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Topic: Yellowstone in Sept, Thoughts on Plan< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 8:51 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All

My wife and I (experienced BPers) have submitted our plan for about 100 miles in Yellowstone in Sept. 8-17  We start and end at Heart Lake TH.  We go across the top of Heart Lake and the of the SE arm of Yellowstone Lake, then East to Thorofare and then to S. Boundry trail, the eventually back to the trail head.  

We have asked for the following campsites.  Note one night is planned out of park
8 Sept   8J1
9 Sept   7G1
10 Sept  6A3
11 Sept  6C2
12 Sept  6T2
13 Sept  6M4
15 Sept 8C6
16 Sept 8H2

We would appreciate any comments on any of these sites, as well as comments and thoughts on the route itself.  If there are any hot springs or pools along this route we woudl appreciate knowing that as well.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, where can we go after the hike for a good cask conditioned ale!

Thanks in advance.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 11:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MarkS @ Feb. 27 2013, 8:51 pm)
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We would appreciate any comments on any of these sites, as well as comments and thoughts on the route itself.  If there are any hot springs or pools along this route we woudl appreciate knowing that as well.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, where can we go after the hike for a good cask conditioned ale!

A lot of your trip will be thru big chunks of fire burn, I would even say about half of it.  Doesnt mean its a bad trip at all, but just be prepared for that.  The beauty of this are is the remoteness you experience.  a lot of the dead trees have fallen in most places, so its not real bad.

There isnt really a whole lot of thermal areas out there, I think around heart lake there is, and down by the snake river.  And heart lake is a lot more popular for the fishing than it is for beauty.  Once you leave the lake, you will see very few people

I dont know the campsites by numbers, so I will have to look at the maps to see what your doing.  If i see any better suggestions ill let you know.  There are some nice sites out there.  Maripoosa lake is one of my favorites sites, I would definately stay there.  Any of the sites that are off the trail along the yellowstone river are great. I've offtrailed and camped at boating sites on the lake, which can be a pain, but really give you a since of solitude.  Some of the heart lake sites are real close together, not real private.  The southern site is isolated some, with a view of the lake.  

Cant really tell you a place for a good beer without knowing which way your leaving the park when your done.  

I love that area, you will have an awesome time.  you'll definately see some bear **** out there, a lot of it.  You'll even find it in your food prep areas too when you get to your campsites, and all around where your suppost to put up your tent


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 01 2013, 10:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am jealous. Your dates are awesome but I would be prepared to punt if we finally don't have another spectacular Indian Summer. Also be prepared to punt because moisture in CA, NV, and Utah is very low and it could be a smokey September. We also might have a fire problem this summer if things don't change drastically.

Personally I'd try and shorten some of the trip and taken that time to get up on the spine of the Divide, maybe ascend Younts Peak. Consider getting shuttled to/from Brooks Lake or something.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 01 2013, 6:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MarkS @ Feb. 27 2013, 8:51 pm)
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We have asked for the following campsites.  Note one night is planned out of park
8 Sept   8J1
9 Sept   7G1
10 Sept  6A3
11 Sept  6C2
12 Sept  6T2
13 Sept  6M4
15 Sept 8C6
16 Sept 8H2

I would recomend 6M3 Maripoosa Lake over 6M4.  You can camp anywhere around the lake, I believe.

Maybe 7G1 to 7G2, although I cant say for sure.  Seems like the site farther back is nicer.

6C2 is one of my favorites.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2013, 8:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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Below previously outlined a Yellowstone BPing trip we had planned for 8-17 Sept 2013.  We will now have to change these dates due to an unexpected overseas trip.  

I would like some advice on the two options.  The first would be to BP before the original dates which would be 25 Aug--4 Sept.  The other option is to BP from 17-26 September.

Would appreciate any advice or thoughts on these two options.  Although we are from Minnesota, we would prefer to avoid bugs so are curious if we might still see a lot of skeeters with option #1.  We get lots of cold and snow here, so we would prefer to avoid that while on vacation!  We are curious on probability or likelihood of snow during option #2, and how cold should we expect it to be during that late September period.  

Thanks in advance.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2013, 10:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Of the two options, I'd go with the September dates. I don't think bugs will be a problem at either time but they'll be pretty much be non-existent in late Sept.  As for temps, and this is certainly no promise, but the weather is generally pretty stable in Sept with clear skies and temps in 60s-70s range and nights cool or cold (it certainly may freeze or snow) but IMO, late Sept in Yellowstone is magic.  Fewer people, no bugs, animals in their prime, colors turning, and generally wonderful weather.  The weather however, as I'm sure you know, is a crap shoot.  Odds are it will be gorgeous but it could be miserable with snow and freezing temps a possibility but still, I'd go for the Sept option.  JMO.

As for a beverage, if you're coming from MN you may well go through Red Lodge.  If so, you'll find what you'r looking for at Sam's Tap Room/Red Lodge Ales on the north edge of town toward Billings on US 212.  If you stop in Billings I'd suggest Angry Hanks Brew Pub (1st Ave N), Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company (1st Ave N) or Uberbrew. (Montana Ave.)  All are great.  

Sounds like a great walk.  Have fun.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2013, 11:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd go the late Aug time.  Taking a big chance with the weather in late Sept.  We did from E Entrance road around Yellstone Lk and out Heart Lk (50m).  Virtually no people until the Heart Lk area.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 21 2013, 12:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So there you have it.  You pays your money and you takes your chances.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2013, 7:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I vote with Jer.  My favorite time in Yellowstone the last half of Sept and first half of Oct.  We spend as much time there as possible in that time frame every year. Typical weather is sunny mild days with cold clear nights.  Yes, there could be a snowstorm, but the odds are very much in your favor.  Sept is a lot more stable weatherwise than May or June for instance.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 10:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ponderosa,

He changed the date possibility to the last part of September and would be in the deepest wilderness we have. The first week of October 2005 some of those locations 30-35 miles from the trailhead got almost 6 feet of snow.

I concur with the others, go with late August now.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 2:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, I know...but I'd still go in late sept.  For ten years in a row during the 90's, my family backpacked in that area, the Tetons, or the Sawtooths (it was convenient to go then because school was out for potato harvest).  We got six inches of snow overnight on one trip, and great weather every other year.  I'd play the odds...of course, others would make a different choice which is also reasonable.

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?wylyel

http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/weather.htm  (ave historical snowfall for entire month of sept is just 0.5 inch, and for oct is 3.7 inches)


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 5:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Actually, I've been rethinking this after reading DC's comments.  My recommendation for September, which is still my favorite season in Yellowstone, is probably colored by my proximity to the park. When you're only a couple of hours away, if you have to abort a trip because of the weather, it's not that big of a deal.  Just go again in the near future. And like DC mentioned you are in deep wilderness in the Thorofare.   However, when you're driving that far, cancelling a trip would be a big disappointment. Since that's the case with the OP, I guess prudent minds would go with the August dates.  Definitely less chance of adverse weather although for best case scenarios go I'd go with Sept. But then, we can't always count on best case scenarios, can we?  Go in August.  It'll still be great.

As a aside, you might be interested in the book, Hawk's Rest by Gary Ferguson which details his experiences as a summer ranger (sort of) in the area.  Interesting read for the politics of the area (hunting, guides, packers, etc.).


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 5:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Rule of thumb I have used for 30 years backpacking in the mountainous areas is be pretty much done by Sept 15.  Unless you are packing 'just in case' adverse weather clothing which is extra weight.  Yes, you probably are OK, if you pay attenetion to weather maps, but why chance miserable weather.  Most plan months ahead.  Even the first of Sept can bring really bad weather.  Never been caught out by using that date...
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2013, 9:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's OK, this must be why I always enjoy such lovely solitude in late sept and early oct.   :;):

ps, hikerjer does make a good point about proximity.  I may be more cautious about weather if I were flying across the country for a trip.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 9:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ponderosa @ Mar. 22 2013, 7:52 pm)
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I vote with Jer.  My favorite time in Yellowstone the last half of Sept and first half of Oct.  We spend as much time there as possible in that time frame every year. Typical weather is sunny mild days with cold clear nights.  Yes, there could be a snowstorm, but the odds are very much in your favor.  Sept is a lot more stable weatherwise than May or June for instance.

I agree with Ponderosa here.  Absolutely my favorite time of year in yellowstone.  Yes it will snow, but odds are it wont be bad.  Absolutely beautiful this time of year.  Definately cold nights though.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 11:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Boy, glad we cleared that up so you.  Clear as mud, that is. :;):

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 10:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm kind of shocked Ponderosa. Didn't expect that response.

If you go the end of September do not go ulktralight, period. owever unlikely be prepared for every possible scenario, including a storm that could make travel VERY problematic if not impossible. However clear and bright the forecast when you hit the trail if you don't take skis or snowshoes DO NOT forget a Satellite phone. Budget ten grand for a potential rescue as going that late and encountering potential catstrophic conditions without those skis or snowshoes would certainly be your fault.

The downers aside have a wonderful trip.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 11:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As others have implied, early September for Yellowstone-awesome time. Late September Yellowstone-could be awesome could be like winter.

But this scenario is much the same for most of the inter mountain western US.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 31 2013, 11:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you all for you many replies and your thoughts and wisdom.  Of course, nothing is ever easy, but that is what makes life interesting.  

Turns out if we do the later date in September then I have to reschedule my military duty which would fall on the weekend of the 20-22.  My wife has pointed out that the earlier dates might interfere with her ability to see our daughter who might be able to get some time off from the Army and her posting in Alaska.

At this point you should all have visions of a Mama Bear and her cub......I will be rescheduling my military duty and we will be risking the potential cold and snow!
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 31 2013, 1:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MarkS @ Mar. 31 2013, 11:16 am)
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Thank you all for you many replies and your thoughts and wisdom.  Of course, nothing is ever easy, but that is what makes life interesting.  

Turns out if we do the later date in September then I have to reschedule my military duty which would fall on the weekend of the 20-22.  My wife has pointed out that the earlier dates might interfere with her ability to see our daughter who might be able to get some time off from the Army and her posting in Alaska.

At this point you should all have visions of a Mama Bear and her cub......I will be rescheduling my military duty and we will be risking the potential cold and snow!

No promises, but I think you'll be OK.  Just take good cold weather gear and lots of socks.   If the weather turns out to be good, it should be a wonderful hike.

Best of luck.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 31 2013, 6:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hope you'll be OK, and JEr's right, odds are you will. Just not the kind of odds I'd ever play without truly complete preparation.

Have an awesome time and let us know if you need anything else closer to your departure,

John


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 31 2013, 7:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Mar. 31 2013, 6:53 pm)
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Just not the kind of odds I'd ever play without truly complete preparation.

That would be the key.  Like the old adage, "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best."

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 31 2013, 11:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Odds are really favorable you wont get hit with a big dump while your out there.  As long as you know what to do if that happens, you will be ok.  Nothing quite like the wildlife, the cool crisp air, smell of autumn, and golden brown colors of Yellowstone this time of year.  There is something about the way the sun shines on you that makes it really charming.

Pack almost like your going on a winter trip.  That's what I do.   Bring layers, gloves, extra food, winter sleeping pad and bag, A good storm could come in and dump on you, but that's the adventure right?  You could also drown while crossing the Yellowstone, get gored by a bison or attacked by a grizz,  have a tree fall on your tent.  Yellowstone is a wild area all of the time.  You should always be prepared.

I backpack every September/October in Yellowstone, Glacier, High Uintas, and random other places.  I backpacked the sky rim trail 3rd week of October last year.  It snowed every day.  Ive seen snow stick 3rd week of august on the se arm of yellowstone lake, right where your going.  Ive been caught in a couple bad snow dumps early fall, including one September storm where we just had to sit and wait it out on waterton lake for 3 days.  But we were prepared.  I always pack extra food to allow for this situation.

For your trip, your going into the most remote section of Yellowstone.  If a storm does role in, your a long ways out.  Just keep that in mind


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 12:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Mar. 31 2013, 11:27 pm)
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, A good storm could come in and dump on you, but that's the adventure right?  You could also drown while crossing the Yellowstone, get gored by a bison or attacked by a grizz,  have a tree fall on your tent.  Yellowstone is a wild area all of the time.  You should always be prepared.

Or the whole damn thing could explore again. :O   Not much to prepare for in that case.  But then, life's full of risks. :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 10:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Apr. 01 2013, 12:06 am)
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Or the whole damn thing could explore again. :O   Not much to prepare for in that case.  But then, life's full of risks. :D

Make that "explode" again.  You know, caldera and all.  My 7th grade teacher was right.  You have proof read carefully.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 10:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Now I am really confused as to what I should worry about.  If the caldera explodes then I suspect concerns over heavy snow and cold temps are probably unwarranted.  

With the higher temps associated with the exploding caldera we will need to be very careful to avoid dehydration.  And, the warmer temps may mean that mosquitos stay a live a bit longer which was the original reason we wanted to go later in the season.  

So much to think about.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 2:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

With the high concentrations of sulfuric acid, I don’t think you will have any problems with mosquitos.  And though capsicum is the preferred ingredient for bear spray, I think you will find that one the caldera blows, they will not be interested in you or your food.

BTW, I have had 8 one week BP trips to Yellowstone during the time frame you are targeting and the weather is usually fantastic.  Plus, the caldera has never blown during that week.


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