Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Summer of Yellowstone is On

I got backcountry reservations for my four Yellowstone trips this summer. In most cases they gave me my first choice of campsites, though in a few areas I got my second or third choice. No biggie. My selection process wasn't exactly scientific, so what I ended up with may actually be better than what I'd asked for.

The changes in itinerary will make for longer hiking days in some places and curiously short ones in others. On my trip to the Thorofare region, one of the more remote areas in the Lower 48, I requested three nights at one of the most distant campsites so I could do some day hiking and explore the area. Instead, I got two nights at a nearby campsite, and for the third night I'll need to break camp and move about a mile. But I'm not complaining. It's the nature of backpacking in national parks, and I'm glad to have gotten anything.

Here's the plan:

  • Late July: Gallatin Skyline--Mammoth (NW section of the Park), 41 miles, shuttle.
  • Early August: Lamar River--Hoodoo Basin (NE section of the Park), 71 miles, out-and-back.
  • Mid-late August: Thorofare--South Boundary (SE section of the Park), 75 miles, shuttle.
  • Early September: Pitchstone Plateau--Bechler--Old Faithful (SW section of the Park), 60 miles, shuttle.

I'll need to train almost like a thru-hiker to be ready to cover so many miles. One of the hiking blogs out there says you should be able to hike at least 15 miles per day for three consecutive days to make sure you're physically ready to start a thru-hike. Then, to make sure you're mentally ready, you should pick a day when the weather is really nasty and go out and hike 20. I probably won't go quite to that extent, but I'll get pretty close. On trips with reserved campsites, you really can't take a day off when it rains or snows.

There should be plenty of new pictures to post over the next several months.


  1. I pick the ones with the shuttle! Can you ride it all the way??

    Can't wait for your adventure and to see your pictures!

  2. Ha! That might be the way to go.