5 day hike with lots of water and fishing?

AKay09

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Mar 10, 2015
Messages
96
Hey everyone I am looking for some ideas for a mid to late August hike. I have one route in Yellowstone that starts at the southern border and moves up along I believe Snake River? and then up around Heart Lake and back down. It would put us on a river for night one and four with two nights around the lake. It seems like a really pretty area but has a lot of river crossings, which could be fun or a pain. Also my buddy isn't very smart with bear safety so Yellowstone concerns me a bit ha. Do really like the idea of fires at night though.

I am looking for some other options that would have lots of water and decent fishing possibilities. It doesn't have to be in Yellowstone, some place around it or in Utah or Colorado could be nice too. Something in the 40-50mile range and five days. Coming from the Chicago suburbs so Yellowstone is probably as far west as I would be able to do.

Thanks!
 

Ryan Lambert

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Dec 9, 2016
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Uintas. Perhaps the Red Castle to Henry's Fork loop? Plenty of fishing, plus Kings Peak, and bears typically are not a problem.
 

Absarokanaut

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The Teton and Washakie Wildernesses offer IMO far better hiking with excellent fishing than your Yellowstone notion. If you're fly fishermen in private I can direct you to some stellar areas if you have what it takes for the Absaroka and get your buddy in line.

I love the Wind Rivers too. In the Northeast part of the Range the 6+ mile hike into Ross Lakes will give you penthouse scenery with far fewer miles than anything out of Elkhart or Big Sandy.

As an alternative to the Winds I'lloffer up what became the unequivocal glory of Colorado for me over 30 years, the Sangre de Cristo. BIG trout in spectacular settings.

Notice the person to the right of the top of the falls.

Sangres Willow July 98.jpg


Sangres, Westcliffe Mural.jpg


Sangres Phantom Trail.jpg
Sangres Willow 100106.jpg
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
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May 31, 2015
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I agree on the Uintas, Absarokas, and Winds. However, if you are concerned about your friend's bear preparedness, just be aware that the Teton and Washakie wildernesses have healthy grizzly populations just like Yellowstone, and the northern Winds are known to have some as well.

However, you could get your friend to wise up on bear etiquette by having him read some accounts of grizzly encounters. Especially the ones that have occurred in tents at night.
 

AKay09

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Mar 10, 2015
Messages
96
Thanks for the ideas everyone! I'll definitely look into them. I'm sure there are plenty of options that have better views than Yellowstone but it's at the top because I'm a huge wildlife guy and have always wanted to explore the backcountry there. We actually don't fly fish but do usually go for trout when hiking. I do like the sound of the Red Castle to Henry's Fork loop. Through this weekend I'll see if I can make a choice. I'll probably have a few more questions as I look into these areas, so be ready.

My buddy has been with me on 4 trips so far and 2 in Grizzly country, Glacier NP and the Tetons. In the Tetons I realized he was still keeping tooth paste, deodorant and some other random things in the tent at night and when I told him to stop he acted like I was a wimp and it wasn't a big deal haha so if we do go to an area with Grizzlies I may make him bring his own tent this time ha. I may have to send him some stories like you suggest Jackson, may help!
 

AKay09

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
96
The Teton and Washakie Wildernesses offer IMO far better hiking with excellent fishing than your Yellowstone notion. If you're fly fishermen in private I can direct you to some stellar areas if you have what it takes for the Absaroka and get your buddy in line.

I love the Wind Rivers too. In the Northeast part of the Range the 6+ mile hike into Ross Lakes will give you penthouse scenery with far fewer miles than anything out of Elkhart or Big Sandy.

As an alternative to the Winds I'lloffer up what became the unequivocal glory of Colorado for me over 30 years, the Sangre de Cristo. BIG trout in spectacular settings.

Notice the person to the right of the top of the falls.

View attachment 62249

View attachment 62250

View attachment 62251 View attachment 62252

Oh wow that does look like a beautiful area! I'll definitely look into that! Colorado would be a nicer drive too. Thanks for sharing and the idea!
 

Outdoor_Fool

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Dec 11, 2015
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I've been waiting for someone to mention this and I have hesitated because I have not been in them myself, but from what several people have told me, the Bighorns of northern Wyoming might be worth a look also. Great views, fishing and only black bears, at least as of 2015. I suspect that has not changed.

And it's 3+ hours closer than Yellowstone.

And as for your friend, buy him this book and make him read it. It's the best resource out there. No hype, just the results of a long career studying bear attacks.

Herrero_book_cover.jpg
 

AKay09

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Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
96
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to spend this weekend looking up some good routes in these areas. Not sure about the Beartooths, our only attempt at something even close to off trail went poorly ha

Thanks for the book suggestion Outdoor, I'll see if I can get him to read it :)
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
4
The Teton and Washakie Wildernesses offer IMO far better hiking with excellent fishing than your Yellowstone notion. If you're fly fishermen in private I can direct you to some stellar areas if you have what it takes for the Absaroka and get your buddy in line.

I love the Wind Rivers too. In the Northeast part of the Range the 6+ mile hike into Ross Lakes will give you penthouse scenery with far fewer miles than anything out of Elkhart or Big Sandy.

As an alternative to the Winds I'lloffer up what became the unequivocal glory of Colorado for me over 30 years, the Sangre de Cristo. BIG trout in spectacular settings.

Notice the person to the right of the top of the falls.

View attachment 62249

View attachment 62250

View attachment 62251 View attachment 62252

This is a small sidenote to this convo but, how busy is the Sangre de Cristo? A lot of people or easy to get into true seclusion?
 

Absarokanaut

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Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
608
The Sangres are an inredibly rugged range and not conducive to many great loops. While some drainages see a fair amount of traffic on weekends almost every drainage has a lake, most with fishing, and some are harder to travel than others. On the West side Willow Lake is major destination for folks doing Challenger and Kit Carson. On the East side South Colony Lakes is a major destination for Humboldt and the Crestones.

Mike Offerman's suggestion of the Rawahs is also a good one. Like the Sangres without serious ski town summers can be pretty darn uncrowded too.

Have you thought about the Teton and Washakie? I can tell your buddy stories that unless he is mentally ill will put him in line for it.

Kissinger 2008.jpg


Absaroka Upper Jade August 2013.jpg
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Absaroka Pack Camp.jpg
 

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Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Now there are some places in the Wind Rivers that are superb fly fishing spots. Back in the 80s the family hiked in the Popo Agie Wilderness in the lower Wind Rivers. There are a bunch of fly fishermen in the family. My father loved to fly fish. Anyway the family went back to Graves Lake back in the Popo Agie Wild and it was late August.. One day they went over to the nearby little Wind River and fly fished. My father caught over 60 trout on catch and release out of the Little Wind River back in here in only over 2 hours. It was something else. There is quite abit of good fishing spots all over Wyoming. As for the Thorofare and the trout, the best time to be back in here fishing is late spring and early summer. By the later part of the summer after the water levels of the spring runoff have gone down to the lower water levels of late summer, the Cutthroat Trout mostly go back downstream to Yellowstone Lake. But there is some good fishing in the Absarokas. Also years ago was hiking up in the Beartooth Mountains and Wilderness. I came upon some lakes that were full of trout. And many of the trout were big headed and small bodied, in other words ... the place needed to be fished for too many fish for the lake. The Wind Rivers are full of lakes and streams for fishing. Remember back also in the late 70's, camping up the Popo Agie River outside of Lander in the Wind Rivers again. I went dayhiking while my father and brother went fishing. they caught a bunch of fish. There are good places all over the west for good fishing spots if this is what you are looking for.
 
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