Yellowstone Backpacking – Gallatin Mountains
- Take in sweeping vistas from the Gallatin Crest Traverse
- Spend four days backpacking through majestic terrain
- Get to know a less-traveled side of Yellowstone
Tucked away at Yellowstone's northwestern edge are the Gallatin Mountains, an area largely unknown to visitors, yet home to breathtaking, expansive views. Our four-day trip explores the Gallatin Crest Traverse, challenging backpackers with steep climbs and drops—only to be rewarded with stunning scenery as far as the eye can see.
Let REI get you away from the crowds and into Yellowstone's spectacular backcountry on this guided excursion. Take in the beauty of expansive mountain ranges and scenic lakes as we venture deep into the park.
Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.
Yellowstone Backpacking – Gallatin Mountains Itinerary:
Night before Optional stay in Bozeman.
Day 1 Meet for orientation and head out from Specimen Creek trailhead.
Day 2 Hike to Gallatin Crest and take a dip in High Lake.
Day 3 Our most rewarding day, hiking to Shelf Lake.
Day 4 Take in our last views before descending to the trailhead.
Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control. This trip is operated rain or shine.
Contact REI Adventures prior to purchasing your airline tickets to confirm that the trip has the minimum number of participants required to operate.
Professional instruction and guiding; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; 2-person tents; group cooking gear; group first aid kit, water filter; campsite and permit fees; park entrance fees; round-trip shuttle between meeting point and trailheads.
All Yellowstone backpacking trips are conducted under the authorized concessionaire permit of Wildland Trekking Company.
Transportation from your hometown to group meeting point; any hotel reservations; insurance of any kind; alcoholic beverages; soft drinks; guide gratuities and items of a personal nature.
This trip is rated Vigorous (4). Participants will be carrying their own backpacks with weights of 35-40 lbs. over varied terrain and at altitude. Please make sure your backpack is fitted to your body before the trip. Trip members need to be in good physical condition. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip, we strongly encourage you to take up a training regimen beforehand. Day hiking with a pack and making sure your hiking boots are broken in before your trip is key. Cycling, running, walking and weight training are also good conditioners for this type of outing. The better shape you are in, the more you’ll enjoy all that Yellowstone National Park has to offer.
Depending on the date of departure, daytime temperatures usually range between 50o - 80o F with evening temperatures dropping into the 30s-40s. On early and late season departures are prepared to encounter lows of 30 degrees or colder. You may encounter freezing temperatures at some of the higher elevations. Afternoon thunderstorms are a distinct possibility, so adequate raingear is important.
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Weekend Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and detailed pre-trip information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
Yellowstone Backpacking – Gallatin Mountains
The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.
- Tents (3 season, 2 person)
- Cooking gear
- Stoves and fuel
- Water filter
- Group first aid kit
- Bear canister
- Bear spray
- Backpack: large internal frame or external frame (65 – 80 liter)
- Pack cover – waterproof
- Sleeping bag (rated at 20° - 25° F)
- Sleeping pad
- Rain jacket and pants, lightweight waterproof and breathable
- Light weight warm synthetic or down jacket (mandatory for early and late season trips)
- Midweight fleece jacket or wool sweater
- Mid- or lightweight thermal top and bottom made of synthetic or wool (mid weight for early or late season departures)
- Extra warm clothing for early or late season departures
- Hiking pants, quick-drying, lightweight (zip-off legs are great) no jeans!
- Hiking shorts, quick-drying, lightweight
- 1-2 T-shirts, synthetic
- 2 changes of underwear
- Hiking socks, 3 pairs of wool or synthetic
- Sock liners, 3 pairs of synthetic liners (optional)
- Sun hat with brim
- Wool or fleece hat
- Lightweight wool or fleece gloves
- Hiking boots: heavy duty, waterproof, and well broken-in, should rise above ankle
- Two 1-quart water bottles or hydration system equivalent (recommended to bring one 1-quart bottle even with hydration system)
- Plastic bowl, spoon, travel mug with lid
- Sunglasses and retainer strap
- Sunblock, (small amount—not the whole bottle), min SPF 25
- Lip balm (unscented)
- Insect repellent (small)
- Head net for mosquitoes, especially in July
- Toothbrush & trial-sized paste
- Pack towel and/or washcloth
- Personal first aid kit, small and light with personal medications
- Favorite energy snacks and drinks
- Bic lighter
- Travel size wet-wipes
- TP system: toilet paper (not a full roll) & 1 Ziploc quart baggie & 1 Ziploc gallon baggie and orange plastic trowel
- 1 large plastic garbage can bag
- Trekking poles (highly recommended)
- Pocket knife or small multi-tool
- Ear plugs
- Lightweight camp shoes/sandals
- Journal & pen
- Camera and film- think weight
- Small paperback book
- Swim suit
- Down vest or jacket
- Headlamp with spare batteries and bulb
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.