Blacktail Creek June 2023


Feb 14, 2023
This hike was a little bit of an afterthought honestly. I originally thought about doing this or Garnet Hill as a day hike, but when I saw that the backcountry sites were pretty much wide open, I decided I'd grab one (while I did enjoy the excitement of the old mail in system for big trips, it is nice to be able to snag an otherwise unused campsite like this) My original plan was to hike Blacktail Creek down to the Yellowstone River, camp at 1R3, and hike out to the Hellroaring TH. However, a week or so before we flew out, the backcountry situation report stated that the creek west of 1R3 wasn't passable. Both times I visited the backcountry offices during the week, I tried to get further information about this with no luck, so I changed my site to 1R1 & opted to hike out and back from the Blacktail TH.

I left out from Madison Campground toward the trailhead just after 4am, so I could take my time enjoying the drive up. It was foggy for most of it, but finally started to clear as we made it up near mammoth. We pulled out our camp stove to enjoy a nice hot breakfast at the Lava Creek picnic area before Amber dropped me off.

I lucked out with sunny skies for most of day 1, which was better than the most recent forecast I'd seen. It got cloudy, windy, and a little cold later that afternoon, but never really rained until the morning of day 2. That began as I was packing up camp and continued throughout the morning. Thankfully it was a light rain, and as long as I kept moving I was able to enjoy the hike without my rain gear. The climb up out of the canyon kept me warm enough. I took a slight detour to Crevice Lake on day 2, which ended up being one of my favorite parts of this hike.

I saw a few other hikers and a group of horse packers within the first mile, but aside from that I didn't see anyone until I got back near the trailhead the following day. It looked like a couple of large guided groups starting their hike in the rain. The only big wildlife I saw were a few elk on day 2, one down in the canyon and a few I spotted up on the ridges as I got near the trailhead. Day 1 photos are mostly Sony a6300, day 2 I just snapped a few with my iPhone.

On the drive to the trailhead:

First views from the hike:DSC00633-Enhanced-NR-2.jpgDSC00641-2.jpg

Put the Sony away at this point
Thank you for sharing, Great Pics, I do like the online system to be able to piece together a loop with a little imagination and some time pondering. My last loop in Yellowstone would not have been possible working as a walk up and a ranger looking at a an old compiuter terminal.