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YELLOWSTONE BACKPACKING

Yellowstone Backpacking Trips

A Yellowstone backpacking tour is the best way to dive in and experience all Yellowstone has to offer. From the park's breathtaking meadow and river systems, to its backcountry geysers, waterfalls, and abundance of wildlife, there is an immense amount to take in. Our multi-day Yellowstone backpacking tours range from 3-day moderate hikes to 7-day off-trail adventures and everything in between. Our guides will go out of their way to show you both the intimate details and big picture of America's first national park.

Our guided Yellowstone backpacking tours are all-inclusive journeys that combine fantastic guides, excellent meals, top-of-the-line gear, local transportation, and exhilarating hiking to create an unforgettable experience! Check out our list of trips below, and if you're not sure where to begin give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and one of our adventure consultants will be happy to help point you in the right direction.

  • All-inclusive Backpacking Trips
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Bechler River Traverse

Bechler River Traverse

Waterfalls • Geysers & Hotsprings • Wildlife
Backpacking Trip

5-6 days
$1395-$1635
Trip Details & Dates
Yellowstone Spring/Fall Trekking Adventure

Spring/Fall Trekking

Famous Rivers • Wildlife • Waterfalls
Backpacking Trip

3-4 days
$1005-$1215
Trip Details & Dates
Gallatin Crest Hike

Gallatin Crest

Classic Views • Wildlife • Peak Ascents
Backpacking Trip

5 days
$1395
Trip Details & Dates
Heart Lake to Snake River
Guides Choice Award

Heart Lake-Snake River

Thermals • Wildlife • Classic Views
Backpacking Trip

4-5 days
$1215-$1395
Trip Details & Dates
Mountain Country Trek

Mountain Country Trek

Alpine Hiking • Classic Views • Wildlife
Backpacking Trip

4-5 days
$1215-$1395
Trip Details & Dates
Yellowstone's Thorofare Country

The Thorofare

Wildlife • Famous Rivers • Mountain Solitude
Backpacking Trip

7 days
$1735
Trip Details & Dates
Gallatin Skyline

Gallatin Skyline

Wildlife • Classic Views • Peak Ascents
Backpacking Trip

7 days
$1735
Trip Details & Dates
Womens Yellowstone Spring/Fall Trekking Adventure
Womens Trip

Womens Spring Trekking

Famous Rivers • Wildlife • Waterfalls
Backpacking Trip

3-4 days
$1005-$1215
Trip Details & Dates
Heart Lake and Mount Sheridan

Heart Lake-Mt Sheridan

Thermals • Wildlife • Classic Views
Backpacking Trip

3 days
$1005
Trip Details & Dates
Observation Peak Trek

Observation Peak Trek

Wildlife • Classic Views • Family Friendly
Backpacking Trip

2-3 days
$645-$1005
Trip Details & Dates

More Yellowstone trip styles

Yellowstone Llama Treks
Llama Treks

Our Yellowstone llama treks are opportunities to explore Yellowstone National Park's magical backcountry without the heavy burden of a large backpack. They are all-inclusive journeys into a wonderland of wildlife, vast meadow systems, soaring peaks, deep blue lakes, waterfallas, geysers and hot springs. These trips ar excellent family trips and can easily be added onto a longer trip or work as a standalone Yellowstone experience.

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Basecamp Yellowstone Hiking Tour
Basecamp Tour

Our Yellowstone Camping Tour is an opportunity to enjoy an outdoor experience camping under the stars, hike different areas of the park to hit a diversity of highlights, see what we consider the best of Yellowstone, and enjoy amenities like showers, campfires, comfortable camping and fresh foods. All gear and meals are provided, as well as local transportation. Our expert guides are ready to show you all Yellowstone has to offer!

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Inn-based Yellowstone Hiking Trip
Inn-based Tours

Join us for an unforgettable and optimally comfortable inn-based hiking tour of Yellowstone National Park! Our inn-based Yellowstone hiking tours combine the best of Yellowstone's thermals, geysers, waterfalls, pristine landscapes, and wildlife on a series of day hikes. Each evening we stay in hotels, inns or lodges and enjoy well-earned meals at local lodges and restaurants. All meals, gear, accommodations and local transportation included.

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Yellowstone Day Hike Tours
Day Hikes

Make the most of your time in Yellowstone on a guided Yellowstone day hike tour! Choose from several different options ranging from easier hikes to geyser basins like our Lone Star Hike to long, challenging hikes like Bunsen Peak. All Yellowstone Day Hikes include use of a backpack, trekking poles and bear spray cannisters. A picnic lunch and trail snacks are also included.

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Yellowstone Ski and Snowshoe Tours
Ski and Snowshoe Tours

There's no winter destination more magical and pristine than Yellowstone National Park. Snow blankets the landscape, where thermals thaw vegetation for wildlife like elk and bison to graze. Wolves, mountain lions and other predators lay in wait for animals to become vulnerable in the deep snow. Geysers spray high over the winter scene and waterfalls freeze solid. Explore this amazing world on a Yellowstone snowshoe tour, led by our expert guides, and enjoy comfortable Yellowstone lodging each evening.

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Wind River Range and Jackson Hole Hikes
Beyond Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is just the most well-known part of a massive and wild area known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Together the Wind River Range, Gros Ventre Range near Jackson Hole, and the Wyoming Range comprise a significant and stunning portion of the region's best mountain ranges. Rich with wildlife, breathtaking mountains, rivers, lakes, meadows and high peaks, these trips are world-class! Join us for a backpacking trip or llama trek beyond Yellowstone!

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More About Yellowstone Backpacking


Why a Yellowstone Backpacking Trip?

America's first national park, Yellowstone is perhaps also its most famous. Roadside wildlife, spewing geysers, gurgling mud pots, thundering waterfalls, vast meadow systems...there's a lot to see! Which is why 4+ million people per year are also visiting this national park. Yellowstone backpacking trips allow guests to get away from the busy highways and tourist spots and explore the heart of Yellowstone, its amazing backcountry. Bacpacking allows adventurous visitors to see many of the same highlights as everyone else but in a wilderness setting, where we have it almost all to ourselves.


The Wildland Backpacking Experience

Our Yellowstone backpacking adventures are all-inclusive, small group hiking vacations that take guests deep into the wilderness. We provide nearly everything, so our guests can just show up and hike! Our award-winning guides are the best in the industry; our gear is top-of-the-line; and our backcountry cooking regularly blows people away. This quality is evidenced by the fact we hold #1 spots on 5 different national park Trip Advisor pages. When you join a Wildland backpacking tour, you can expect an unforgettable trip provided with excellence.


Do I need a Guide to Backpack in Yellowstone?

The short answer is "no." Many people backpack Yellowstone on their own every year, and many people join guided Yellowstone backpacking trips. So what is the benefit of joining a guided tour? There are many. For one, guests are able to travel light and not worry about having to secure permits, plan meals, travel with gear, arrange transportation...etc. Second, our guests learn far more about Yellowstone than they would on their own, as the guides bring it to life through stories, knowledge and their personal passion. Third, Yellowstone is grizzly country, and going with an experienced guide who has spent plenty of time in grizzly country, and knows the best practices for maximum safety, can't be overestimated.


Best Time of Year for a Yellowstone Backpacking Trip

The window to backpack Yellowstone is relatively short due to the Park's northern latitude and high elevations. Situated in the Rocky Mountains in Northwestern Wyoming - where winters are long, springs and autumns are unpredictable, and summers are short - Yellowstone is a place where timing matters. The short answer to this question is that June through September is the best timeframe for a backcountry hiking and camping trip in Yellowstone. However, a deeper dive does uncover more nuance that's worth exploring:

  • Lower elevation trips - like our Spring Trekking Adventure - are great starting in late May, and they remain excellent through June but get too hot by July.
  • Higher elevation trips - like our Gallatin Crest Traverse and Gallatin Skyline - will likely not be open until July due to lingering winter snow packs.
  • Trips that have big river crossings - examples are Bechler River Traverse and Heart Lake to Snake River Trek - are best starting in late July and sometimes not until early August due to high flows from snow melt.
  • Another consideration is mosquitoes. Yellowstone National Park can be quite buggy, but unfortunately the timing and location of these pesky critters is unpredictable. If you're ok with possibly dealing with some mosquitoes, which requires use of headnets, DEET insect repellent, and covering exposed skin with clothing, then don't worry about timing too much. If you're intolerant of mosquitoes they would ruin your trip, then plan to go after August 10.
  • In general, Yellowstone backpacking trips are best before October. September can start to get quite chilly at night (below freezing), but days are still very pleasant. Septmeber is also lovely because of the lack of bugs, tamer crowds, and peaceful feel of the backcountry. October is a different story, and a trip can easily be impacted by feet of snow or very cold temperatures, which is why we recommend doing your trip in late September at the very latest.


Are Grizzly Bears a Concern?

Yes, absolutely. Grizzly bears are nothing to take lightly. Yellowstone has a very healthy population of these furry, and at times ferocious, friends. If you're not trained in or experienced with the best practices for backpacking in grizzly country, then we strongly recommend joining a guided backpacking trip. Best practices include having every member of the group carry bear spray; appropriately hanging food, trash and toiletries (anything scented) at night; having nothing scented in your tent; keeping extremely tidy camps; not sleeping in clothes you cook in, making noise when hiking, and other important considerations. Yellowstone National Park provides a wonderful bear safety page if you'd like to learn more.


Choosing the Right Trip

If you're going to enjoy backpacking in Yellowstone, then choosing the right trip is key! The first question to ask is how difficult of a hike you'd like to tackle. Many Yellowstone trips don't have extreme elevation gains and losses, so the more difficult trips are rated so because of hiking distances, rugged terrain, pack weights, and things like technical river crossings. Level 3 difficulty trips are generally the easiest backpacking trips. Levels 4 trips are going to be much more strenuous, and Level 5 trips are really designed for extremely fit and adventurous guests.

Another consideration is the length of trip you'd like to do. Most of our trips are 4-6 days, with some as short as 3 days and some as long as 7 days. The longer the trip, the heavier the backpack because of more food, so if you'd like to keep your pack on the lighter side, then going with a shorter trip is a good idea. If true immersion in the wilderness is your goal, then longer is better. If you want a great adventure, aren't worried about pack weight, and aren't too concerned about the length of the trip, then we have many fantastic 5-6 day trips.

Yellowstone Visitor Information

Yellowstone Visitor Information

Tips for Visiting Yellowstone