Weeklong+ backpacking recs in Yellowstone NP?

ellery

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Mar 26, 2023
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My partner and I landed a permit and will register about 40% of the way through the early access window. Last year we completed Mount Rainier's Wonderland Loop (~93 mi with something like 45K of combined elevation gain/loss), so we're pretty comfortable with hard hikes. We travel reasonably light, but not ultralight (~25+ pounds per person for 10 days, but we could cache our food at a couple of spots there...which spoiled us).

We'd love to spend at least a week in the backcountry since we'll be traveling all that way, and we figure we should have a few possible itineraries so we can cobble something together from what's left on the reservations. Pretty flexible on timing, though I definitely struggle in heat and wildfire smoke due to some fun health conditions; ofc we'll take what we get! The Lamar Valley area's of interest to me because I sure would love to hear wolves howl in the wild (I know it's not likely, but probably the best shot I have anytime soon).

Most of what I can find online seems aimed at folks who are doing 2-3 night trips. If yall have any suggestions about potential routes (or resources for DIY route planning), I'd love your recs. I'd say we are moderately comfortable with routefinding, but quite happy sticking to known trails. I'll have WFR certification by then, and we will be well-schooled on grizzlies by the time we set out, since our resident black bears are a very different kind of creature.

Thanks in advance! We didn't expect to land a permit so I'm reading up a lot this weekend.
 
Welcome to BCP. I don't know the park well enough to give you ideas, but there are a ton of trip reports here that will give you lots of ideas.

@scatman can probably point you to a couple of his more "interesting" trips :)
 
Welcome Ellery! As @wsp_scott pointed out- the best way to get the info you need is to search Yellowstone trip reports and trip planning. There is a treasure trove of data here. I've found the peeps on BCP are awesome, patient and willing to answer specific questions and help you refine your trip- but most general questions don't get as many replies if it feels like its being spoon fed from the start. There is a ton of info here that will give you a good idea to start with. Good luck and hope it ends up being an awesome trip!!
 
You will find Yellowstone is way easier hiking than Rainer area.

E Entrance TH to Heart Lake TH .... 50 m. South Boundary area .... 50 m. Slough creek TH(mostly out of park) 50 - 60 m. Hellroaring TH ... 30 - 50 m miles (most out of the park). LoneStar Th to S boundary entrance TH .... 50 m. Lamar river TH to Pelican Th via Parker Peak.... 50 m. can send you info. The country around the Park is like the Park, just no geysers or the amount of people.

You also have the Beartooths close by @ 30 to 60m, Enitre Teton Crest trail 55 m (no permits needed). Teton Wilderness south of the Park. Time frame could make a difference this year....We are about 140% of normal so far in snowpack water. Im just west of the Park and have 7 - 8 ft of snow on the flat .... forcast is for more this week.
 
Yes, We hiked from Grassy Lake, by Yellowstone to Phillips Creek TH on Teton Pass. Camped outside the Park every night, Hate the bear canisters Teton requires. Actually followed the Old Petzholt highline trail (the original anrd REAL Teton Crest, not the shortened version everyone does. In the wilderness, with parts of days in the Park. Stunning trip about 55m. Can send you particulars if you like.
 
Yes, We hiked from Grassy Lake, by Yellowstone to Phillips Creek TH on Teton Pass. Camped outside the Park every night, Hate the bear canisters Teton requires. Actually followed the Old Petzholt highline trail (the original anrd REAL Teton Crest, not the shortened version everyone does. In the wilderness, with parts of days in the Park. Stunning trip about 55m. Can send you particulars if you like.
Sure - I'd love details. My husband wants to do Teton Crest, but I'm the one who ends up doing all the work to get the permit and I find that process stressful. It's very appealing to have that same stunning scenery with less pressure to get the sites all lined up.
 
Yes, We hiked from Grassy Lake, by Yellowstone to Phillips Creek TH on Teton Pass. Camped outside the Park every night, Hate the bear canisters Teton requires. Actually followed the Old Petzholt highline trail (the original anrd REAL Teton Crest, not the shortened version everyone does. In the wilderness, with parts of days in the Park. Stunning trip about 55m. Can send you particulars if you like.
I really want to do (it sounds like) the northern half of this - was supposed to do something very similar but got a bit too much snow for my liking. That was a while ago - in retrospect it really wasn't a bad storm and nowadays I'd probably just go for it.
 
Yes, We hiked from Grassy Lake, by Yellowstone to Phillips Creek TH on Teton Pass. Camped outside the Park every night, Hate the bear canisters Teton requires. Actually followed the Old Petzholt highline trail (the original anrd REAL Teton Crest, not the shortened version everyone does. In the wilderness, with parts of days in the Park. Stunning trip about 55m. Can send you particulars if you like.
This has been on my bucket list for several years now. Some long days and nice climbs on this one! If you're going to do it- it has to be the original! Bob, I may hit you up for some info if this trip gets real for me this year!
 
You will find Yellowstone is way easier hiking than Rainer area.

E Entrance TH to Heart Lake TH .... 50 m. South Boundary area .... 50 m. Slough creek TH(mostly out of park) 50 - 60 m. Hellroaring TH ... 30 - 50 m miles (most out of the park). LoneStar Th to S boundary entrance TH .... 50 m. Lamar river TH to Pelican Th via Parker Peak.... 50 m. can send you info. The country around the Park is like the Park, just no geysers or the amount of people.

You also have the Beartooths close by @ 30 to 60m, Enitre Teton Crest trail 55 m (no permits needed). Teton Wilderness south of the Park. Time frame could make a difference this year....We are about 140% of normal so far in snowpack water. Im just west of the Park and have 7 - 8 ft of snow on the flat .... forcast is for more this week.
Thanks so much, Bob. We'll take a look and I'll likely reach out to ask for info on a couple of contenders soon. Definitely won't mind a little less elevation gain and loss this year!
 
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