Backpacking in Yellowstone
2023 Yellowstone Backpacking Trips
July 26 through 30, 2023 - High Country Lakes and Epic Views - Northwest Yellowstone Traverse
If you crave epic views, totally secluded backcountry lakes and don’t mind your heart rate rising with the elevation, this moderately strenuous backpacking trip is for you. Our route will start near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. We’ll hike through high sagebrush steppes on Swan Lake flats and follow Glenn Creek to our first beautiful campsite on the Gardner River. After our first night, we will spend four days hiking through epic, wild, rugged topography that very few people ever see. Each night, we will camp next to a stunningly beautiful, high elevation lake. Views will abound all around us, especially when we summit Bighorn Peak. We’ll finish this hike in the Northwest corner of Yellowstone, on highway 191.
This hike is challenging. Mileage will be up to 10 miles per day with more than 1,000 ft of elevation gain. We’ll take our time, but please be prepared for challenging grades and narrow trails in some sections. We often see wildlife as well as tracks and sign in this area, especially bighorn sheep, moose, grizzlies and occasionally wolves. These sightings are not as common as sightings on our wildlife watching trips (road-based), and we won’t be carrying spotting scopes, but the sightings are somehow more exciting. We will see very few other people in this area, outside of our group. Those that we do meet tend to be much more exciting and interesting too.
Cost: $1,500 per person without equipment, $1,700 per person with full backpacking equipment. Minimum of 3 people needed to run trip; max 6 participants
August 11 through 16, 2023 - Hot Springs, Meadows & Rivers - Bechler River Area
This is my absolute favorite backpacking area for moderately easy hiking (max 7 miles per day) on gentle terrain in a remote, wild, stunning part of Yellowstone that very few people visit. It is a gnarl of big meadows, geothermal features, rivers, mystical forests, pika paradise. There are two locations where we have the opportunity to soak where backcountry hot springs mix with river water. If you’re looking for a wonderful backpacking trip that will blow your mind but not your knees, this is it!
Cost: $1,800 per person without equipment, $2,000 per person with full backpacking equipment. Minimum of 3 people needed to run trip; max 9 participants
Private Yellowstone Backcountry Treks (May-October)
Moderate routes fully immerse you in the wonder of Yellowstone’s splendor. Choose routes with hot springs, water falls, abundant wildlife, peaceful lakes, or mountain scenery. We recommend at least 2 nights/3 days to give us time to get to the best of the backcountry. Longer itineraries are available.
Our favorites include:
- Bechler’s waterfalls and hot springs (easy to moderate 4-5 days)
- Black Canyon of the Yellowstone (moderate 2-3 days)
- Pebble Creek to Slough Creek (moderate 2-3 days)
- Heart Lake (and Mt Sheridan) (easy to moderate 2-4 days)
Short and Sweet Family Friendly Backpacking Trips (June-October)
Short, beautiful, easy overnight hikes are great for those short on time, or who want to introduce kids to the joys of camping under the stars. We recommend 1 night/2 days or 2 nights/3 days with not more than 5 miles hiking per day on easier terrain.
Backpacking trips are $700 per day for the first guest and $100 per additional person.
All food, food storage equipment, First Aid kit, and bear spray is included.
If you don't have your own backpacking gear, it is available for rent. Full gear is $200 per trip and includes a high-quality, light-weight backpack, inflatable mat, sleeping bag, tent, and dishware.
Backcountry Cabin-Based Hikes in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
If you like getting away from the crowds but are not keen to sleep on the ground with bears all around, stay in a cabin surrounded by stunning landscape vistas. The cabin can sleep up to 10 people.
Hiking conditions are best after July 1st, once the snow has melted at this higher elevation.
Cabin-based backcountry trips are $700 per day for the first guest and $100 for each additional person.
All food, food storage equipment, First Aid kit, and bear spray is included.
Sleeping bags and backpacks are available for rent. If you do not have your own. Just let us know.
Yellowstone Backcountry Hikes with Llamas (July-September)
Join us for a unique backcountry pack trip through the wild landscapes of Yellowstone National Park in the company of charming llamas. We work with experienced llama handler Susi from Yellowstone Llamas, who can answer all of your questions about the llamas. You will also have the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of Yellowstone National Park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, its wildlife, history, and geology from your In Our Nature trail guide. Our treks are suitable for families with young children, as well as adults of any age.
Multi-Day Llama Treks: $440 per person per day, based on a minimum of 4 participants. Please ask us for smaller parties.
Rate includes all meals and beverages, tents, sleeping bags/pads, food storage equipment, First Aid kit, and bear spray. A detailed list of what we provide and what you will need to bring will be emailed to you with your reservation documents. To book a llama trek, please contact Susi directly at (406) 580-5954 or email@example.com.
Get off the beaten path and enjoy parts of the park others rarely see on a Yellowstone backpacking trip.
We offer fully custom, private backpacking trips throughout Yellowstone with a duration and difficulty level just for you. Backpacking is a great way to recharge your body and mind, meet your own challenges, or just relax and ponder the wonders in front of you.
Don't want to sleep on the ground in a tent? Check out our cabin-based trips (below).
Do you want the experience of backcountry camping, but can't or don't want to carry all of your own gear? Get out there with new friends on a llama trek! See below.
Below are some trips we've done in the past, but let us know if you have your own backpacking ideas, and we'll try to get you there.
Book Your 2023 Yellowstone Backpacking Trip Now!
Book using the form below or contact us at 406-579-3838 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please remember to bring clothing layers! It is not uncommon to have 60 degree (F) temperature changes in one day. In the winter, that could mean a change from -20 to +40 degrees (F). In summer, we could start the morning below freezing, and end the day in short sleeves. Be prepared!
Yellowstone has a dry, high-elevation climate, where it is difficult to stay hydrated at any time of year. It is important to drink lots of water in this environment. Be sure to have a water bottle with you. We provide water for refills in the field.
Park entrance fees are not included. Entrance fees are $20 per person or $35 per family, and are good for one week. Annual passes are also available. Please see Yellowstone's website: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/fees.htm or a park entrance kiosk for more information.
Gratuity is not included.
We strive to make tours in Yellowstone National Park accessible to all. We are happy to help you navigate the obstacles that will be encountered in the remote wilderness nature of this special place. If you are considering a tour and have specific needs, please let us know. We have experience guiding wheelchair users and others with a variety of needs. For more information about accessibility in Yellowstone, please see the Yellowstone National Park website at the following link: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm