Pebble Creek, Yellowstone National Park - August 14, 2020

scatman

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I've been heading up to Yellowstone every year since I graduated (yeah right) from college back in 1987. At first, I did the touristy things and a couple of short day hikes. But about three years later, I began to plan and go on backpacking trips every year into the backcountry, usaully doing multiple trips each year. So over the last 30 years, I've seen quite a bit of the park, but there are two locations that I have never hiked or backpacked in before and they are the Slough Creek and Pebble Creek areas, located up in the northeast corner of Yellowstone. So this year I decided to knock out Pebble Creek, with my wife and daughter, for a five day trip that would include staying at two backcountry campsites along Pebble Creek and two day hikes mixed in for fun. Here's our report.


Pre-hike - Madison Campground

Our first day, we drove up from Salt Lake and stayed at a pre-booked campsite at the Madison Campground. Our tent neighbors directly to the south of us weren't very neighborly though, as they arrived late and made loud conversation deep into the night. I was very tempted to let loose some bear spray into their tent the next morning when we got up to head to the trailhead, but somehow I refrained. :(

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Our tent setup at Madison Campground

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My two partners in crime for the trip

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Where the Gibbon (L) and Firehole (M) Rivers meet to form the Madison (R). I got lucky and took this shot when there were no people around.
After about ten minutes, people from the campground began to show up after finishing their dinner. It's a great spot to sit up on the
bluff above the rivers and just ponder life.


04.jpg
a
This is where I was setting up the shot for the book cover. I placed my little point-and-shoot on my water bottle to take the shot,
but as you can see, I forgot to put the self timer on as the shadows reveal. Oops! :)



Day 1 - Warm Creek Trailhead to Campsite 3P5

From Madison Campground to the Warm Creek Trailhead is about 85 miles, and with slow traffic conditions, it took us a few hours to reach the trailhead. It's a short hike into 3P5 (about 2.1 miles - yeah, I'm a wussy), but you start off climbing up and over a steep ridge before dropping down into the Pebble Creek Drainage proper. I did my usual trailhead routine: Left hip ready? Check. Left knee ready? Check. Right foot ready? Check. Well then, I must be ready. :thumbsup: My pack weighed in at 44 pounds, not including my bear spray and cameras. The ladies waited patiently as I went through my trailhead gyrations, thinking to themselves, "So lets get this show on the road already." Alright, alright I'm ready as I'll ever be.

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This might mean there could be bears in the area? Nice pictures anyway.

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Bad sun. Bad picture. Bad photographer. Did I say my left hip was okay? Information sign at the trailhead.

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Sheila, beginning the climb.

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Katie up ahead with Barronette Peak looking on

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Some camera issues at this point

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Looking to the east towards Unnamed Peak 9595 and Meridian Peak, with Republic Mountain in the distance

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The view to the north as you drop down into the Pebble Creek Drainage with Unnamed Peak 9962 above

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Approaching the turnoff to our campsite

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Found it!

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What Pebble Creek looks like at campsite 3P5

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The new Half Dome 4 Plus Tent fully loaded. It fits three very nicely. It does way about eight pounds though, and guess who got to
pack it in? Did I say if my left hip was okay? :scatman:


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Some paintbrush by the creek

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Dinner Time! I'm starving! Scatman has been known to get Hangry! :D


Day 2 - Day Hike to Wolverine Peak

Today was Katie's 19th birthday, and to celebrate we are heading up, off-trail to Wolverine Peak, located at the head of the drainage. Sheila decided to sit this one out.

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The eating area at 3P5

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Harebells

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I thought you told me this would be easy? He-he. Heading up the Pebble Creek Drainage

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Rounding the bend, and Wolverine Peak comes into view

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Katie holds the food of the Gods - Strawberries! We had found the mother load of wild
strawberries. I think I spent more time picking and eating these than I did hiking. Yum.


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Looking back at Unnamed Peak 10,270 and Baronette Peak

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My balancing skill set could use some work. From (LR) - Sunset Peak, Mineral Mountain and Meridian Peak ahead.

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Wolverine Peak dead ahead

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Beginning the ascent. We just went straight up the ridge which turned out to be very steep going.

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Two steps rest, two steps rest. :)

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Looking up at the summit

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YNP Boundary Marker on the ridge

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The views are stating to open up at this point

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Beginning to get really windy - Looking into the Beartooth Wilderness

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Shots from the summit of Wolverine Peak

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Shots from the summit of Wolverine Peak

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Miller Mountain

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Shots from the summit of Wolverine Peak with Index Peak in the distance

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Happy Birthday Katie!

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Heading back to camp


Day 3 - Campsite 3P5 to Campsite 3P2

Day three was an easy four mile hike down Pebble Creek to campsite 3P2

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On our way to 3P2 with Cutoff Mountain ahead.

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Hitting the willows now

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How do you like the new Crocs? Fording Pebble Creek.

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Sheila giving it a go.

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The day hike for tomorrow

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More water in Pebble Creek at campsite 3P2

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We had six deer pass through our campsite for the rest of the day.


Day 4 - Day Hike to Bliss Pass

Our second day hike took us up to Bliss Pass and down a bit on the other side, to get a view of the Slough Creek Drainage to the west. The temperature, after being perfect for the first three days of our trip, really started warming up today.

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Breakfast at 3P2

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Fording Pebble Creek again

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The Bliss Pass Trail

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32 switchbacks ahead as we approach the head of the pass.

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Grizzly track on the trail. We started seeing lots of bear sign as we neared the pass and beyond.

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Pooped at the pass. Do I look Blissful?

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Bear scat on the pass

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A pond on the pass

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Lunch time with a view of Slough Creek and Anderson Ridge to the west

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View to the northwest from our lunch spot

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Heading back to camp. We are just about to drop off the pass. When I first saw this picture, it looked fake to me - kind of like an
old movie set with the foreground being a painted wall, so it looks like Katie and I are about to walk into the wall. Weird.


12.jpg

The Pebble Creek Drainage below Bliss Pass

13.jpg

This little guy liked me for some reason.


Day 5 - Campsite 3P2 to Warm Creek Trailhead

All we had to do this day was hike the six miles back to the trailhead.

01.jpg

Leaving camp

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A moose is on the loose.

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A look back up at Bliss Pass.

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Same ford, different day.

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In case one didn't know the name of the creek.

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Heading back up the day 1 ridge. Who put that eight pound tent in my pack? :thinking:

07.jpg

Fini !


After Hike

Stopped by Moos in Jackson for an Oreo malt, but Moos for some inexplicable reason was closed on Tuesday. :mad: So instead, we went to Jackson Drug to get one. Not nearly as good as Moos, but while sitting outside to eat my malt, I took these shots.

07b.jpg

Stagecoach time! Hey @Rockskipper, I think I have found a job for Dooley. If you could finish off that straw hat you promised, he could
be the talk of the town and might boost my reputation too. :thumbsup::thumbsup: Think of how many of the new book we could sell. This was suppose
to make up for not stopping at the Lamar River Trailhead and getting pictures of real mules. :mad:


08.jpg

Do you think they would let the Scatman :scatman: drive the coach?


The End
 

Titans

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Great report @scatman. Nice weather and beautiful scenery. That one photo with you and Katie does indeed look fake! Happy Birthday to Katie.
How is the left hip, the left knee and the right foot doing now after hiking with a heavy pack? If it makes you feel better I'm about to ice my right foot now....
 

kwc

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Looks like an awesome adventure! Sorry we missed all the fun. And Happy Birthday to Katie!
 

TractorDoc

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Nice Report @scatman !

Glad you were able to visit an area you've not been to before. There certainly are a lot of pebbles in Pebble Creek!

Happy Birthday to Katie, nice to see you all spending quality family time together. I doubt I could have slept as cozily with any of my immediate family. . . we all would need our own separate tents. :)
 

Kmatjhwy

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Nice trip report Scatman. Enjoyed therein report and the photos. Now to let you know that I did this trip that you did back in the mid 80's with also climbing Wolverine Creek. This trip report of yours brought back some old memories. Thanks for posting.
 

wsp_scott

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Happy birthday Katie

Awesome report, looks like a great time.
 

Stephanie B

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Great report, especially for us since we’ve been wanting to get to Pebble and Slough after talking with a couple back-country rangers. Thanks for sharing.
 

Rockskipper

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That meadow where you took the photo for the book cover has now officially been renamed Scatman’s Meadow. The Ystone Super called me and said they were inundated with calls wanting to know where it was. He said most of them came in during a 10-minute period, so I’m guessing it was when the book was on the NY Times Bestseller List.

Your photos were great, except for the one that was faked. After seeing that, I think your PhotoShop skills are better than mine, so from now on, you have to do your own book covers. And don’t forget, you have to actually write the stuff that goes inside them, well, I guess unless you can get Dooley to do it. (I’m heading to Panama to learn how to weave straw hats. Be back soon.)
 

regehr

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This is awesome, and I for one am shocked that you would pick a very steep ridge approach to a peak!
 

Born to Hike

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Great TR! The dad always gets to be the pack mule on those family trips haha! Have yet to do a Backpacking trip anywhere in the Park myself - have done a 4 day canoe trip in Yellowstone that was awesome, been thinking bout getting in there backpacking soon and your TR helps motivate!
Hey my son just turned 19 earlier this year too..hmm...
 

scatman

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Great report @scatman. Nice weather and beautiful scenery. That one photo with you and Katie does indeed look fake! Happy Birthday to Katie.
How is the left hip, the left knee and the right foot doing now after hiking with a heavy pack? If it makes you feel better I'm about to ice my right foot now....

The left hip is doing well after a couple of days of rest. What's wrong with your foot?


Looks like an awesome adventure! Sorry we missed all the fun. And Happy Birthday to Katie!

Sorry you missed it too. We'll try to get something together for next summer in Yellowstone. If you have anyplace that you really want to see, just let me know.


Nice Report @scatman !

Glad you were able to visit an area you've not been to before. There certainly are a lot of pebbles in Pebble Creek!

Happy Birthday to Katie, nice to see you all spending quality family time together. I doubt I could have slept as cozily with any of my immediate family. . . we all would need our own separate tents. :)

Thanks.

There are indeed a lot of pebbles in Pebble Creek - a fitting name I'd say.

Katie does sometimes talk in her sleep, but other than that no problems with us all in the same tent.


There is something really wonderful about taking your kids out for a hike when they are adults. ...

Next step is when they carry the tent!

I did split the tent hauling with my son when we attempted the Theodore Solomon's Trail in the Sierras three years ago. I'll let my daughter know her pack will be a bit heavier from now on. :)


Nice trip report Scatman. Enjoyed therein report and the photos. Now to let you know that I did this trip that you did back in the mid 80's with also climbing Wolverine Creek. This trip report of yours brought back some old memories. Thanks for posting.

You are and inspiration @Kmatjhwy! I'm glad you enjoyed the report. I'm hoping you're writing all your backcountry adventures and experiences down and release them as a memoir someday. I can tell you right now, that I'll be the first in line to buy a copy.


Happy birthday Katie

Awesome report, looks like a great time.

Thanks @wsp_scott!


Great report, especially for us since we’ve been wanting to get to Pebble and Slough after talking with a couple back-country rangers. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks, and you won't be disappointed with Pebble Creek, and I still need to plan a trip up the Slough Creek Drainage.


That meadow where you took the photo for the book cover has now officially been renamed Scatman’s Meadow. The Ystone Super called me and said they were inundated with calls wanting to know where it was. He said most of them came in during a 10-minute period, so I’m guessing it was when the book was on the NY Times Bestseller List.

Your photos were great, except for the one that was faked. After seeing that, I think your PhotoShop skills are better than mine, so from now on, you have to do your own book covers. And don’t forget, you have to actually write the stuff that goes inside them, well, I guess unless you can get Dooley to do it. (I’m heading to Panama to learn how to weave straw hats. Be back soon.)

I don't have any Photoshop skills @Rockskipper. I don't have Photoshop at all, so you'll have to continue with the book covers for now.

Since you're rubbing shoulders with the big Supe of Yellowstone now, tell him that Scatman wants the historic Howard Eaton Trail returned to it's original state. Be sure and emphasize that Scatman is putting in this request and that he would be very disappointed with any foot dragging. I'll be glad to maintain and patrol it with my faithful mule Dooley. Of course, I'll need a partner on the old two person cross-cut saw. You interested? Maybe you could get a mule of your own? :thumbsup:

Straw hats are twice as cheap in Panama, so make two please. I can't wait to see your pictures when you return.


This is awesome, and I for one am shocked that you would pick a very steep ridge approach to a peak!

Thanks. Neff's Ridge was your idea. :)


Great TR! The dad always gets to be the pack mule on those family trips haha! Have yet to do a Backpacking trip anywhere in the Park myself - have done a 4 day canoe trip in Yellowstone that was awesome, been thinking bout getting in there backpacking soon and your TR helps motivate!
Hey my son just turned 19 earlier this year too..hmm...

Thanks! How true about the dad.

There is a lot to explore in Yellowstone so don't wait too long.

I could have used one of your double cheeseburgers, that you had after traversing the Uintas, after our trip. :) I had to survive on one strawberry pop-tart all the way to Jackson. :(




And to all those who wished Katie a Happy Birthday, she says that she is very appreciative, though slightly embarrassed. :rolleyes:
 

scatman

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what does she say?

It's like she is having a conversation with someone who is not there. Example: "Yeah, I'll meet you there. What time?" That kind of thing.

Last year on our canoe trip she had a swearing episode! :eek: i was a bit taken aback at first. I didn't know she had it in her. :) I still tease her about it sometimes.
 

Ben

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It's like she is having a conversation with someone who is not there. Example: "Yeah, I'll meet you there. What time?" That kind of thing.

Last year on our canoe trip she had a swearing episode! :eek: i was a bit taken aback at first. I didn't know she had it in her. :) I still tease her about it sometimes.

What a treasure. Looks like a great trip, super happy for you guys. I grew up going backpacking with my dad, but he wasn’t really up for it by the time I was out of high school, so it’s cool to see you being able to continue with your kids as they enter adulthood.
 

Titans

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The left hip is doing well after a couple of days of rest. What's wrong with your foot?

That's good @scatman , glad to hear you recovered quick again! My right foot, old Turf toe injury, it never healed properly. I'm increasing milage now and trying out some trail runners. But those shoes have too flexible soles for that foot injury, it aggravates it. Bummer, because I know most on BCP love hiking in trail runners. How did the mid height Merrell soles hold up on your Yellowstone trip?

At least Katie didn't wake you up at 4 am screaming because a snake moved into the tent (in her dreams)!. Rick has a story to share from last week and he wasn't the one screaming, ha.... :oops:
 
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