I believe I haven't posted this. Sorry if it's a duplicate. I'm now in fall mode and can post.
I had reservations to go from Hellroaring to Roosevelt, but the weather was not cooperating, so I waited a day or two and got a walk in permit to the first site on the Lamar River Trail. The ranger issuing the permit said that I shouldn't ford Cache Creek, that it was to high. I promised I wouldn't and off I went. I had to wait about 20 minutes at the trailhead, because there was a herd of bison that were wandering about, blocking the trail.
It was new territory, I'd never crossed the bridge before.
Silky Phacelia and Sedum (I think) were blooming.
I was going that-a-way. Actually, I think I was going the other way. This was looking back. I like to take pictures of the signs, then later (like 4 months later), I know where I was.
I didn't disturb the locals.
The trail went up a little draw, and there were some bison grazing a short distance away. I think I was at an ok distance, but I sure watched them. There are bison all around there, and bison are what I worry about most in Yellowstone. They go from being perfectly calm to feeling like hurling you in the air in a matter of
The trail went gently up, through beautiful emerald green grass. I hollered a lot, and watched for bears. That was the thing I was worried about hiking here alone, is that I had seen so much wildlife in this area. I guess that’s what’s nice about a big, broad, open space. I guess the animals are everywhere, I just SEE them here. I really wanted to get up this valley, though, so I moved along. Being in the open, there were gorgeous views the whole way.
The buffalo, or the horse folks, or maybe other hikers, created a multi lane Interstate headed toward Cache Creek. I ran into two guys in the parking lot, and they had said it was sort of confusing. I looked at it and didn’t have any problem... just pick a lane and go.
From the higher level of the trail, you could get a glimpse of Wahb Springs, a thermal area, off to the left. I decided I wanted to get to the campsite, though, so went down the hill. This was the only real problem area of the trip. The hill was used by everybody and everything... people, antelope, buffalo, horses, elk... you name it. It was a muddy, slick mess. I worried about getting back up it, but that would have to wait until morning. I descended to the creek level, and looked for the campsite.
The campsite was to the left, in a little group of trees. It was nestled nicely up the valley, a little ways from the creek.
I hung my food, and set up my tent, and proceeded to enjoy the comforts of my home away from home. I watched elk on the distant mountainside, buffalo crossed the river on the trail, an antelope grazed on the hill behind my camp, and a mule deer wandered by. I had just finished eating, when it began to rain. I had just gotten in my tent when it began to hail. I was a little worried about my tent, but it held up like a trooper. When the hail ended, there was probably an inch of hail on the ground. It sure taught me to trust my tent.
Someone decorated the kitchen area with pretty rocks.
A week or so later, there was a problem with a bear at a campsite further from the trailhead. They closed the area, and eventually had to put down the bear. :-(
When I got up in the morning, this is the view that met me. I ate my breakfast and drank coffee, looking at elk on the distant mountainside.
After packing, I headed toward the muddy hill. I swear, it was like a buffalo jump out of mud. I ended up with mud up to my knees, but for all my complaining, it probably only took me 10 minutes to get up that hill. I had to grab roots and branches to pull my way up, but it was ok.
On the return trip, I saw some fresh tracks. I believe this is a wolf track.
There was a small herd (25?) of bison that followed me. I sort of think it was a group of females with some young. The lead one would look at me as if I was pathetically slow, and then graze for a bit. I’d get over a little rise, and walk further, and then turn back, and she’d be looking at pathetic me, again. They never got too close, and eventually dropped to a lower area with more bison.
There was a thermal area I could look at, from afar. I know it was thermal, but it was too far to really see much. The views were just as wonderful in this direction as in the other direction, though in this direction I began to see the road, far away.
It was a great first trip of the year, perfect for a weekend outing. It was 3.5 miles to the campsite, and got me out of earshot of roads, and into earshot of a rushing creek.
Thanks for looking. Pringles