Thorofare loop (almost) Cabin Creek, Hawk's Rest, Ishawooa Creek 8/11-19

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Aug 13, 2019
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It is all up to you. Enjoy!

Thank you!

One other thing, I have an older style BearVault canister which I MIGHT be able to fit 10 days worth of food in...but I might not, I might have too much. Also, a few black bears in the Adirondacks have supposedly been able to get into this style food canister so I'm thinking about replacing it....but I heard that certain bears in the Adirondacks have been able to get into these updated versions too...and yet, they are still approved of by the bear agencies that give their blessings. I am looking to purchase another container, and if it wouldn't be large enough, another container PLUS perhaps an Ursack... May I ask you how you keep your food away from bears when going into the Teton Wilderness for 10 days when you aren't hiding your food back in there to come back to days or weeks later? (I think you mentioned that you did that) I would need to be able to secure my food for 10 or 11 days.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Now Forest Dweller, I have eight of those Bear Food Canisters which have used and cached. At times have seen where the bears found them but let them be, for they couldn't get into them whatsoever.

But as for the other food that I carry, I have several old stuff sacks which I use. Then I hang the sacks nearby when not in use plain and simple and never never have had a problem. Several times did not hang my food though, but in those times also never had a problem either.

Most of the time noticed how much of the wildlife would give my my space and not come into my camp including the Bears. It seemed as if the wildlife had more manners then people and they respected my space including the bears. Many a time heard the wildlife communicating to me that they respected my space and camp, so please respect them and give them their space which they deserve.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
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Now Forest Dweller, I have eight of those Bear Food Canisters which have used and cached. At times have seen where the bears found them but let them be, for they couldn't get into them whatsoever.

But as for the other food that I carry, I have several old stuff sacks which I use. Then I hang the sacks nearby when not in use plain and simple and never never have had a problem. Several times did not hang my food though, but in those times also never had a problem either.

Most of the time noticed how much of the wildlife would give my my space and not come into my camp including the Bears. It seemed as if the wildlife had more manners then people and they respected my space including the bears. Many a time heard the wildlife communicating to me that they respected my space and camp, so please respect them and give them their space which they deserve.

I will give the wildlife plenty of space and hopefully don't have any close encounters due to wind direction or me not making enough noise or dumb luck...

...but I need to be as responsible and as careful with my food as possible. I just purchased the Garcia type canister but it won't be large enough for 10 days of food +/- and I'm looking for something else to supplement it, carry the remaining food on longer trips. Rather not get a second hardshell bear container. I'm looking at an Ursack, not sure which one though. Some people claim that bears have gotten into BearVault style canisters and some people claim that rodents and bears have gotten into Ursacks...so not sure which direction to go in, but I am leaning towards an Ursack and crossing my fingers!

Anybody else that has an opinion on this can chime in too!

:)
 

marmot_boi

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Dec 1, 2020
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Ursacks are much lighter and easier to carry than a canister.
Bear canisters work fine too. I usually bring a canister and hang everything that doesn't fit in a stuff sack.
Bears in the Rockies are generally less habituated than Sierra or Appalachian bears, so I wouldn't worry about a bear getting in either an Ursack or a bear canister. That said, don't be lazy and be the one who habituates a bear.
 
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Ursacks are much lighter and easier to carry than a canister.
Bear canisters work fine too. I usually bring a canister and hang everything that doesn't fit in a stuff sack.
Bears in the Rockies are generally less habituated than Sierra or Appalachian bears, so I wouldn't worry about a bear getting in either an Ursack or a bear canister. That said, don't be lazy and be the one who habituates a bear.

Ursack is meant to be tied to a tree instead of hung, correct? I mean, if I end up going with that in addition to a bear container.
 
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Now Forest Dweller, looks like a couple of good itineraries you have there. Now some comments on them.

Itinerary One

This looks good. Now you have two days going up Ishawooa Creek to Pass Creek, this is reasonable and it can be done in two days. The climb up to the Pass from Spruce Meadows is not difficult and then a short descent down to Upper Pass Creek.

Now in going to Hidden Creek. You could add a day between 3 and 4 days. Let me explain. The trail over to Hidden Creek is hard to find where it breaks off from the main trail last I was there. But it is a good trail all the way up to the Outfitter camp in Hidden Creek. But an alternative here is to camp right on Thorofare Creek here. There is a good campsite right here on this place. Then could camp here and spend an extra day dayhiking up Hidden Creek to the wonderful upper meadows. I have done this myself. Also the creek in late summer is not too bad in crossing here. Also Upper Thorofare Creek is not too far from here.

It would only take a half of a day from upper Open Creek to the meadows in upper Silvertip Creek. Silvertip Meadows is gorgeous. Could also go on to Upper Pass Creek in that also. Then long hike out Ishawooa but it can be done in the time.

Kmatjhwy, Do you know if upper Howell Fork (heading up towards Overlook Mountain) is as amazing as it appears it could be on Google Maps satellite view?
 

Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Forest Dweller, Yes the upper part of Mountain Creek is absolutely amazing. This includes this branch heading toward Overlook Mountain. There is a trail or route up this branch of Mountain Creek. It actually goes over the pass and down into Fishhawk Creek on the other side. This pass is called Glacier Pass. There is a little flat place at the base of Overlook Mountain, near Glacier Pass, that makes for good camping. Have been up in here several times. There is at times an outfitter camp in this drainage during hunting seasons. But beyond that, not many people get back into here. Yes this drainage is absolutely amazing.
 

scatman

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Forest Dweller, Yes the upper part of Mountain Creek is absolutely amazing. This includes this branch heading toward Overlook Mountain. There is a trail or route up this branch of Mountain Creek. It actually goes over the pass and down into Fishhawk Creek on the other side. This pass is called Glacier Pass. There is a little flat place at the base of Overlook Mountain, near Glacier Pass, that makes for good camping. Have been up in here several times. There is at times an outfitter camp in this drainage during hunting seasons. But beyond that, not many people get back into here. Yes this drainage is absolutely amazing.

Tell me a little more about the trail over Glacier Pass from the Mountain Creek side and down into Fishhawk Creek. I noticed that there is a trail over the pass on the 100K USGS map, but on their 7.5 minute maps the trails dead end at the head of their respective drainages. Is this an old trail that they decided to no longer maintain? Is the trail over the pass easy to pick up and follow?
 

Kmatjhwy

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Scatman, Hi There! Yes this upper part of Mountain Creek and Glacier Pass is absolutely amazing. It is called Glacier Pass because of the Fishhawk Glacier nearby, at the very head of Fishhawk Creek. I have been here in this area on several occasions and loved it. Yes there is a trail or an old route over the pass connecting the two trails. The main trail into this section of Mountain Creek comes from the other trail segment via Dell Creek. Dell Creek burned in the fires of 1988. There is also a trail paralleling Mountain Creek also. The trail is good to the Outfitter camp that is a short ways up this drainage in the FS section. From there the trail continues but it soon becomes a small trail or route. When I was last here, it was still easy to follow up the drainage. One comes to some fabulous meadows in the drainage with the mountains all around. If one loses the trail, one can find it easily on the other side. I remember it becoming more like a route but followable right to the base of the pass. But the trail / route continuies over the pass. Then it continues down to the Fishhawk Trail. The views from the pass is incredible. Remember a little rocky point right to the right side of the pass I climbed up to that had incredible views. Now have been up in the upper parts of Fishhawk Creek. There was a good trail all the way up. The trail in Fishhawk crosses and recrosses the creek many times. Also just for the information, on this branch of Mountain Creek, there is a side drainage in here coming down from the Trident Plateau right on the Park boundary. Heard that this was one place where the Outfitter in here would take their hunting clients.

Now the trail up on here is not very often whatsoever maintained by the Forest Service. Some of the only trail maintenance will come from the Outfitter who has the camp up in here. One reason of why the Forest Service never maintains it much is that it is a long way thru the Park to get into this section of the wilderness. Not many people get into this neck of these wilds. And again there is a flat spaced nook right at the base of Overlook Mountain that would make a good campsite. There are lots of good campsite places right in this area and in Mountain Creek. There are also Bighorn Sheep in the area. When I was in here, did not see any Grizzlies but much Grizzly sign was around. In my opinion, one could spend days upon days in here all by one's lonesome self and never have a bad day with one enjoying it all that is back in here.
 
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Forest Dweller, Yes the upper part of Mountain Creek is absolutely amazing. This includes this branch heading toward Overlook Mountain. There is a trail or route up this branch of Mountain Creek. It actually goes over the pass and down into Fishhawk Creek on the other side. This pass is called Glacier Pass. There is a little flat place at the base of Overlook Mountain, near Glacier Pass, that makes for good camping. Have been up in here several times. There is at times an outfitter camp in this drainage during hunting seasons. But beyond that, not many people get back into here. Yes this drainage is absolutely amazing.

Sounds incredible!

So I'm curious - How would you rank the following from most incredible to least:

Howell Fork / Mountain Creek
Pass Creek
Silvertip Creek
Open Creek
Thorofare Creek
Hidden Creek
North Fork Buffalo
North Fork Yellowstone

?????????????????????????

Also, on a map I have it looks like you have to take a trail up Mountain Creek towards Eagle Pass before you can backtrack to go to Howell Fork and Overlook Mountain....there is no trail that continues up Howell Fork (directly towards Overlook Mountain) where the Howell Fork and Mountain Creek come together?
 
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Kmatjhwy

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Forest Dweller, now have been thinking on how to reply to your question. Now am sorry but I cannot rank that list from the most incredible to the least. Now every place has it's own rewards and things that it offers. All these places are actually all part of the same area, the Southern Absaroka Wildland Area. And there are places that you didn't mention right in the same area also. It is all wilderness. The thing is not to get into an area and rush thru it. But going back into these wild areas with taking your time and really seeing it all. And also along with really living back in here till it becomes a part of you, with you thinking of it as your home. Every place has something to offer. Now everyone who has seen it all would probably rank them differently according to their own likes and dislikes. We are each of us individuals with each of us our own likes and dislikes. Personally like to go back into these areas, camp for a spell, dayhike and be for awhile, with really letting the land and everything just be my world for awhile as it was for the Native Inhabitants. Plus all of these areas, are just one part of the Southern Absaroka Woodland Area. And then this connects to those other areas nearby in the Washakie Wilderness, to the western parts of the Teton Wilderness, to Yellowstone nearby, and more. Just my take on it all.

Now plus in describing everything, it is good for the newcomers. But do think people should not be told everything for there own exploratory urges and desires. In this day and age, people want all the information. But in times gone by, people did not have all of this information but they just went, saw things, experienced things, and everything with their lives becoming richer for it. Take a look at the mountain men of old, they went west, trapped the beaver, saw new sights and had new experiences.They just went for it. Think quite a few are followers these days. Not Me! I wanted to see the back wild country and so I went. It is all this country in here and it takes more then a week or two to see and know it till it then becomes a part of you. I could give a long intense description of each of these areas, plus other areas in here and nearby not included. But it is all out there waiting for the people to get back into it's nooks and crannies, and whereby they will call it home. Just as it was for the Native Inhabitants .... Home! Then once an area becomes your Home, it takes on an entirely new meaning and significance.

Now Yes the main way into that portain of Mountain Creek coming off of Overlook Mountain, is via the trail thru Dell Creek. But there is a route up along this creek drainage here where the map shows no trail. Have been on it and it is a good route. Most probably created and maintained by the Outfitter in here.

Wishing You The Very Best!
 
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Aug 13, 2019
Messages
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Forest Dweller, now have been thinking on how to reply to your question. Now am sorry but I cannot rank that list from the most incredible to the least. Now every place has it's own rewards and things that it offers. All these places are actually all part of the same area, the Southern Absaroka Wildland Area. And there are places that you didn't mention right in the same area also. It is all wilderness. The thing is not to get into an area and rush thru it. But going back into these wild areas with taking your time and really seeing it all. And also along with really living back in here till it becomes a part of you, with you thinking of it as your home. Every place has something to offer. Now everyone who has seen it all would probably rank them differently according to their own likes and dislikes. We are each of us individuals with each of us our own likes and dislikes. Personally like to go back into these areas, camp for a spell, dayhike and be for awhile, with really letting the land and everything just be my world for awhile as it was for the Native Inhabitants. Plus all of these areas, are just one part of the Southern Absaroka Woodland Area. And then this connects to those other areas nearby in the Washakie Wilderness, to the western parts of the Teton Wilderness, to Yellowstone nearby, and more. Just my take on it all.

Now plus in describing everything, it is good for the newcomers. But do think people should not be told everything for there own exploratory urges and desires. In this day and age, people want all the information. But in times gone by, people did not have all of this information but they just went, saw things, experienced things, and everything with their lives becoming richer for it. Take a look at the mountain men of old, they went west, trapped the beaver, saw new sights and had new experiences.They just went for it. Think quite a few are followers these days. Not Me! I wanted to see the back wild country and so I went. It is all this country in here and it takes more then a week or two to see and know it till it then becomes a part of you. I could give a long intense description of each of these areas, plus other areas in here and nearby not included. But it is all out there waiting for the people to get back into it's nooks and crannies, and whereby they will call it home. Just as it was for the Native Inhabitants .... Home! Then once an area becomes your Home, it takes on an entirely new meaning and significance.

Now Yes the main way into that portain of Mountain Creek coming off of Overlook Mountain, is via the trail thru Dell Creek. But there is a route up along this creek drainage here where the map shows no trail. Have been on it and it is a good route. Most probably created and maintained by the Outfitter in here.

Wishing You The Very Best!

Thank you Kmatjhwy, you've been a great help....I even like the reasons given for why you won't rank them! I just thought it might be fun for everyone to read your thoughts on what you like the best considering you have so much experience back in there. Between the valuable information you have given me, videos of trips other people have taken in the area and things I'm seeing on Google Earth I have a general idea of how I would try to prioritize if I'm fortunate enough to get out there. (I prefer lush and green over excessively "rocky"). Upper Howell Creek looks like it could be Eden on Google Earth!
 
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Aug 13, 2019
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Kmatjhwy, looking at maps I obviously see many ways into the Thorofare.

I believe you suggested Ishawooa. Is the Eagle Creek / Eagle Pass approach equally beautiful / interesting?
 
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