA

14.5

0:24

 

Medicine Rd / Mccloud CA

46.3

1:12

 

Tionesta CA

24.1

0:38

 

Canby Cross CA

36.9

0:52

 

Klamath Falls OR

 

 

 

Daily Miles & Riding Time

206.3

4:55

 

Map of the route from Redding to Klamath Falls
Map data ©2021 Google – An enjoyable ride through backcountry to Klamath Falls Oregon.
Day 7 Klamath Falls OR to Roseburg OR via Crater Lake 
WaypointMiles to WaypointRide TimeNotes

Leave Klamath Falls toward

61.6

1:13

 

Butte Falls OR

16.6

0:26

 

McLeod OR

25.6

0:29

 

Union Creek OR

9.5

0:14

 

Crater Lake National Park OR

15

1:00

Enjoy Crater Lake National Park from the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway.

Crater Lake N.P. North Entrance Station

1.1

0:07

 

State Hwy 209

27.4

0:30

 

Clearwater OR

43.3

0:50

 

Glide OR

16.7

0:19

 

Roseburg OR

 

 

 

Daily Miles & Riding Time

216.8

5:08

 

Map of the route from Klamath Falls to Crater Lake
Map data ©2021 Google – The first segment this ride takes you to the visitor center at Crater Lake National Park.
Map of the route from Crater Lake to Roseburg OR
Map data ©2021 Google – Segment 2 takes you along the west side of Crater Lake and out the opposite side of the park toward Roseburg Oregon.

Enjoy the ride.  Let us know what you think.  We’re always looking for new ideas. 

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