Photos of this Trip
(Special thanks to Russ Nordstrand for many of our Yellowstone photos)
Shuttle from Bozeman: 3-hour drive with stops at
Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Falls
Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,000 feet
This Yellowstone Basecamp Hiking Tour
begins with brief visits to Mammoth Hot
Springs and Tower Falls before we continue on to Pebble
Creek and a hike through spectacular mountain scenery that
is among the best Yellowstone has to offer. From the Warm
Creek trailhead very near the Northeast Entrance we ascend
a beautiful trail with 1,000 feet elevation gain over 1.5 miles
to the Pebble Creek Divide. From here we have spectacular
views of the Thunderer (a massive mountain east of the
Lamar Valley), Soda Butte Creek to the south, and the Pebble
Creek drainage to the north - a beautiful glacial valley lined
with rugged peaks. We'll descend a short
distance from the divide to a beautiful meadow and lunch on
the banks of Pebble Creek before turning back.
Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,384 feet
Our second hike is one of the most beautiful in the park, a
hike to the summit of Mt. Washburn at over 10,000 feet. The
trail to the summit travels through picturesque subalpine
parkland where wildflowers abound. Bighorn sheep are
sometimes seen grazing in nearby meadows. This is one of
the only places in the park where hikers can get close up
views and photos of the majestic sheep as they are habituated
to the presence of hikers. It is a steady climb over 3 miles to
the summit where we'll have a tremendous view of the Grand
Canyon of the Yellowstone - a giant rift in a landscape of
forested hills. Other sites include Yellowstone
Lake, the Teton Range, Electric Peak, and an overall sense
that the entire park stretches out below your feet.
Following this beautiful hike we'll drive to the Grand Canyon
of the Yellowstone for a short stroll out to Artist Point for
one of the more phenomenal waterfall views in North
America - the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is an amazing
feature at 20 miles long, 1,200 feet deep, and a mere 4,000
feet in width on average. It was formed approximately 10,000
years ago when a large glacial ice dam in Hayden Valley burst,
flooding the canyon and creating the two thunderous
waterfalls and multicolored canyon walls it is known for.
Hiking Mileage: approximately 7 miles
Elevation Change: marginal
We'll begin the day with a quick shuttle to the Norris Geyser
Basin, Yellowstone's hottest and most changeable thermal
area. We'll explore many of the features along its 2 1/4 miles
of trails and boardwalks. Vibrant colors, steamy cauldrons,
and sulfuric clouds of steam culminate for an incredible
We'll then jump back in the van for a drive to Old Faithful
where we’ll explore the Old Faithful and Biscuit Geyser
Basins. Yellowstone is home to 60% of the world's geysers
and most of them can be found here, including Old Faithful
itself. Walking the boardwalks we'll experience the basins'
diverse array of geysers from thin fountains to massive
eruptions. It is an impressive scene.
If the group is so inclined we'll continue on through Biscuit
Basin on the Mystic Falls Trail to Mystic Falls, a lengthy
cascade on the Little Firehole River. The hike can be turned
into a loop during which we ascend a plateau that overlooks
the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. From an overlook at the edge
of the plateau we'll stop to enjoy the fantastic views of
geysers erupting from afar.
Hiking Mileage: 6.8 miles
Elevation Change: marginal
Pelican Valley is home to some of the most diverse wildlife
populations in the park. A number of meandering tributaries
begin on the Mirror Plateau and run southward into Pelican
Creek which eventually empties into Yellowstone Lake. The
valley is noted for numerous elk, moose, bison, and even
wolves in the summertime, as well as grizzly bears, which are
so numerous that the park has instituted a number of
restrictive measures on human access, such as no entry until
mid-July and hiking hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. only.
The hike begins near the northern shores of Yellowstone
Lake and ventures through 1/2 mile of burned forest before
entering the expanse of Pelican Valley. The brief section of
burned forest and its proximity to live stands provides an
excellent example of the unique fire ecology on which the
region's forests depend. Once we arrive in the valley we’ll
appreciate the wildlife viewing and explore the meadows.
Hiking Mileage: 5.4 miles
Elevation Change: marginal
Shuttle to Bozeman: 3-hour drive
The final day of our journey will be a beautiful hike along the
aptly named Firehole River to the largest backcountry geyser
in the park: Lonestar Geyser. After
appreciating a beautiful waterfall called Kepler Cascades at
the trailhead we'll commence our 2.7-mile hike to the geyser.
Lonestar is found in a clearing surrounded by dense forest; it
erupts from a shed-sized cream colored mound. At full tilt it
sprays scalding water 70 feet into the air. The geyser erupts
every 3 hours and a log book is kept nearby so that we'll know
when the next eruption will occur. It is a good place for lunch
to await the geyser's eruption.
: 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.
- Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and daypack
- 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
- Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Bozeman, Montana to Yellowstone and back
- Entrance fees and national park permits
- Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters
- Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
- You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you and your family to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!
- Clothes, raingear, and footwear
- Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
- Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
- Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists
page for more information.
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 outdoors – 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.
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 spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Satellite phone
We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter waterbottles 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
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.
You'll meet your hiking guide and group in Bozeman, Montana for an orientation meeting at 6:00 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.
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.
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.
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.
The standard group size on this trip is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 12 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.
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 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)