Daily mileage and elevation may change.
This trip begins at our host hotel in Bozeman, Montana. We meet our backpacking companions at 8am and, after a gear check and brief orientation, we jump into our van and set out for the two-hour drive to magnificent Yellowstone National Park. After a quick stop at the Albright Visitor Center, we continue on to the Hellroaring Creek Trailhead where our adventure begins in earnest. Descending 500 feet to the Yellowstone River, we breathe in the fresh mountain air as we make our way to tonight’s campsite, where we enjoy a tasty camp dinner and our first views of the Black Canyon. Lunch and dinner included.
Backpacking: 6–8 miles, Elevation loss: -750'; Van transfer: 2 hours
After breakfast, we break camp and continue backpacking downriver. Today’s hike leads us along the north bank of the Yellowstone River on a well-maintained trail with a relatively gentle grade. We navigate a few short creek crossings on our way to our next camp, arriving early enough to drop our packs, pitch our tents, and head out on an afternoon exploratory hike of the surrounding wilderness. This section of the Black Canyon generally offers a chance to observe Yellowstone’s abundant wildlife including elk, bison, coyotes, moose, deer and an occasional bear. After dinner this evening, we slip into our cozy tents and fall asleep to the relaxing sounds of the nearby riversong. We spend tonight and tomorrow night at the same campsite, allowing us to hike tomorrow without our full backpacks. All meals included.
Backpacking: 5–7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +350’ / -600'
Today is a layover day, providing us with the opportunity to really soak up the Yellowstone backcountry in any way that suits us. We have the option of relaxing in camp, trying our hand at fishing (plan to bring your own fishing gear), or exploring downstream on a day hike to Knowles Falls. Fantastic views of the Yellowstone River—the longest undammed river in the Lower 48—greet us as we immerse ourselves in the beauty of the surrounding wilderness. Our guides are standing by to answer any questions that come to mind about the national park and its fascinating natural history. Tonight, we relish one final evening in the wilderness with our backpacking companions under the vast Rocky Mountain sky. All meals included.
Optional hiking: 5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,000’ / -1,000'
We pack up our camp this morning and set out on our upstream hike along Eagle Creek, en route back to the trailhead. The trail ascends sharply, passing a picturesque waterfall before leveling off in a beautiful valley of huge meadows and isolated stands of trees. Now out of the canyon, our views open up and more of Yellowstone’s high-country landscapes materialize before our eyes. Finally back at the trailhead this afternoon, our van awaits to transport us back to Bozeman. We expect to arrive back at our Bozeman host hotel between 3–4pm. Breakfast and lunch included.
Backpacking: 4–5 miles, Elevation gain: +1,000'; Van transfer: 2 hours