Yellowstone - Thorofare - Solo?

Venchka

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
330
Thanks to everyone who contributed to my inquiry about the Ursack.
Moving right along ... I have enjoyed reading several trip reports in and around Yellowstone and adjacent wilderness areas. I also found an article in Backpacker about the Thorofare area. http://www.backpacker.com/trips/wyoming/yellowstone-national-park/destination-nowhere/#bp=0/img2
The trip reports always involve groups, 2 or more. Unfortunately, I'm in east Texas and I don't know anyone interested in going to the middle of nowhere on purpose. I'm also not the most experienced backpacker.
How foolhardy would it be for an old geezer such as me to wander off solo to and from the Middle of Nowhere?
Is anyone else contemplating such an adventure in the next summer or two and looking for some company with a vehicle for shuttle duty?
Wayne


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scatman

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Dec 23, 2013
Messages
1,615
I've been to the Thorofare three times over the years and each time I have gone, I have seen at least one solo backpacker and on one trip I saw two. It'll take you at least two days to get to the Thorofare proper, a couple of days to explore the area and two to get back out. If you are long in the tooth like I am, it might take three days both in and out. So you are looking at 6 - 8 days for your trip. It really just comes down to your comfort level of backpacking solo in grizzly country. The Thorofare is definitely worth seeing IMO.
 

Venchka

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
330
Thank you! Definitely long of tooth and will probably be longer of tooth before I get there.
If/when I can get there I'll put out a call for some company.
Wayne


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Outdoor_Fool

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Dec 11, 2015
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1,650
Highly agree with scatman, the Thorofare is definitely worth visiting. It's really just a several-day trail hike with no real hazards to worry about, especially if you go in from 9 Mile Post and leave the same way. You did mention a shuttle so if you are planning to head out to the south entrance or Brooks Lake/Togwotee Pass area, there's some higher elevations which could increase your exposure to lightning and crazy storms, and present a few trickier stream crossings.

If great scenery and that feeling of being "out there" are what you want, this trip will leave you pretty fulfilled.
My plans are set for next summer, unless I make another trip down. What month are you planning on going?
2018 may work out if that's when you end up going.
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
490
Venchka, Hi There! Now you are considering going to the Thorofare. By all means Go!!! As for myself personally, I have been going there for years and years all by my lonesome. My first trip back in the area was back in 1982 before the Yellowstone Fires of '88. And soon I will be 60 years old. It is not just the Thorofare but all of this whole area, room enough to wander and live in the summer to get a real taste of freedom. Now for myself I usually go from the spring to the fall. The earliest I go is usually about mid to late May, and the latest I have gone is in late October. As for the Grizzlies, I now trust them much more then people. I personally have had many many close encounters with Grizzlies with even being bluff charged, but again at least they have common sense it seems. I have never never been stabbed in the back by a Grizzly which has happened to me by many a Two Legged Human. As for this entire South Absaroka Wild Area which comprises of the Teton Wilderness, the Washakie Wilderness, the SE part of Yellowstone NP, and adjacent roadless wild country around the area ... it is over 2,000,000 acres in size and all wild. Yes there are a few trails that seem to get all the use, but get off of these few trails and you will have it to yourself easily. There are plenty of areas back in here which are even trail less, or areas with no trails. So many areas one can go back in here, sit and enjoy life, and experience a place which to this day is how it has always been - all wild and nice. Near Hearts Rest in the Thorofare, near Bridger Lake, there will be some people. But one can go only a short direction in any direction and have the area to one's own lonesome self. Again for myself have been going in here by myself for years and years and love it! And I prefer going in by my own lonesome self for then I can do on my hike completely as I please and such - real freedom. It is my most favorite area in the world. And again next summer will be going back in again with probably starting in May, lasting to probably into the fall, with going all over the place. Now thru the years have come to know the area almost like the palm of my hand, so much area but still soooo soooo wild. I absolutely LOVE going into the middle of some deep wilderness (it is indeed somewhere and not nowhere, the REAL world) all by my complete lonesome. I have a photo site with photos of the area here at this url which somehow have never learned yet how to link to my posts. The photos are at: www.reflectionsofthewild.zenfolio.com My other name which people have wrote about me and have posted before with trips into the area has been under the name of 'Lone Eagle Woman'. If one goes into the area, I personally recommend giving oneself at least a week at the most minimum, and even more to two plus weeks. Now thru the years I have had many many many a trip back into the greater South Absaroka Wilds with including the Thorofare, which between resupplies, has lasted to near a month. This makes between Memorial day in late May to Labor Day in early September, only coming into town a couple of times to resupply. Yes I have gone in with a super heavy backpack, but just take my time - enjoy life and the wilds. In the spring I have mostly gone in thru the Turpin Meadows Trailhead at the end of the Buffalo Valley, but there are many other fine ways also like down thru Yellowstone Park from 9 Mile Trailhead, up Pacific Creek to outside Cody, from YNP's south entrance across to the Thorofare and on, from near Togwotee Pass at Brooks Lake across the Buffalo Plateau to Younts Peak and down the Yellowstone to the Thorofare, and much much more. But in the end - Go Go Go and you will not regret it. Hope this helps. If any questions feel free to contact me and will be more then happy to help you out.

Venchka, Wishing You the Best and Enjoy Life! Kayla
 
Last edited:

Venchka

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
330
Outdoor_Fool & Kayla,
Thank you so much for the encouragement and trail of breadcrumbs for planning over.
2017, maybe. 2018 - I sure hope so. The thing I fear worse than Grizz or things that go bump in the dark is waking up one morning and realizing that it's too late for me to go.
River and creek crossings worry me. I may be getting better about those. I crossed 3 creeks in Colorado in September that were more than I'd done previously.
Saving my pennies. An August-September Winds, Tetons and Yellowstone triple header sounds really nice.
Thanks Y'all!
Wayne


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Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
490
Wayne, As Outdoor Fool said, yes keep us informed as your plans come together.

As for going into this area in August and September, one doesn't have as much to worry about when it comes to the river crossings. The reason is here in the late summer, the water levels are the lowest of the year. And usually in this area at the crossings, a nicer crossing for those on foot can be found right upstream or downstream in the area. Now with the amount of horse use in the area, sometimes the exact area of the crossings, can be the worse then immediately nearby. But with a good mind and a good look see in the area, a nice crossing can be found nearby. And most of the time, the crossing won't be higher then maybe the knees it seems inn my experience.

Also as for the National Forest portion outside the park, one will have to keep in mind the local Wyoming Hunting Season. It can be a gorgeous time of year in here but there are the outfitters and hunters. Bow and Arrow season usual begins on Sept. 1st. And regular hunting with the guns usually begins on now Sept. 15th. It used to begin regularly in the Thorofare on Sept. 10th, but it has been changed to the 15th I believe. I have done some extensive trips in the SE part of Yellowstone with including the Thorofare in September and October, which was just fabulous. And in some years, there can be a fall snowstorm back in these parts also. In this country, the snow is really never far away.

Thought I would mention this since you mentioned this time of year. Again Wishing You the Best. Kayla
 

SKLund

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
459
I would suggest doing a couple of solo trips in other areas first before going to YNP. Take a look at all of the objective hazards you will face and understand them completely. River crossings solo? I'm not so sure about that. Whatever you decide to do, I would suggest that an ELB go with you as a key piece of equipment.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JXY0CQ/?tag=backcountrypo-20

I too am in the early stages of trip planning (after I get over election depression) and so far, potential partners are scared off by grizzlies.
 

leatherman

Huh?
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
138
Wayne,
This has been high up on my to-do list. As @Outdoor_Fool said, please keep us informed as plans come together. Good chance you could find some companions on this forum to join in if you so desire.
 

Venchka

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
330
Thanks everyone! I knew I would find support and volunteers here.
I purchased the very PLB linked to above for my trip to the 3 Forks area in the South San Juan WA this past September. It rides on my pack shoulder strap.
Hunting Season: I'm already thinking in terms of the Winds and Yellowstone-Thorofare in August and the Tetons in September when hunting season starts.
Much to think about. I will keep everyone informed about my plans when I know what they are.
Cheers!
Wayne


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Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
490
Also Wayne and Everyone, Just a tidbit here to think about as you think about and plan your trip.

Next summer around about August 21, 2017 or so is a Total Solar Eclipse that will be going right across Jackson Hole. The actual path of totality starts off of the Oregon Coast and goes all the way across the US, to off the eastern coast into the Atlantic. You might want to check the day but it is right around this time. The center part of the totality of the eclipse here in Jackson Hole will be near the airport do think. The path of the total part of the eclipse will extend from near Moran in Grand Teton Park in the north, to near Hoback Junction to the south do think. And already every motel / hotel room in Jackson is about filled up on that date of the eclipse.

Just letting everyone know and Wishing Everyone the Best! Kayla
 

SKLund

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
459
Thanks everyone! I knew I would find support and volunteers here.
I purchased the very PLB linked to above for my trip to the 3 Forks area in the South San Juan WA this past September. It rides on my pack shoulder strap.
Hunting Season: I'm already thinking in terms of the Winds and Yellowstone-Thorofare in August and the Tetons in September when hunting season starts.
Much to think about. I will keep everyone informed about my plans when I know what they are.
Cheers!
Wayne


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ELB. Good call! Please consider reviewing it on the forum. Hopefully you won't need to describe the whole package, :help:just the routine stuff of setting it up, etc.
 

Venchka

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
330
LOL! I get flamed or ignored whenever I mention the personal locator beacon in threads where people are arguing the relative merits of the SPOT vs. the inReach. Go figure.
Wayne


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Venchka

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
330
Yes, I reckon that Wyoming is going to be crowded for several days either side of August 21, 2017. If you can find a place to park, it might be a good time to head for the most remote place in the Lower 48 or Union Pass.
Wayne


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Last edited:

Bianca Milione

New Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
1
Hi Kayla, thanks for sharing your experience here, it's really helpful and encouraging. I would love to hear all your stories. I have organised permits this September 2017 for a 9 day trip starting at 9 Mile post all the way down the Yellowstone river and then Heart Lake and exit at Delacy Creek. I'm an Australian girl traveling alone and lots of people have been urging me to find a hiking buddy for bear safety. I'm so excited to see the Thorofare and I want to do this trip so much, and I also very much want to come out in one piece! So I'm wondering if it's a wise thing to do or not. I don't know many people in the USA, I have been backpacking solo in Olympic National Park but there's no grizzlies there, and in Glacier, but there are so many people there. Any thoughts or advice would be more than welcome. Thanks again!

Venchka, Hi There! Now you are considering going to the Thorofare. By all means Go!!! As for myself personally, I have been going there for years and years all by my lonesome. My first trip back in the area was back in 1982 before the Yellowstone Fires of '88. And soon I will be 60 years old. It is not just the Thorofare but all of this whole area, room enough to wander and live in the summer to get a real taste of freedom. Now for myself I usually go from the spring to the fall. The earliest I go is usually about mid to late May, and the latest I have gone is in late October. As for the Grizzlies, I now trust them much more then people. I personally have had many many close encounters with Grizzlies with even being bluff charged, but again at least they have common sense it seems. I have never never been stabbed in the back by a Grizzly which has happened to me by many a Two Legged Human. As for this entire South Absaroka Wild Area which comprises of the Teton Wilderness, the Washakie Wilderness, the SE part of Yellowstone NP, and adjacent roadless wild country around the area ... it is over 2,000,000 acres in size and all wild. Yes there are a few trails that seem to get all the use, but get off of these few trails and you will have it to yourself easily. There are plenty of areas back in here which are even trail less, or areas with no trails. So many areas one can go back in here, sit and enjoy life, and experience a place which to this day is how it has always been - all wild and nice. Near Hearts Rest in the Thorofare, near Bridger Lake, there will be some people. But one can go only a short direction in any direction and have the area to one's own lonesome self. Again for myself have been going in here by myself for years and years and love it! And I prefer going in by my own lonesome self for then I can do on my hike completely as I please and such - real freedom. It is my most favorite area in the world. And again next summer will be going back in again with probably starting in May, lasting to probably into the fall, with going all over the place. Now thru the years have come to know the area almost like the palm of my hand, so much area but still soooo soooo wild. I absolutely LOVE going into the middle of some deep wilderness (it is indeed somewhere and not nowhere, the REAL world) all by my complete lonesome. I have a photo site with photos of the area here at this url which somehow have never learned yet how to link to my posts. The photos are at: www.reflection
Venchka, Hi There! Now you are considering going to the Thorofare. By all means Go!!! As for myself personally, I have been going there for years and years all by my lonesome. My first trip back in the area was back in 1982 before the Yellowstone Fires of '88. And soon I will be 60 years old. It is not just the Thorofare but all of this whole area, room enough to wander and live in the summer to get a real taste of freedom. Now for myself I usually go from the spring to the fall. The earliest I go is usually about mid to late May, and the latest I have gone is in late October. As for the Grizzlies, I now trust them much more then people. I personally have had many many close encounters with Grizzlies with even being bluff charged, but again at least they have common sense it seems. I have never never been stabbed in the back by a Grizzly which has happened to me by many a Two Legged Human. As for this entire South Absaroka Wild Area which comprises of the Teton Wilderness, the Washakie Wilderness, the SE part of Yellowstone NP, and adjacent roadless wild country around the area ... it is over 2,000,000 acres in size and all wild. Yes there are a few trails that seem to get all the use, but get off of these few trails and you will have it to yourself easily. There are plenty of areas back in here which are even trail less, or areas with no trails. So many areas one can go back in here, sit and enjoy life, and experience a place which to this day is how it has always been - all wild and nice. Near Hearts Rest in the Thorofare, near Bridger Lake, there will be some people. But one can go only a short direction in any direction and have the area to one's own lonesome self. Again for myself have been going in here by myself for years and years and love it! And I prefer going in by my own lonesome self for then I can do on my hike completely as I please and such - real freedom. It is my most favorite area in the world. And again next summer will be going back in again with probably starting in May, lasting to probably into the fall, with going all over the place. Now thru the years have come to know the area almost like the palm of my hand, so much area but still soooo soooo wild. I absolutely LOVE going into the middle of some deep wilderness (it is indeed somewhere and not nowhere, the REAL world) all by my complete lonesome. I have a photo site with photos of the area here at this url which somehow have never learned yet how to link to my posts. The photos are at: [URL='http://www.reflectionsofthewild.zenfolio.com']www.reflectionsofthewild.zenfolio.com
My other name which people have wrote about me and have posted before with trips into the area has been under the name of 'Lone Eagle Woman'. If one goes into the area, I personally recommend giving oneself at least a week at the most minimum, and even more to two plus weeks. Now thru the years I have had many many many a trip back into the greater South Absaroka Wilds with including the Thorofare, which between resupplies, has lasted to near a month. This makes between Memorial day in late May to Labor Day in early September, only coming into town a couple of times to resupply. Yes I have gone in with a super heavy backpack, but just take my time - enjoy life and the wilds. In the spring I have mostly gone in thru the Turpin Meadows Trailhead at the end of the Buffalo Valley, but there are many other fine ways also like down thru Yellowstone Park from 9 Mile Trailhead, up Pacific Creek to outside Cody, from YNP's south entrance across to the Thorofare and on, from near Togwotee Pass at Brooks Lake across the Buffalo Plateau to Younts Peak and down the Yellowstone to the Thorofare, and much much more. But in the end - Go Go Go and you will not regret it. Hope this helps. If any questions feel free to contact me and will be more then happy to help you out.

Venchka, Wishing You the Best and Enjoy Life! Kayla

softhewild.zenfolio.com[/URL] My other name which people have wrote about me and have posted before with trips into the area has been under the name of 'Lone Eagle Woman'. If one goes into the area, I personally recommend giving oneself at least a week at the most minimum, and even more to two plus weeks. Now thru the years I have had many many many a trip back into the greater South Absaroka Wilds with including the Thorofare, which between resupplies, has lasted to near a month. This makes between Memorial day in late May to Labor Day in early September, only coming into town a couple of times to resupply. Yes I have gone in with a super heavy backpack, but just take my time - enjoy life and the wilds. In the spring I have mostly gone in thru the Turpin Meadows Trailhead at the end of the Buffalo Valley, but there are many other fine ways also like down thru Yellowstone Park from 9 Mile Trailhead, up Pacific Creek to outside Cody, from YNP's south entrance across to the Thorofare and on, from near Togwotee Pass at Brooks Lake across the Buffalo Plateau to Younts Peak and down the Yellowstone to the Thorofare, and much much more. But in the end - Go Go Go and you will not regret it. Hope this helps. If any questions feel free to contact me and will be more then happy to help you out.

Venchka, Wishing You the Best and Enjoy Life! Kayla
 
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