Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Backpacking Yellowstone--Northwest: Sky Rim, Shelf Lake, High Lake, Sportsman Lake, Electric Pass, Glenn Creek Trailhead (Part 3 of 3)

After a chill-out day at Sportsman Lake, I hiked out over Electric Pass on Day 7.

Short-tailed weasel. I think I inadvertently interrupted its hunt. 

Check out those feet.

Electric Peak from high on Electric Pass.

Young yellow-bellied marmot.

Older marmot.

 Another marmot, peeking out of the rocks near the top of the pass.

The high ridge to the southeast of Electric Pass. Still a fair amount of snow on the high, north-facing slopes.

Descending from Electric Pass, toward the upper Gardner River.

These flowers reminded me of a Monet painting.

 Electric Peak, silhouetted in the afternoon sun.

A distant Electric Peak, taken on a rainy evening from near the Glen Creek Trailhead at the end of the trip.

Next trip: Lamar River, Miller Creek, Hoodoo Basin.

Backpacking Yellowstone--Northwest: Sky Rim, Shelf Lake, High Lake, Sportsman Lake, Electric Pass, Glenn Creek Trailhead (Part 2 of 3)

On Day 4, I hiked down from Shelf Lake along the upper Specimen Creek Trail before turning east to climb toward High Lake on the Crescent Lake-High Lake Trail.

There were a few small waterfalls on the unnamed creek along the route.

This is from the ridge above High Lake, looking northeast out of the park toward the Cinnabar Basin.

 High Lake in the afternoon.

Tadpole in the outlet creek of High Lake.

Campsite at High Lake.

Day 5. Back on the trail and heading toward Sportsman Lake. The route down from High Lake crossed several beautiful, open meadows.

The sign marks the boundary of the Gallatin Bear Management Area (BMA), which I prefer to call a Human Management Area (HMA), because it's not to manage bears, but to keep people from traipsing all over important bear habitat.

View of Electric Peak from the west, descending through an old burned area toward Sportsman Lake.

Sportsman Patrol Cabin.

Less-than-ideal photo of Sportsman Lake (looking toward the afternoon sun).

Bear hang at Sportsman Lake.

Electric Peak reflected in Sportsman Lake.

Ducklings on Sportsman Lake.

Barely-visible elk grazing high on Electric Pass.

 Electric Peak at twilight.

Rising moon over Electric Pass.

Part 3

Backpacking Yellowstone--Northwest: Sky Rim, Shelf Lake, High Lake, Sportsman Lake, Electric Pass, Glenn Creek Trailhead (Part 1 of 3)

This trip started in the far northwest corner of Yellowstone, just off Highway 191, crossed the Gallatin Mountains, mostly along high peaks and ridgelines, and ended at the Glen Creek Trailhead a few miles south of Mammoth. 

Mari took this pic of me setting out from the Dailey Creek Trailhead. 

Uinta ground squirrel.

Walking up the Dailey Creek Trail.

A rainy evening camped at site WF2.

Back on the trail on Day 2, under the watchful eye of a gray jay.

Wildflowers are everywhere.

Leaving Daly Pass, climbing the ridge toward the Sky Rim Trail, which officially begins on top of the high peak on the right.

Trailside boulder.

Lunch break on the first peak.

The Sky Rim Trail follows the park boundary. To the north is the Gallatin National Forest.

Volcanic rock near the Sky Rim Trail.

Plenty of climbing on the Sky Rim. The post at the bottom is one of many survey benchmarks along the park boundary.

 Top view of this benchmark.

Large boulder down the ridge.

Piece of obsidian near the trail.

Another view of the trail following the ridgeline.

 Looking back along the trail.

Still a little snow left up high.

Another spot where the trail descends to a saddle before a climb.

I had requested a campsite at Shelf Lake on the second night night, but it was full, so I camped just outside the park on the Sky Rim. Because there's no water up that high, I needed to carry seven liters to last me through the night and part of the next day until I reached Shelf Lake, where I had a campsite reserved the following night.

Day 3: Very distant view of two mountain goats on the slopes of Bighorn Peak. Mountain goats are not native to Yellowstone, but they are native to some other parts of the Northern Rockies.

Small herd of bighorn ewes and lambs near the saddle before Bighorn Peak.

Philosophical detachment.

This section of trail along a knife-edge ridge wasn't as scary as it looks.

Headed down to Shelf Lake.

Shelf Lake, from my campsite.

Part 2 of 3
Part 3 of 3

Edit: I've disabled the comments for this post because, for some unknown reason, it keeps getting spam comments about penny stocks and online gambling.