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Portered Black Canyon

Highlights

  • Ability to hike & camp with light daypacks
  • Rushing rivers, wild meadow systems & active wildlife
  • Early/late season experience of Yellowstone
  • Potential to see bears, wolves, moose, bison & more
  • Wild & scenic Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River
  • Spectacular, star-lit skies

Description

Our Yellowstone Portered Black Canyon Trek is the earliest portered trip we have in Yellowstone because of high mountain snow melt. What this means for you is that the tourist season hasn't yet begun and the wildlife will be far more active and visible than in the middle of summer. Starting at a high point above Black Canyon, we'll descend into this valley of the Yellowstone River, which runs along the drier and warmer northern boundary of the park. Cascading waterfalls, world-class trout waters, majestic hiking and camping, and abundant wildlife are just some of the hallmarks of this trip.
Our has a view of the Yellowstone River's impressive waters, and in many cases we're camped right along its banks. If you're interested in an early season Yellowstone hike and a great adventure, this tour is for you. Don't miss the unique opportunity to hike Yellowstone before the crowds!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 800-715-HIKE.

Please note: Due to Yellowstone's permit system, it's beneficial to register before March 1st of the year you'd like to hike with us. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more!
 

Photos of this Trip

Photos: Russ Nordstrand

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to Trailhead: 2-hour drive
Hiking Mileage: 4.6 miles
Elevation Loss: 1000 feet


This Yellowstone portered trip starts with a 1000' drop in elevation into the amazing Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River. We'll follow a pristine mountain creek into the canyon that has been carved over millions of years by one of the West's most famous rivers (and the longest undammed river in the Continental U.S.) - the Yellowstone River. We hike on to Crevice Lake to our camp near the lake on the shores of the Yellowstone River.

Porters left earlier than us, carrying the bulk of our supplies, and our camp will be set up waiting for us (assuming there are no extenuating circumstances). We'll get settled into our tents, enjoy a hike around the lake or up the canyon for views of the higher country and the river. Eventually we'll relax around a roaring campfire and hearty feast before turning in for a peaceful night's sleep in God's Country.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Loss/Gain: 500 feet net loss

Today is a layover day to enjoy the Black Canyon with a side hike down canyon to a beautiful Yellowstone River feature called Knowles Falls. Our hike offers fantastic opportunities to see bison, elk, deer, wolves, coyotes, black bears, and grizzly bears. If the live animals elude us, the evidence of their ancestors won't - the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone is a prime wintering ground for Yellowstone's wildlife. As such, bison, elk and deer bones are strewn across many of the meadows and forests. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch at the falls before returning to camp in the mid to late afternoon. We'll enjoy another toasty fire and tasty dinner at our camp.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 4.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
Shuttle to Bozeman: 2-hour drive


From camp we’ll hike upstream along Blacktail Deer Creek to the trailhead, which is the way we hike in. Porters will hike in early to break camp and carry the bulk of our supplies out to the trailhead. The creek we follow ascends sharply, passing a nice set of cascades, before leveling off in a beautiful valley of huge meadows and isolated stands of trees. Now out of the canyon, views of the surrounding country abound. It is the perfect end to this wonderful spring Yellowstone hiking trip.


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Porters to transport gear in and out, and to set up and break down camp
  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yellowstone hiking guide
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Transportation for the duration of the trip beginning and ending in Estes Park, CO
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear hanging equipment
  • Bear spray
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group in Bozeman, Montana for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip and will specify the exact location of the orientation meeting at that point. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead. For Private Yellowstone Tours, you also have the option to originate your trip in West Yellowstone.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 5 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in Yellowstone

Being a Northern mountain environment, Yellowstone is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Yellowstone. On the Spring/Fall Trekking Adventure in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you're likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures in Yellowstone:
     
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
High
Low
 
June
70°
42°
 
July
80°
47°
 
August
78°
45°
 
September
68°
37°