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Topic: Headwaters of the Yellowstone - Trip Report< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 17 2013, 4:41 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This trip report describes our (Forum posters Scatman and Robinhood) two week trip (August 25th through September 7th) to the headwaters of the Yellowstone River located near Younts Peak in the Teton Wilderness.  We started on the east side of Yellowstone Lake at the Nine Mile Trailhead; proceeded south into the Thorofare, where we hiked off-trail along the Yellowstone River.  We then exited the Park and entered the Teton Wilderness where we followed the Yellowstone to the confluence of the North and South Forks.  Once at the confluence, we hiked up an old Forest Service trail that roughly parallels the North Fork.  We then stayed at the same campsite for two nights that was located just south of Younts Peak.  On our second day at this camp, we hiked to a saddle that looks down on the headwaters of Thorofare Creek.   We then proceeded up and over the saddle between Younts Peak and Thorofare Mountain, hooked up to the trail coming up the South Fork of the Yellowstone and made our way to Ferry Lake.  From Ferry Lake, we hiked down the Soda Fork Trail, took a right up the North Buffalo Fork Trail; and then hiked up the Continental Divide Trail to the Pacific Creek Trail.  Once on the Pacific Creek Trail, we detoured to Enos Lake and the Enos Creek Cutoff Trail before returning to Pacific Creek and working our way to the Pacific Creek Trailhead.  This is our story.

Day 1 – Nine Mile Trailhead to campsite 5E9    We arrive at Nine Mile Trailhead in Yellowstone National Park at around 3:45 in the afternoon and are ready to go at 4:00 pm.   Our packs are heavy; all my gear weighs in at 72lbs that includes roughly 30 pounds of food, four pounds of water and three cameras.  Our first day is only six miles and we cover it fairly quickly.  The trail is relatively flat and goes through a burn area at the beginning.  There are a couple of creeks that we have to cross before reaching camp.  The first, Cub Creek, has a log across it that we are able to go over.  The second, Clear Creek, I have to stop and remove my shoes and put on my sandals in order to cross.  We arrive at campsite 5E9 around 6:30 pm and set up camp and eat.  While setting up camp, a bald eagle flies south along the shoreline of the lake.  This would be the first of fourteen straight days of seeing wildlife while in the backcountry.  After eating dinner, we retire to our tents whereby it starts to rain.  We would end up getting rain eleven of our fourteen days while backpacking.

Day 2 – campsite 5E9 to campsite 5E3   We got up in the morning around 7:30, and while it is not raining, our tents are wet with no time to dry anything out.  This would become a normal occurrence for us on this trip.  Our plan today is to hike to campsite 5E4, hang our food, and then head cross country to Brimstone Basin; after exploring the basin head back, pick up our food and then hike on to campsite 5E3 which like site 5E9 is located on the lake.

We eat, pack up our wet gear and head out around 9:30 am.  Once on the trail, we see two deer on the trail to the south.  Once they notice us, they flee into the trees.  We arrive at campsite 5E6 in a little over an hour of hiking.  This site holds a special place in my heart because back in 2008 I had to stay an extra night here on the Lake due to high winds.  This cost me a day hike across the Central Plateau the next day as I was paddling out instead.  While at the campsite sign, my hiking partner says, “There is a bear!”  To the south of us on the trail was a nice sized black bear headed our way.  He stopped about fifty yards form us and just looked at us.  After about ten seconds of us staring at him and him at us, he ran off to the northeast like he had been shot out of a gun.  Well, the next three miles to 5E4 went rather quickly and I hardly noticed the weight on my back with my adrenaline still pumping from the bear sighting.  In short order, we pass a bull bison standing in the trees near the trail.  We give him a wide berth before continuing on to 5E4.

We arrived at 5E4 and hung our food and headed out to Brimstone Basin.  We bushwhacked our way and picked up a game trail eventually that led us to the basin.  Brimstone Basin is a rather large area about a mile or so east of Nine Mile Trail.  We explored the area but could not find any thermal features as we expected to.  Perhaps we didn’t look in the correct areas of the basin.  While at the Basin a group of pelicans flies over on their way to Yellowstone Lake.  We took an unnamed drainage out of the basin to return to 5E4 and pick up our gear and then continue on to 5E3.

Once at 5E3, we set up our tents and then it began to rain.  We ate dinner in the rain and retired for the evening.

Day 3 – campsite 5E3 to campsite 6D1    It is still drizzling when I wake up in the morning but within thirty minutes it has stopped.  I get up to eat breakfast and get on the trail.  Today’s mileage is fourteen miles and it is going to be a tough day for me due to distance and pack weight. Not soon after we hit the main trail, we are following wolf track.  We will end up following them the entire day.  I’m not sure which pack calls the Thorofare home but they sure seem to use the Thorofare Trail extensively.

Just beyond the south end of the lake we see a bull bison off to our right and then run into our first backpacker who is heading out the way we came in. We would meet three other backpackers on this day.  One, who had an interesting itinerary with resupply points in the Park and two others who were heading out after one of them had hurt his ankle.  We also ran into a family of grouse along this section of the trail and I actually get some decent shots of a couple of them.

By the time we get to Mountain Creek, it has started to rain again, this time with a little more force and would keep up for most of the evening ahead.  We forded the creek and continued on to our campsite trail junction which leaves us with 1.1 miles to hike to the west to get to campsite 6D1 located on the Yellowstone River.  The trail to 6D1 from the Thorofare Trail is almost non-existent.  We had to look for trail markers off in the distance and drive towards them.

Campsite 6D1 is one of the wilder campsites in the Park that I have stayed at.  It is located right on the Yellowstone River next to many willows and there was quite a bit of bear scat at the site.  On the positive side, we had a bald eagle perched in a tree top just across the river from where our tents were located.  Of course we ate our dinner in the rain and would wake up with wet gear once again.

Day 4 – campsite 6D1 to campsite 6Y2  Today should be an interesting day.  We start off by hiking back to the Thorofare Trail from 6D1 and then we will head south to campsite 6Y6, where we will then leave the trail and follow the Yellowstone River to Thorofare Creek , ford the Yellowstone and then pick up the South Boundary Trail and follow it to campsite 6Y2.

We make it to the junction for 6Y6 and hop off onto the Yellowstone.  There is a game trail that follows the river almost the entire way.  This trail takes you through willow tunnels in places.  Along the sand, gravel and mud next to the river there are extensive sets of grizzly bear, wolf and elk tracks.  We run into many sets of elk remains along the way.  We also see a golden eagle takeoff from the river bank. I do believe that this is some of the wildest country in Yellowstone and extremely beautiful to boot.

After a few hours hiking down the river, we finally reach Thorofare Creek where we ford the Yellowstone and continue on down the South Boundary Trail until we have to ford the Yellowstone a second time before arriving at campsite 6Y2.

Campsite 6Y2 is located in a burn area right on the river and has had a nice bear pole built by the Park Service.   While getting some water to heat for dinner, I see a muskrat nibble off a plant on the bank of the Yellowstone, take it in his mouth and swim upstream and around the bend.  Of course, it drizzles while we eat dinner and soon after eating we hit the sack for the night.

During the night, I wake up to turn to my other side when I hear a “splash” coming from the river.  I can hear something crossing the river next to our tents.  I check my watch and it is 2:31 am. I listen very carefully to see if I can hear whatever it is coming through our site but I do not hear anything.  In the morning I ask my hiking partner if he heard anything crossing the river in the night and he says that he didn’t.  We go check along the river and find fresh grizzly tracks in the mud.


Day 5 – campsite 6Y2 to Castle Creek in the Teton Wilderness    We start out by heading east then turning south near campsite 6T1.  In about half a mile we leave the Park and begin our journey through the Teton Wilderness.  At the Park boundary there is an old sign that has rotted out at its base and fallen over.  I had my picture taken by this sign about seventeen years ago when it was still standing.  It makes me a touch sad to see that it no longer stands and that no one has taken the time to fix it.

Upon entering the wilderness, the first thing I notice is that the trail leading to Bridger Lake is in rough shape.  No one has maintained this trail since I hiked to the lake seventeen years ago.  Downfall is all over the place and I am grumbling as I have to climb over it with a pack on my back.  We eventually reach the lake and there are pelicans on it.  We ford the outlet creek and continue on to Hawks Rest.

There is a patrol cabin at Hawks rest and we stop in to get a drink from a spring near the cabin.  The caretakers of the cabin, Val and Cindy are out in the backcountry for a few days.  They have left a note by the cabin door saying that they will return on the 31st or perhaps the 1st.  Besides a spring, the patrol cabin has an outhouse and a solar shower plus a swing on the front porch – all the amenities it seems.  We take a break at the cabin before heading out – we still have six miles to Castle Creek.

We stop and take in the footbridge that spans the Yellowstone River at the trail junction for the Yellowstone River Trail or the Atlantic Creek Trail.  We’ll be taking the one up the Yellowstone. It takes us about three more hours of hiking to reach the bear box near castle creek where we set up camp.  The trail along this route starts in the meadows of Hawks Rest before leading up through a burn area and then dropping back down to meadows and willows as we approached Castle Creek.  There are wonderful views looking down on the Yellowstone River along the way. The bear box is not located exactly on Castle Creek, so when we arrive we had to hike about ten minute to the creek for water.  At camp, we had three rabbits checking out our tents while we were eating and rocks tumbled down Thunder Mountain making quite a rumble.

Day 6 – Castle Creek to the Confluence    We wake up to find that we had another visitor pass by in the night.  As we hike up the trail towards Castle Creek there is a new set of grizzly tracks on the trail that weren’t there the night before when we went to get water from the creek. There are more views looking down at the river today and we try to guess what peaks ahead might be Younts Peak or Thorofare Mountain not realizing that we were not close enough to pick them out yet.  The trail we are on crosses the North Fork and then heads up the South Fork just before the confluence.  So when we arrive at the North Fork we first stop and look for the old Forest Service trail that leads up the North Fork.  After we find it and trace it back to the main trail in order to mark it so that we will know where to pick it up the next day, it begins to hail.  We find cover under a tree and wait it out.  Once it has stopped, we cross the North Fork and make our way down to the confluence of the North and South Forks. After taking some pictures, we make our way back to the North Fork and find a campsite.

We find a suitable site and set up our tents.  Now since all the storminess, the North Fork is extremely muddy and is supposed to be our water source.  Fortunately, we had come across a small stream with a pool of clear water located between the North and South Forks that we dubbed “the Middle Fork of the Yellowstone” and this is what we used for clean water.  After getting our water, we prepared to eat dinner and during this time three elk (one bull, two cows) came right through our camp. How neat is that? After dinner, we crash anticipating a tough hiking day tomorrow.

Day 7 – the Confluence to the Upper North Fork   At around eight in the morning, elk come back through our campsite.  I guess that is our alarm to get up and going.  After eating breakfast and packing up, we head off to hike up the old trail up the North Fork.  We hop on the trail and start heading up.  The trail is clearly not maintained and there is a lot of downfall to step over or go around.  The trail does fade out in spots and we have to search occasionally to pick it up again. It’s rather slow going.  I’ve got my GPS unit and am recording waypoints along the route.  About 1.25 miles up the old trail, we stop to refill our water bottles in a side drainage that the trail crosses.  Hiking up and out of the drainage, I round a corner in the trail and come face-to-face with a large male grizzly bear who is about twenty feet in front of me on the trail. I’m hiking with my hiking poles, so there is no way for me to access my bear spray, which is located on my backpacks waist belt, if the bear decides to charge.  I call back to Robinhood and say, “Get your bear spray out, I’ve got a grizzly right in front of me.”  After staring at each other for maybe two seconds, the bear crashes off into the woods.  I breathe a huge sigh of relief, but it will take some time for my heart rate and adrenaline levels to go down.  For the rest of the day, I carry my bear spray on my pointer finger on my right hand while using my hiking poles.

I must say that the hike up the North Fork is quite beautiful and highly recommended. As we make our way up the trail, Thorofare Mountain finally comes into view and then later Younts Peak.  What a thrill! We reach our campsite in the late afternoon with Thorofare Mountain to our east and Younts Peak to our south.  We are going to stay at this campsite for two nights, doing a day hike tomorrow.  Our first day without any rain is a welcome relief.

Day 8 – day hike to saddle that looks down on the headwaters of Thorofare Creek    Today is a day hike to the north of our campsite.  Our plan is to find an old outfitter’s trail that goes up and over a saddle and down into the headwaters of Thorofare Creek.  We are planning on just making it to the saddle to look down on the headwaters and take some pictures.  Well wouldn’t you know it, as we are climbing the mountain we somehow miss the trail and end up at a different saddle that is located to the southeast of our original goal. The saddle we ended up on still overlooks the headwaters and we take a break up top.  Absolutely gorgeous view in every direction and we spend a good portion of the afternoon hiking along the ridge.  We took a slightly different route back to camp and ran into the old trail that we had missed heading up.  We followed it back to see where we had erred and it just so turns out that we had crossed it through an area that had kind of been washed out and the trail was not obvious. On either side of this area the trail was quite noticeable.

Day 9 – Upper North Fork to Ferry Lake   Guess what today brings?  That’s right – Rain!  We wake up to rain and it will stick with us all day.  We begin by starting our hike up to the saddle between Thorofare Mountain and Younts Peak.  This will require a 1300 foot ascent in a little less than a mile so it is slow going for me.  As we begin to approach the steepest section, we observe a grizzly bear heading our way down the trail in front of us.  We get our bear spray out and ready just in case we might need to use it. There are a couple of small hills before the final ascent of the saddle and the bear is disappearing behind them then reemerging at the crest before dropping down out of sight again.  It’s kind of disconcerting when he hits these blind spots not knowing which direction he will take.  He crests the last hill and is still on the trail heading right for us.  He either sees us, or smells us and deviates onto a game trail that takes him east of us along the slope of Thorofare Mountain.  Once he has worked his way around us, he makes his back down to our trail and continues on down the North Fork.  I’m worried that the camera I am using to take pictures is going to be ruined from getting wet. When we reach the saddle, I figure now that I can put my bear spray back in its holster.  When I do this I make the mistake of not putting the safety clip back on and it sprays through my fingers on my right hand as I’m forcing it into the holster.  The small cloud that has been dispersed blows back on the right side of my face.  My right eye stings intensely for about one minute and then everything seems to be okay. We both get a good laugh at my foolishness which eases the anxiety level for me of the bear sighting and the steep climb just finished.
 
Once over the saddle, we work our way around the contour of the headwaters of the South Fork basin until we merry up with the maintained trail coming up the South Fork of the Yellowstone.  We finally hook up with the trail and proceed through an unnamed pass and eventually arrive at Marston Pass. The views along the route are just spectacular, even in the rain and clouds.  We then follow Lost Creek for about three miles before it turns to the south and we continue on to Ferry lake where we will camp for the night.  I’m exhausted at the end of the day and turn in early,  the only problem is now that I am out of the rain my hand especially between my fingers feels like it is on fire from where I sprayed it with bear spray.  I try to wash it off but to no avail.  It takes me a long time to fall asleep.

Day 10 – Ferry Lake to Soda Fork Meadows  We wake up in a cloud this morning!  Clouds appear to be burning off and forming right on top of us.  We had originally planned to hike up on the continental divide and then bushwhack down Jay Creek then on to Atlantic Creek but the weather and my fear of the trip down Jay Creek changed our minds.  Instead, we hiked down the Soda Fork trail to the meadows just before it flows into the North Buffalo Fork.  It’s another fourteen mile day but my pack weight is considerably less than it was seven days ago, plus its downhill so I should be okay.  The one complaint is that the trail is extremely muddy and mud is caking on to my shoes with every step which is aggravating.

We leave Ferry lake and within three miles pass by Crater Lake where the trail has many switchbacks as it descends down towards the Soda Fork drainage. Once we leave the lake we run into a black bear and decide to take a break and watch the bear for a while.  He's perched on a rock looking down on us when we first see him.  He eventually leaves his perch and begins foraging in the grass and we watch him for probably fifteen minutes before he wanders off. He didn’t seem too concerned about our presence.

A mile and a half later we pass by Big Springs which is to the north of the trail.  There is a whole lot of water coming out of this spring and it makes up a good portion of the total water flowing in Soda Fork at this point. Four miles later we run into three moose (two bulls and a cow) on the south side of the trail and I stop to get some pictures.  We eventually make to the meadows towards the end of Soda Fork and we set up our campsite.

This day’s hike was tremendous.  We had variable landscapes and scenery along the trail plus wildlife and my body seemed to have recovered from the exhaustion of day 9.  Excellent views of Smokehouse Mountain, Terrace Mountain and Soda Mountain only added to the enjoyment of the day.

During the night, at 2:27am, I awake to a tinkle-tinkle sound off in the distance.  Over the next half an hour or so, the tinkle-tinkle sound gets closer and closer to our campsite.  Eventually, a horse train passes right next to our sight. I didn’t realize that they drove these trains so early in the morning. I wonder where they are heading.

Day 11 – Soda Fork Meadows to Pacific Creek Trail  Today is another enjoyable hiking day for us of about ten miles. The views of North Fork Meadows, up the North Buffalo Fork Drainage, the hike over the Continental Divide Trail and the descent down to Pacific Creek are all wonderful and the trail is a little less muddy than it was the day before.

At our campsite on Pacific Creek in the evening, we see elk and deer. The bull elk are also beginning to bugle quite frequently at this point.

Day 12 – Pacific Creek to Enos Creek   I woke up this morning feeling very lethargic.  This was supposed to be an easy day; a five mile hike to Enos Lake where we will make camp but I struggle with every step I take.   My pack weight is not noticeable anymore but I’m just out of energy today.  I suppose this could have been a good day for a rest day.  Anyway, we make it to Enos Lake and find there is not any good place to set up camp so we continue on past the Enos Lake patrol cabin and hook up with the Enos Creek Cutoff Trail which quickly fades out to nothing.  Well, needless to say I’m not in the mood to hunt this trail down, so we descend off the ridge and make camp along Enos Creek.  Along this section of the creek beavers have been hard at work with beaver dams and a lodge. Only 7.5 miles but it turns out to be the toughest day of the trip for me.

At camp, I notice some 50 gallon drums up on the hill above us, so I hike up to investigate. It turns out there is an outfitter’s camp above us and along with the drums there are some what looks like garbage cans that say they are bear proof.  While up there, I start looking for the cutoff trail and eventually find it and follow it down to Enos Creek.  Why this trail is still on the Teton Wilderness map is beyond me.  Only when you get down to the creek does it become obvious where you are supposed to go.

I might mention that while walking along Enos Creek, there were hundreds if not thousands of thumbnail sized frogs that would hop off the bank into the creek as you walked by.  I also ran into a toad about ten feet from my tent that I tried desperately to get a good picture of but every time I focused in on him he would move or hop. Well, in the middle of the night I can hear something in the vestibule of my tent.  At first, I think it is a squirrel , chipmunk or perhaps a mouse or vole but when I turn on my headlamp it turns out to be the toad I was trying to take a picture of earlier in the evening.  He had climbed on top of my backpack and was looking directly at me through the mesh of my tent. In the morning at about 8:30, twelve elk come wandering through our campsite.

Day 13 – Enos Creek to Gravel Creek   Tonight’s campsite near where Gravel Creek flows into Pacific Creek will be our last night in the wilderness.  We start off by hooking back up with the Enos Creek Cutoff Trail down by Enos Creek.  I must say, that what the trail lacked the previous day up on the hill, it more than made up for running along Enos Creek.  It’s very scenic through here and when it meets up with Pacific Creek in a little gorge it’s spectacular.  We end up fording Pacific Creek five times on this day. Eventually we run into the Pacific Creek Trail and start heading west on it.  Soon it breaks out into the meadows along the creek and we get our first view of the Tetons in the distance.  Before long, we are setting up camp and gathering some firewood for later.  At 5:00 pm it begins to rain and we have to retreat to our tents. The rain does not let up until nearly seven o’clock, at which time we hurriedly cook dinner and make a rather large fire before it begins to rain again.  We sit around the fire in our rain gear and wait for a little break in the clouds so that we can view the stars.  Eventually, some of the sky clears and we can view the evening stars.  I call it a day and hit the sack.  It rains and pours throughout the night.

Day 14 – Gravel Creek to Pacific Creek Trailhead   4.5 miles to the trailhead this morning; should be easy going today.  While packing up we see four sandhill cranes take flight and head northeast making there prehistoric sounds as they go.  On the way out, we hear an elk bugling on the other side of Pacific Creek - a fitting end to our trip.  We arrive at the trailhead with our ride waiting to take us back to Salt Lake. We stop at Coulter Bay for a shower and Signal Mountain Lodge for a bacon burger with fries, nachos and a beer.

Thoughts -   Just a great trip.  Including our bushwhack to Brimstone Basin and our day hike to overlook the headwaters of Thorofare Creek, the trip was 120 miles.  I’m sure that strong hikers could knock a few days off our fourteen and be fine.  I think I probably could have used a rest day somewhere in the middle of all this but I don’t think I could have carried anymore food for that extra day without my back or knees breaking. It was great to be able to see wildlife every day.  I think that is the first time that has happened to me.  Highly recommended!  Kudos to my hiking partner “Robinhood” who not only made the trip possible but even more enjoyable.  Thanks!

I took a lot of pictures on this trip. I included everything so I apologize for all the duplicates and out of focus ones.  There are some good ones in between the crap.  :D  Enjoy.

Headwater of the Yellowstone Images
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 17 2013, 6:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great trip, and good trip report.  Thank you.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 17 2013, 7:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like you had a great trip even with the rain. great pics as usual.  I've had a similar trip on my books for a while, but going out by Brooks Lakes.... get there eventually.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 17 2013, 11:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WOW. That's an expedition. Any tips for cleaning poo stained undies after those close encounters with grizzlies?
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 18 2013, 4:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice report!

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 18 2013, 8:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow, that's lot of photos.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Thanks!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 18 2013, 8:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice!

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 18 2013, 12:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That was truly awesome. You covered a lot of country I did on horseback as a boy, and some marvelous miles I've never been on. It is indeed DEEP Wilderness. Those  photos should motivate anyone thinking of hiking in Wyoming to consider the largest sub-range of the Rockies.

Bbobb mentions Brooks Lake. I'd hoped to have a forum group backpack the Divide Crest from North of Bonneville Pass to Marsten a couple of years ago, but family and work problems got in the way of that. I'm gonna get back there, but of course need to drop some pounds.

Awesome stuff, many thanks for sharing guys.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 18 2013, 1:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What an epic journey!  70+ lbs, it's a young man's game.  Nice narrative & pics.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 3:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for all the kind words everybody.

bbobb169 – You’re going to have a great time on this one whenever you decide to do it.

Tallgrass – Let’s see.  I would skip the cleaning part and dig a cathole, at least six inches deep, and bury them.  Put on your second pair and pray that you don’t have a second encounter. Or you could burn them in your campfire that night. :;):   All kidding aside, the grizzly we saw up near the saddle by Younts Peak was probably my finest backpacking moment.  We got to watch him for seven or eight minutes as he worked his way around us before dropping back down and heading on down the North Fork.  Since we were above tree line we had unencumbered views of him - truly special.  The encounter were I came around the corner of the trail happened so fast, I really didn’t have time to think of much.  My lasting impression was that he was a large bear with an enormous head.  I hadn’t quite expected him to be so big.  I’m not sure why, but his size got my attention.  It also put to rest what I would do in such a situation - stand there essentially.   You watch the video when getting your permit in Yellowstone, and while watching I always thought “geese, what would I do?” Well now I know, whether it was the right or wrong thing to do.  Like I said, it happened so fast, I’m not sure right or wrong played into it.

NickHowes – Just think if it hadn’t been raining a good portion of the time, I could have taken a few hundred more!

double cabin – I’d like an invite with your group if it ever comes to fruition.  Sounds like a great trip.

Bumknees – I’m no spring chicken either.  Actually, I was a little concerned about days three and four of our trip.  I knew I could hike six miles with a heavy pack on the first day because I had done the Mount Holmes Trip just a couple of weeks before and it was 5.6 mile in with some uphill along the way and my packed weighed 62 lbs.. Day two was broken up with by a bushwhack without the pack on to Brimstone Basin, so I was good there.  The fourteen miles on day three was another story and would my body recover enough from that to hike a good portion of off-trail hiking on day four without being able to anticipate what obstacles might be in the way (ex. Would there be a lot of downfall to negotiate).  I complained a bit about the weather before, but on day three overcast skies most of the day saved my bacon.  Since it remained cool, I was able to get it done and save some energy for the hike along the Yellowstone River on day four.  Once I got through day four, I knew that I’d be okay.
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RobinHood Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 1:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice write up Scatman!  This was an awesome trip!  Glad you were able to put up with me for 14 days.

You left out the part where you took a lunch break on top of the Elk carcass.

Overall, I was very impressed with this area.  When it comes to pure wilderness, this might be one of the best the lower 48 has to offer.  A larger, wilder Yellowstone.  Double Cabin has been preaching this for years, and I finally agree with him.  Scenic??, no, go to the Winds or Tetons or Beartooths for that.  But if you want adventure, want real, real backcountry, then this makes for an awesome trip.  

The section of trail, from Younts Peak down to Marston Pass, west to Fairy Lake and Crater Lake, is a must hike for anyone who likes the Greater Yellowstone.  Fantastic.

I have several short video clips on my facebook if anyone interested in this area wants a look.  Feel free to scroll thru, everything is public:


https://www.facebook.com/photo.p....4018089


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The vast majority of every species that has ever lived on Earth is now extinct. To think that humans can avoid the fate of every other creature is arrogant. Like all life on Earth, our time is limited.
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wycanislatrans Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 7:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great trip, most of it in my backyard. I have done both ends of your trip (on separate trips), just haven't done the part by Yellowstone Lake.  Doing a similar loop is on my list.

Great photos!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2013, 12:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I need to get down there some year and cover some of that territory! I've gone down the Thorofare as far as Bridger Lake, the entire South Boundary Trail, the Trail Creek Trail, and the Two Ocean Plateau Trail.  But, I've got to get into the wilderness areas outside the park.  Probably when my son gets into his teens.

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