Deer Creek into the Thorofare

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STW

New Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
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I'm thinking about starting at Deer Creek and hiking into the Thorofare August 2019 but haven't found anything about the trail. I've hiked the Southfork trail, albeit in 1973, and up in the Sunlight Basin so the Absarokas are not unfamiliar. I'm simply looking information to help in planning.
 

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Jackson

I like to go outside.
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Joined
May 31, 2015
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1,550
@Kmatjhwy may be able to help a bit if she's around. The Thorofare is pretty much home for her.

I looked over that route on Google Earth, and the trail looks pretty well worn, assuming you're starting from near the confluence of Deer Creek with the South Fork Shoshone and heading over Deer Creek Pass. The whole area is well-traveled by horse packers, so I'd expect your trail to be pretty easy to follow.

Some of the best trails are the ones that have nothing written about them online :thumbsup:
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
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Sep 23, 2016
Messages
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STW, Hi There! Now as of late have been around but just lurking and not posting. So you are thinking of heading back into this Thorofare country next summer. It is Great Country! Go For It!

Now as for the Deer Creek Trail. Yes this is a very well worn path into the Thorofare Country. The thing is that from the trailhead to Deer Creek Pass it is like 4,000 feet of elevation gain. This route is a major route used by some outfitters and various horse parties to access the Thorofare Country from the east so it can get quite busy at times. I have been both up and down the Deer Creek Trail but because of the steepness involved I personally don't like using this route. I instead prefer to use the Ishawooa Creek Trail. This is a longer route with near the same amount of elevation gain but not nearly as steep. When heading in this way, I go up Ishawooa to it's upper area and then camp for the first night. Then on the second day head on over to beautiful and gorgeous Pass Creek to camp. Then on down to the Thorofare River. Many a time I have hiked out for supplies to Cody via either the Ishawooa or Deer Creek Trails. And I much prefer the Ishawooa Creek Trail even though longer. Also in heading up the Deer Creek Trail because of the steepness involved, there is not many places for camp spots. This is another reason I prefer the Ishawooa Creek Trail for there is here and there good campsite areas along the trail.

Also there is a Falcon Guide out out on the Teton and the Washakie Wildernesses which is pretty good. It has info in the book on this trail. If you want more info then feel free to email me. Now since it is winter here in Jackson, I will be around.

Hope this helps you out! Wishing You the Best!
 
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LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
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Joined
Jan 4, 2015
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Echo what Kmat said. Just to add, it's about 4 feet wide and, although a lot of vert, decently well graded. Couple of washed out spots near the top but nothing of concern. The tread underfoot is a bit torn up from horse traffic when it's muddy, but more of an annoyance than an obstacle.
 

Joey

walking somewhere
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Apr 1, 2014
Messages
878
The south fork of the Shoshone River is pretty awesome. I finally hiked it fully this September, and was surprised at how beautiful it was. It's more of a canyon, and you hike sections of it on ledges above the river. I kind of felt like I was in a canyon in Utah somewhere. You can make a loop with it while still going over into the Thorofare.
a.jpg


Hiking up tIshawooa Creek is a long haul almost entirely thru woods. The backside of Ishawooa Pass is beautiful, along Pass Creek, like kmatjhwy said above. Great camping in the upper meadows, and very remote. The upper part of Thorofare Creek, and over into the North Fork of the Yellowstone is a beautiful stretch, especially in the fall. I would do that over going down Thorofare Creek to Hawks Rest, So many options as to where else to go. North Fork of the Buffalo is an awesome area, and they redid the trail in there since the fires. Marston Pass, Buffalo Plateau, the Cub Creek area is all good too. If you go into Yellowstone, any of the camps along the river and lakeshore are pretty unique and special. Just a long car shuttle if your not doing a loop, and starting on the Washakie side. And I have to admit, that all of my trips in there have all involved info from @Kmatjhwy from several years back. She is your best resource on here, along with @Absarokanaut, who has also given me a ton of info on both the Washakie and Teton Wildernesses.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
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The south fork of the Shoshone River is pretty awesome. I finally hiked it fully this September, and was surprised at how beautiful it was. It's more of a canyon, and you hike sections of it on ledges above the river. I kind of felt like I was in a canyon in Utah somewhere.
Thanks for this photo, Joey. That does look amazing!

I've been poking around topo maps of the Washakie/Teton wildernesses quite a bit for the past couple of months. Trying to devise some routes for 2020 or 2021 (hopefully). Because I am a big fan of sheer verticality (think Glacier NP, N.Cascades, Paria Canyon, etc) I often look for trails near tightly bunched up contour lines and often use CalTopo's slope angle shading to help me find potential routes. After seeing some impressive slope angles on the South Fork of the Shoshone around the Needle Mountain area, I zoomed in and saw that the elevations from Needle Mtn down to the river exceeded 4000'. That is pretty freaking impressive! Of course when talking about deep canyons, we've all [presumably] heard lots about Hells Canyon, Black Canyon of Gunnison, Salmon River Canyon, and Chelan / Stehekin valley.... but how had S.Fk. Shoshone slid under my radar all these years?

That area of Needle Creek right before it enters the Shoshone looks pretty sweet too. Although it looks like they're not maintaining much of that (Needle Creek) trail anymore. Older USGS maps show it extending all the way up to the head of the canyon, to just north of Emerald Lake. I wonder if one could do a full circumnavigation of Crater Mountain there; I could go up Needle Creek to almost the top, and find a route over to Saddle Creek, going between Red Tops and Lost Ranger Top, down Saddle Creek, making a loop out of it. It would be fun to try.

I definitely need to spend some time wandering around in this region....
 
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