Overnight at Ice Lake, Yellowstone


Nov 23, 2015
This was my second to last backcountry night of the season. Ice Lake Is really, *really* close to the road. There are three sites. One is about two miles in, nicely appointed, and features wind. I swear, in July the wind chill at that site is 10*. There'a a site that's about 3/4 of a mile in, and it's beautiful, sort of small, and always taken. Then there's the third site. It is around a half mile in, is handicap accessible, and very nice. I think that for the last three years I've gotten that site on my final backpacking trip of the season. I figure that if something happens weather wise, I can make it to the car easily enough.

There's a bear box and a big fire ring. From the kitchen area there is a nice view of the lake. I usually put my Helinox chair here for a while, then move 25 feet and sit there for a while, then move somewhere else for a bit. I almost never have a fire. Instead I move around and try to check all the views. For a while, I watched a muskrat. I'm not sure what he was up to, but he was busy. Mostly, I guess I stored up sites and sounds and smells for the coming winter, like a squirrel stores seeds.


The muskrat was working by the far shore. I sat here for a while.


Next I sat here for a while. The busy campsite is over there. From this spot, you can see people day hiking along the trail over there, and people who sit on a log and have something to eat. Speaking of snacks, this is a nice spot to have a snack.


A slightly different take on the muskrat work site.


Looking down toward the end of the lake, with my feet up on a log.


My favorite spot to sit at, at this site. There's a log that I sit next to. I put my cooking stuff on the log, for organizing, and my stove goes beside me. I watch the world go by while I cook and eat and drink coffee or tea.


It's a tough choice. This view or a fire. You don't have to "put out" this view before bed.


Well, there's not much to see here, but the tent site is flat and in the woods. Out on the lake, the are two spots, but they're really close to the food box.

Everytime I've camped here, I've heard elk bugling in the night. Honestly, they sound like they're in my tent, they sound so close.


Another stroll around the campsite before turning in.


Morning fog.


Last night's supper view looks the same, yet different, in the morning.


The log I put my stuff on when I eat.




We sat there and just watched until about noon. The fog had lifted. The light had changed. We hiked the short distance back to the trailhead.



  • 20210925_134313.jpg
    601.9 KB · Views: 7
Last edited:
Being able to look at the little report later, and recapture that peace, is one of the best reasons to post a trip report, I think. I watched a documentary on the art of the Hudson River School (1800’s). They said that anybody could draw/paint it like it looked, an artist could portray it the way it made you feel. No claim of art here, but that statement has stuck in my mind. I had a picture in my office of ,my feet up, some boreal forest greenery, and Lake Superior beyond. When things were hectic, that picture was so calming.
I wish I lived close to Yellowstone so I could do a nice relaxing trip like that. I guess I could, but traveling from KY makes that an expensive overnight trip :)

Thanks for the report.
Yes, wsp_scott, traveling from Kentucky would be expensive. But, you have Big South Fork and Red River Gorge, and for a little longer drive, the Smokies. When I lived in Kentucky, I would backpack at Mammoth Cave. The above ground area is beautiful.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
P Yellowstone Ice Lake overnight Backpacking 6
Wanderlust073 A winter overnight Backpacking 4
GramaNana Newbie Overnight with REI gear - Farmington, Utah May 2021 Hiking & Camping 12
M Overnight Backpacking Indian Peaks Wilderness or Similar Trip Planning 13
Outdoor_Fool Overnight in the Talkeetnas Backpacking 8
NECoastalHykur Ketchum Run Overnight - Loyalsock Trail - Pennsylvania - 2020 September 26 Hiking & Camping 6
NorthwestWanderer Overnight Backpack to Louis Lake, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness Backpacking 4
wsp_scott Overnight bike trip with a 7 year old Backpacking 1
Miya First Overnight Snow Trip...Finally Hiking & Camping 20
Perry My First Overnight Ski Touring Adventure Winter Sports 3
P June Lamar overnight Backpacking 1
Wanderlust073 McCurdy Mountain 6/29 overnight Meet Up (Members Only) 2
R First overnight backpacking trip in Utah in the next coupke of weeks Trip Planning 3
Yvonne Overnight Trip to Yant Flats Hiking & Camping 8
balzaccom Saddlebag Lake overnight Backpacking 0
Shirt357 Overnight to Odessa Lake - RMNP Backpacking 4
Wanderlust073 South Colony Lakes overnight Backpacking 9
P Quick Yellowstone overnight, Rescue Creek Backpacking 21
Outdoors24 Overnight in Capitol Reef: A trip that ended early Backpacking 12
Outdoors24 Overnight in Lower Spring Canyon Backpacking 5
Wanderlust073 Fish and Owl Canyons overnight Backpacking 24
Skiwi An overnight at Lake Blanche in fall Backpacking 2
Wanderlust073 Upper Willow Lake overnight - Eagles Nest Wilderness Backpacking 4
b.stark Sangre de Cristo Overnight Backpacking 4
Wanderlust073 Bison Peak overnight - Lost Creek Wilderness, CO Backpacking 5
N Which High Uintas overnight hike? Trip Planning 2
hamtron5000 Big Dominguez Canyon Overnight Backpacking 0
Craiger Overnight parking in Needles backcountry Trip Planning 1
kimbur96 First Solo overnight, Navigation Trail, Upper Priest River, Northern Idaho Backpacking 10
S Overnight camping trip in MD/VA/WV Trip Planning 3
muir_mountain Austin Peak Overnight: July 2015 Backpacking 8
kimbur96 Overnight at Jonathan Dickinson SP Backpacking 5
kimbur96 Tell me about your first solo overnight trip General Discussion 2
N Need advice for a overnight trip Trip Planning 9
uintahiker Overnight in a Fire Lookout Tower Trip Planning 8
Duke GTNP: Climbers Stranded Overnight in Stettner Couloir Suffer Hypothermia, Prompt Rescue General Discussion 2
AllNightAz First official hike and overnight 3-4 day camp trip Noobs: Introduce yourself! 2
Sarah Quick Overnight Advice? Trip Planning 3
Outdoors24 Ashdown Gorge Overnight Hike Backpacking 5
F Short Overnight hikes near Salt Lake City Trip Planning 2
N Overnight or 2 night trip in New Orleans area (or any part of LA) Trip Planning 5
natylka Overnight Camping, Hiking and Climbing at Ruth Lake-August 2014 Hiking & Camping 2
Ben Sawtooths overnight, november 2013 Backpacking 2
F Overnight trip on AT, port Clinton to pinnacle Trip Planning 0
pixie1339 Invite Overnight backpack in Zion, May 3-4 Meet Up (Members Only) 114
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking Grand Teton National Park : Fossil Pass,Fox Creek Pass,Indian Lake,Alaska Basin,Hurricane Pass,Ice Floe Lake,& Snowdrift Lake Backpacking 19
Outdoor_Fool Snowshoeing to Castner Glacier Ice Cave, Alaska Range Winter Sports 5
NorthwestWanderer Big Four Ice Caves Hiking & Camping 1
SteveR From The Land Of Ice And Snow Winter Sports 4
S Mendenhall Glacier Ice Caves with Grandma Hiking & Camping 10

Similar threads