Electric bikes now allowed in Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton national parks

Wherever bicycles are allowed in Glacier National Park, electric bikes now are also welcome. (Sherry Devlin/Missoula Current)

Electric bikes are now allowed everywhere that traditional bicycles roam in Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, as well as the National Elk Refuge.

Thursday’s announcement came following release of a new National Park Service policy governing e-bikes and an order from the Interior Secretary.

The permission also extends to pathways that connect the elk refuge with Grand Teton Park.

However, as is true for traditional bicycles, e-bikes are not allowed in designated wilderness, in areas managed as wilderness, or on over-snow roads in the winter. All backcountry trails in Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are managed as de facto wilderness, so no bikes are allowed in any of those areas.

Under the new rules, e-bike riders may only use the motor to assist pedal propulsion.

“The motor may not be used to propel an e-bike without the rider also pedaling, except in locations open to public motor vehicle traffic,” the secretary’s order reads. “Motor bikes with a throttle are not e-bikes. All bicyclists must obey speed limits and any other state traffic laws.”

If necessary, the Park Service said, managers of individual national parks can limit, restrict or impose additional conditions on the use of electric bikes (and traditional bikes).