Yellowstone Backpacking Trip

Kyle P

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Jul 25, 2013
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A friend and I were hoping to do Utah this year, but with the higher temps right now, decided to put that on hold till spring some time. So now its down to either Wind Rivers or Yellowstone. If we do Wind Rivers, we know what we want to do, however, Yellowstone we have never been to.

The areas in Yellowstone we are looking at doing are either Lamar River or Snake River. It will be a 4 day hiking trip, so rather short. My question for you guys is, will either of these areas provide us with more chances at seeing wildlife while hiking? The wildlife is our main draw to Yellowstone and is something you don't get as much of in the Wind Rivers. Same question with fishing, any pointers on the Lamar or Snake river areas?

Also, what sites should we attempt to see while there? Obviously Old Faithful is on our list, does anyone else have anything?

Thanks in advance for the help!

Kyle
 

Nick

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There's plenty of folks on here who should be able to provide you with a ton of info. With my limited knowledge of the area, I hear the Lamar is wildlife central. As for roadside attractions, Artist's Paint Pots are awesome and seem to get less traffic than the main geyser basins closer to Old Faithful.
 

Kyle P

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Jul 25, 2013
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Thanks for the response. We are starting to narrow it down to the Lamar region. Seems to have everything we are looking for in the hike. Given the limited number of trails, we just need to pick our campsites. Should be a fun one!

Thanks!
 

scatman

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The areas in Yellowstone we are looking at doing are either Lamar River or Snake River. It will be a 4 day hiking trip, so rather short. My question for you guys is, will either of these areas provide us with more chances at seeing wildlife while hiking? The wildlife is our main draw to Yellowstone and is something you don't get as much of in the Wind Rivers. Same question with fishing, any pointers on the Lamar or Snake river areas?

Kyle

I've seen animals at both locations - elk and bison along the Lamar; elk, deer and a grizzly along the Snake. You should know that most of the Lamar was burned. If you don't mind hiking through that kind of scenery then you will be fine. Might get the opportunity to hear wolves howl at night. Hard to go wrong with either choice. If you choose the Snake option, there is an opportunity to soak in the river where the drainage from Snake Hot Springs flows into the river. It's quite nice, particularly if wildlife happens to stroll by.
 

Joey

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Apr 1, 2014
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The first 4 miles of the trail up the Lamar Valley are open, and pretty much what you see from the road. After you cross Cache Creek, the drainage narrows. All of the ridges on both sides of the river are burned, with new trees growing. It can be very hot and dry. The campsites before you reach Miller Creek are not very scenic. After you pass Miller Creek, the campsites get better, and are in unburned areas along the river. The ridges above you are still burned though. As you near the split with the Little Lamar River, the area gets nicer. Although I would give this area a 10 on the wild scale, it isn't very scenic compared to other areas of the park. Wildlife is hit and miss. You will see buffalo along the first 4 miles. Bears area always possible, and they are there. But seeing them is random.

The Snake River has less burn, although you will reach burned areas the farther you go in. Most of the trail is in the woods until
Snake Hot Springs. Last year a big grizzly was hanging around the backcountry campsites in that area, and was seen by backpackers from there tents. I've seen moose, bears, elk, and bison in that whole area. I would probably choose this area over the Lamar River area, especially for a 4 day trip. I would also give this area a 10 on the wild scale.

Hope that helps.
 

Kyle P

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Joined
Jul 25, 2013
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T

The Snake River has less burn, although you will reach burned areas the farther you go in. Most of the trail is in the woods until
Snake Hot Springs. Last year a big grizzly was hanging around the backcountry campsites in that area, and was seen by backpackers from there tents. I've seen moose, bears, elk, and bison in that whole area. I would probably choose this area over the Lamar River area, especially for a 4 day trip. I would also give this area a 10 on the wild scale.

Hope that helps.

That does all help! With scatman mentioning the burn as well, maybe we will go Snake then. Scenery is always good obviously. Our list of priorities probably goes wildlife then scenery/fishing. And a cool bonus would be to soak in the drainage of the Snake Hot Springs!

It looks like there are a lot more trail options around the Snake River as well. That will help with trying to get a loop hike in and not needing a shuttle.

Thanks for the input guys!

Kyle
 
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