Adventure in the Backcountry: Hidden YellowstoneBackpacking in the world's first National Park

Wyoming
Wyoming
6 Days
6 Days
Intensity
7/10
18+
$1,595
$1,695 non-peak member
Book Early & Save $100
About the trip

Backpacking in the world's first National Park

Yellowstone is a place so magnificent that descriptions were initially met with disbelief by skeptical Easterners. Convinced by explorers and artists, America eventually invented the concept of a National Park system - the first of its kind - to protect it.

The park receives more than four million visitors every year, but only one percent of those visitors spend a night in the backcountry. Those who travel every road in Yellowstone will only see two percent of the park; however, there are more than 1,000 miles of trail and 300 backcountry campsites that will take you to some wild places, only seen by those who are willing to work for it.

On this six-day adventure, you’ll escape the crowds to hike the quietest sections of the park’s backcountry. You'll visit areas that are home to bison, elk, bighorn sheep, and bears. And your band of adventurers will share an experience that is almost unbelievable.

Info
Level 7/10
Wyoming
6 Days

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Itinerary

Arrive in Bozeman

Welcome to historic Bozeman, Montana! Your guide will pick you up from the airport and transport you to your hotel, conveniently located in downtown Bozeman. You will have the opportunity to pick up any forgotten clothing or gear in one of the town's many outdoor shops. In the afternoon, you'll begin your journey down to West Yellowstone, the gateway to the National Park. You'll spend the evening at Under Canvas amongst a field of horses. In the evening, you'll join your fellow travelers at a team dinner. (Meals: D)

Tour the Southern Loop of Yellowstone National Park

No trip to Yellowstone is complete without experiencing Old Faithful, a geyser named after its frequent and predictable eruptions. But this isn't the only iconic feature of the park you'll see today. We'll also take an easy walk to the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook then continue on to Fairy Falls, which is the park's tallest front-country waterfall. Along the way, we'll stop at several backcountry geothermal features. We'll also visit Yellowstone Lake and drive through the Hayden Valley, where we'll be met by bison, elk, and pronghorn. We'll stop to admire the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone before heading back to Under Canvas in West Yellowstone. (Meals: B, L, D)
Hiking Distance: 5 milesHiking Time: 4 hours Elevation Gain: 500 feet

Backpacking Day One

On our third day, we'll strap on our packs for two nights in the backcountry. We'll start with a hike through lodgepole pine forests and alpine meadows before beginning our initial ascent up the ridge. After a stunning day on the trail, we'll arrive at our backcountry campsite where we'll cook a delicious camp dinner, tell local ghost stories, and settle into our tents for the evening. (Meals: B, L, D)

Hiking Distance: 10 milesHiking Time: 6 hoursElevation Gain: 1,700 feet

Backpacking Day Two

Today's hike takes you along a ridgeline with panoramic views of Yellowstone's highest peaks. The trail will be full of ups and downs, but the views will be worth it. By late afternoon, we'll arrive at our backcountry site where we'll cook a delicious camp dinner, tell local ghost stories, and settle into our tents for the evening. (Meals: B, L, D)

Hiking Distance: 7 milesHiking Time: 6 hoursElevation Gain: 1600 feet

Backpacking Day Three

Today we'll begin to make our way out of the backcountry. We'll descend the few miles back to the trailhead, stopping for lunch in a scenic meadow along the way. We'll arrive back to Under Canvas in the afternoon, giving us time to relax before our farewell dinner. (Meals: B, L, D)
Hiking Distance: 6Hiking Time: 4 hoursElevation Gain: 1200 feet

Depart Bozeman

After a lazy morning, we'll drive back to Bozeman. You'll say your goodbyes to the Big Sky state and your guide will transport you to the airport. (Meals: B)
Planning

Here’s what you need

Bring

Essential Gear

  • Backpack, sized 60-70 L
  • Tent (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Sleeping Bag, rated 30 degrees or lower (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Sleeping Pad (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Water bottles or Camelbak, 3L total minimum capacity
  • Headlamp
  • Small towel or facecloth
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

Recommended Gear

  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Journal

Wear

Essential Clothing

  • Hiking boots, waterproof with sturdy soles
  • Wool hiking socks, multiple pairs
  • Long sleeve base layers (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Long pant base layer (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Light synthetic shirt or tank for warmer days
  • Hiking pants or shorts (at least one pair should be long pants)
  • Insulating mid layers (fleece jacket or vest, down jacket)
  • Waterproof, windproof shell
  • Light gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Casual clothes for camp
  • Casual clothes for dinners at lodges or travel to town

Trip Package

Included

  • Transport between airport and hotel
  • All park and camp fees
  • All ground transportation, beginning and ending with airport arrival and departure
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Does not Include

  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Some meals before and after trek
  • Tips for your guides
  • Personal gear or clothing for the trek is not provided but is available to rent.

Flights

We suggest that you arrive to Jackson Hole International Airport (JAC) between 10 am and 2 pm on day one of the itinerary and depart between 10 am and 2 pm on the final day. Your Discover Outdoors guide will pick you up to transport you to your hotel and return you to the airport at the end of your trip. If you arrive outside of the suggested hours, a complimentary transfer cannot be guaranteed, but we can help you arrange transportation.

Weather

Expect daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s - sometimes lower at higher elevations. You should be prepared for temperatures as low as freezing at night.

Training

This trip does not require technical climbing skills or experience. It does, however, require a moderate level of physical fitness. We strongly encourage our hikers to experience hiking on rugged trails, particularly up and down steep hills, while carrying weight. The difference in difficulty while carrying the weight of a fully loaded backpack can sometimes come as a surprise to hikers, so you are encouraged to try challenging day hikes.

Give yourself adequate time to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters and rowing machines can supplement cardiovascular training. Day hikes or other longer endeavors will help you prepare for the endurance required for a backpacking trip. Carrying a 20 to 30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also essential for injury prevention.

Upon registration, a member of the DO team will consult on your experience and fitness and recommend a regimen for training.

Why this trip?

Recommended for...

This is the perfect trip for experienced hikers looking for a challenging backcountry experience. We recommend this trip for participants who have a moderate to high level of fitness and basic outdoor skills. Previous backpacking experience and exposure to alpine conditions is helpful but is not required. Those will a base level of fitness are encouraged to train for about three months prior to the trip.

Dates and Prices

The right trip,
at the right time.

Start
Finish
Availability
Price From
Thursday
Aug 20, 2020
Tuesday
Aug 25, 2020
Available
$1,595
Book Early & Save $100
Before Jun 20
Thursday
Sep 3, 2020
Tuesday
Sep 8, 2020
Available
$1,595
Book Early & Save $100
Before Jul 3