Question about fording rivers in Yellowstone


Nov 23, 2015
I’m doing some dreaming about Yellowstone hiking during this current “cooped-up” season. I asked you folks before about fording streams, and last year I got brave and started just splashing through. If anyone has any experience with fording rivers in Yellowstone, I’d appreciate your insight into how likely it should be to be able to ford these rivers during the first 10 days of August.

I am looking into some longer trips. Trips I’m considering require fording the Yellowstone River at Upper or Lower Ford at one end of the Trail Creek Trail, fording the Falls River heading to Union Falls, fording the Snake River by the south entrance, and possibly fording streams in Bechler Canyon.

I’m also thinking I’d like to go around Shoshone Lake. Last year I tried scheduling that trip at the very end of July, and had to cancel that trip because the backcountry situation report indicated that there was a mile of knee deep mud back by the geyser basin.

Does anybody have experience with these rivers, and a sense of whether these streams should be ok to plan fording? I realize every year’s different, but I’d appreciate any insight from those who have experience in these areas. Thank you.



Mar 3, 2013
Only ones I've seen dicey is going into the bechler from Shoshone. Waist high and fast. And Slough Creek at the campground in late June was interesting. Everything else I've been able to find a decent crossing. Crossing at the trail are not necessarily the best spot to cross


Wilderness Wanderer
Sep 23, 2016
Now you should have no problems at this time of year in fording these streams and rivers in Yellowstone. Now thru the years I have forded many a stream and had no problems. Have forded some of them like Thorofare Creek in the spring by crossing from one island to another in a great crossing spot. Just watch where you cross for sometimes there is a much better crossing spot up or down stream then where the trail crosses. Now usually when I cross the streams, I don't usually go straight across but a little downstream because of the current. Enjoy your travels.


Nov 23, 2015
Thank you all for the information. I’m much more brave about crossing streams now, but this latest book sounded like it was going to be awful. I appreciate your experienced comments. Pringles


Sep 17, 2014
At the end of July 2006 crossing the Falls River at Cave Falls Campground would have been epic. It is always VERY wide but it sure was deep then. Don't miss Dunanda Falls. WEAR FOOTWEAR on your crossings without fail. Here are the fords of the Bechler that stood out to me.
Bechler Ford.jpg


  • Bechler Crossing.jpg
    Bechler Crossing.jpg
    387.9 KB · Views: 26


Mar 3, 2013
At the end of July 2006 crossing the Falls River at Cave Falls Campground would have been epic. It is always VERY wide but it sure was deep then. Don't miss Dunanda Falls. WEAR FOOTWEAR on your crossings without fail. Here are the fords of the Bechler that stood out to me.View attachment 86372
Bechler one I was thinking was up canyon a ways in the timber
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