Premier Yellowstone Hiking Company

Wildland Trekking Phone Number

9am to 5pm Everyday

800-715-HIKE

Yellowstone Basecamp Tour

Highlights

  • Go on a mix of classic and magnificent, more obscure hikes
  • Have a comprehensive, diverse Yellowstone hiking experience
  • Enjoy good potential to see bears, wolves, moose, bison, elk and much more
  • Learn about the amazing history, biology and geology of America's first national park
  • Hike to the top of Mount Washburn for phenomenal views
  • Relax in comfortable camps each evening with showers, campfires and cozy camping
  • Enjoy excellent outdoor cuisine prepared by your guide(s)
  • Journey through quintessential Yellowstone meadows and river valleys


Description

What sets our Yellowstone Base Camp Tour apart is the ability to see a tremendous amount in one visit, have a wonderful outdoor experience, and enjoy comforts like showers and cozy sleeping amenities even while camping.

We'll go on five diverse hikes which together create a comprehensive, truly unforgettable experience. The hikes well represent the amazing attributes of this exceptional national park. You’ll enjoy breathtaking mountain scenery, the most well-known and spectacular geysers in the park, and abundant wildlife viewing opportunities.

You’ll also have a fantastic overall outdoor experience as we camp under star-lit skies. Your guide will cook tasty outdoor meals as you relax around the campfire and absorb the magic of Yellowstone before and after your hikes.

Please note: Due to Yellowstone's permit system, it's beneficial to register before March 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

(Special thanks to Russ Nordstrand for many of our Yellowstone photos)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

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.


Day 2

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.


Day 3

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 experience.

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.


Day 4

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.


Day 5

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.


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, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • 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!

What's Not Included

  • 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.


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 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.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs or Mountain Hardware tents
  • Sierra Designs sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
  • Mountain Safety Research cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • 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 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.


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

Where Do We Meet?

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.


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

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.


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 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°