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Topic: Yellowstone-May 2013, short BP Trip< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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posty2010 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 11:49 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

my wife and i are visiting yellowstone NP for the first time at end of may 2013. we have a few nights reservations at old faithful inn, but we are hoping to maybe do a short backpacking trip that is 3 days/2 nights.  i am wondering if anyone has any suggestions so i can start looking for what is a good trip for us?  the max mileage a day would be no more than 6 to 7 miles.  we are not equipped to do long snow/ice travel.  also, does anyone know what should we expect as far as weather/temps?  thank you in advance for everyone's input and help
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 2:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The higher elevations are still most likely going to be snowbound.  Spring is always pretty iffy in the park.  I'd suggest you take a look at the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone in the northern tier of the park.  Since it's at a pretty low elevation it's usually snow free by late May.  Pretty easy hiking and actually, quite nice. Around 18-19 total miles I believe. No promises on the weather. Could be beautiful or could be snowing. Don't expect it to be real warm though.  Nights could easily get down to freezing.  You want at least a 20 degree bag. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  Odds are in your favor though.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 3:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Granite Creek Drainage of the Bridger-Teton NF about 20 miles south of Jackson. If Spring is early and light as it appears it will be you could crest the Southern end of the Granite-Hi-Line Trail.

In GTNP Bearpaw and Trappers Lakes. STUNNING, level, snow free barring The Day After Tomorrow. Bradley Lake site would be good by then too barring abnormality.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 6:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

thank you again for your responses.
i noticed most of yellowstone np's trails seem to be one way. would anyone know the logistics of trying to get to your car (ie. shuttle service)?  or does anyone think it is better to plan a loop trip 3 days/2 nights in grand teton np?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 7:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As a general rule late May is typically too early to consider backpacking in the mountains of western Wyoming.
Rics


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 8:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As for logistics on a point to point trip, I alwys hitch-hike without any problem. Leave your vehicle at the end point and then hitch back to the trail head.  That way  you have a vehicle waiting for you when you get out. Show your pack when hitching and a kindred soul will soon come along and offer you a lift. I've never had to wait more than 15 or 20 minutes.  I suppose there are shuttle available but they will cost you and arm and a leg.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 9:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hitch hiking in the park is easy.  But that time of year, your not really going to have many loops open.  Your best options for backpacking are going to be in/out overnight trips.

Black Canyon/Yellowstone River/Hellroaring/Coyote Creek/Slough Creek all should be ok end of may.  Some of the short hikes out of Canyon village should be open as well.  Its hard to plan ahead for your trips, better to just see whats open at the backcountry office when you get there.  There isnt much competition for backcountry sites that time of year in yellowstone


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 9:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Rics @ Feb. 20 2013, 7:16 pm)
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As a general rule late May is typically too early to consider backpacking in the mountains of western Wyoming.
Rics

This is not necessarily true, especially for the specifically requested yellowstone area.

Again, go to the backcountry office when you get there, and they will help you plan a trip with whats open.  there isnt many people trying to backpack in may, so there is little competition


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2013, 3:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

thank you again for all the responses.  they are very helpful....i do agree, if i do plan a backpacking trip, it is going to have to be out and back.  i'll do my research, but if anyone has some nice suggestions, i'd be more than willing to hear from you; whether it is yellowstone np or grand teton np.  thanks again.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2013, 8:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK, here are your best realistic options for may in yellowstone.  Keep in mind its not just the snow that keeps you limited, its also the various bear management area closures, and the high water crossings that keep most options closed.

Slough Creek.  Hike in as far as you want, should be snow free, can have fires, great views and sweet campsites.  Usually my first trip in spring in yellowstone every year.

Coyotee Creek.  You can make this as a loop around bull mountain, and coming back down hellroaring.  If you dont want to go that far, follow coyotee creek down offtrail (at the first campsite) until you hit hellroaring creek, and take that downstream to the bridge (maybe a mile).  Very easy offtrail here, and theres a soft trail you can follow.  coyotee creek can be running real high/fast late may, but there is a few big trees crossing the creek downstream to use to cross easily.  Great campsites.

Yellowtone River to Hellroaring.  Also called black gunnison.  Here you would need to hitch hike to make the loop.  Pretty easy to do.  Great campsites.  You have to use the bridge to cross hellroaring creek

You could hike up pebble creek to one of those sites, and if theres not too much snow, you can hike down pebble creek from the top.  But you cant do the whole hike due to high water crossings in the middle sections near bliss pass trail.  Park service probably wont have this open yet late may.

You can hike down the lamar river trail to the first campsite before cash creek.   Boring, but an option.

From Canyon Village, you can hike out to Ribbon Lake.  Mostly gloomy woods, with some thermal areas to look at, and some great views of yellowstone's grand canyon from the south rim. You can have fires at the campsites, but nothing special to look at.  Ribbon lake is swampy.

Most of the lakes north of norris road are usually still snow covered, ice lake, grebe lake, cressent lake, wolf lake.  But you never know.  Easy in/outs, and might still be able to camp there under winter conditions.  

If your in the last week of may, you can hike out to the buffalo meadows/fairy falls trail.  Just west of old faithful.  The bear management area opens up that weekend, otherwise you cant hike thru there.  The meadows campsite is spectacular,one of my favorite sites in the park,the other site is by a waterfall, but not as good as the meadows site.  I think you can camp at the other site in the bear management are (firehole bma), and some of these sites are nice/easy.

From old faithful you can hike up to mallard lake.  Not really specatacular, but an option.  The route going ne from old faithful is worthy of hiking.  Lots of fireburn on nw sid of lake.  

Finally, its possible the low sites in nw yellowstone are open late may.  You could loop up on the sky rim trail.  Ive done this.  The trail will be snow covered at the top, but its easy to follow if you know what your doing.  You can also camp outside the park boundary here, which is very easy to do.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2013, 8:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Also, as Double Cabin suggested, the front valley lakes of Grand Teton NP are a great option.  From a scenic standpoint, they are probably more dramatic than anything in yellowstone.  Yellowstone np is more of a wilderness area.  Tetons are more alpine.

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posty2010 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 10:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

thank you 'robin hood' for your suggestions.  your suggestions will definitely help me out looking for a good hike.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 10:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The average maximum temp in Yellowstone in May is about 60 and the average minimum temp is about 34, but of course these are mean temps, and there is a wide range of variability here. Be prepared for colder type weather and leave for sandals and shorts at home in May.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 11:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(tamarac @ Feb. 23 2013, 10:13 am)
QUOTE
. Be prepared for colder type weather and leave for sandals and shorts at home in May.

Sage advice.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 02 2013, 7:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Having worked in that park 6 seasons, I can say that the only good backpack at that time of year is the Black Canyon in the northern part of the park.  You could do other things, but they'd be short 3-5 milers with a basecamp, and then hiking out the same way.  Black Canyon was always my kick-off backpack trip, and one of only two trips that I did all 6 seasons that I worked in Yellowstone.  That being said, check with rangers about the western edge of the trip near Gardiner, Montana.  At one point, you couldn't access that trailhead, as it passes through a little bit of private land.  Not sure of its current status.  If that is a problem, then camp midway through the canyon, and dayhike towards Gardiner and back through my favorite part of the canyon, and then exit up the Blacktail Creek Trail.

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