yellowstone Backpacking trip in 2015


New Member
Jul 6, 2014
Hi all!
I'm Scoutmaster of rochester, Mass troop 31 and we're going to be backpacking Yellowstone in August 2015. I'm starting to plan it right now and it looks like Belcher area will be where we will be backpacking.
From Cave Falls, up to Old faithful area.... 5 - 6 nights backpacking

I have a group of 22 boys all total including myself. we're all experienced backpackers, well, at least the boys are and most of the perents... those parents that cannot make it through our "pre-yellowstone" mandatory backpacking sessions will not be allowed to backpack with us.... Safety is my utmost concern...

anyway... I see backcountry sites such as 9b1 and 9m1 that have a 12 person limit... How firm is that limit? Would I be able to have my troop at one of these sites? Or will I ave to plan the trip around the larger 20 - 25 person backcountry sites? or separate the group into two groups and reserve two sites... I see the sites are pretty well spread apart, so that will make planning a bit more difficult for me :-(

I've backpacked the Grand Canyon (proposed to my wife at the bottom as a matter of fact :) )... so I'm aware of permitting and all that... but I received my Grand Canyon permit in the mail.. looks like Yellowstone has to be picked up in person? I'm planning on having a bus service pick us up at the airport and bring us to Cave Falls campground for our first night... I suppose I could have them swing by the Belcher Ranger station before bringing us to cave falls....

thanks all! I'm sure I'll have a bunch more questions :)

Mike Blanchard
Scoutmaster Troop 31
Rochester, Mass


New Member
Jul 6, 2014
oh yah, I have the National geographic maps... are there any better maps available that are recommended of that area?


Dec 23, 2013
@Exibar - They are definitely sticklers for the total amount of people at a sight. Looking at my map, I don't see a campsite that will allow for 22 people. 9B3 has the largest limit at 20, all others along the Bechler Trail and Meadows have a limit of 12. It looks like you will have to break your trip up into two separate permit requests and try to get adjacent sites (could be hard to accomplish since this is a popular area of the Park - but certainly worth a try).

I backpacked the Bechler along the route you are contemplating back in 2005 and am returning next month with a slightly different route. It's a great place and be sure and visit "Mr. Bubbles" while you're back in there.


Mar 3, 2013
You won't find much of anything for a large group like that. AND you can't split it and stay at the same site. Most sites have a max person limit. Hugh impact on resources. I'd split into thirds. Pre reserve in April, pick up permits before hike. Also Camp Loll (BSA) is near cave falls, a large impact for the area as well. They do overnites into the park, may conflict. Possible to check another area out? Wiind rivers along the highline (CDT) trail you can get 6 nites fairly moderate hiking and its on forest so restrcitions are less.
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