Sunday, September 23, 2012

Backpacking Yellowstone—Southwest (1 of 5): Pitchstone Plateau; Bechler; Lone Star

The climb from the South Entrance Road to the Pitchstone Plateau.

The terrain on the plateau alternates between forest and meadows.

Phantom Fumarole.

The view from campsite 8P1, looking south toward the Tetons, which are lit by the setting sun.

Same view from a different spot the next morning, when the sky was a mix of sun and rain clouds.

Storm clouds to the east.

Back on the "trail," which was non-existent. Heading west from the campsite, navigation was by a series of small cairns, one of which is visible at the lower right of the photo.

Same photo, cropped to show the next two cairns, at upper left.

The cairns were harder to find when the terrain turned rocky.

Another cairn, hiding on a ridge.

View to the south.

As the route descended from the plateau, the trail re-appeared, but it was covered with many downed trees.

Several miles later, the route descended toward the Falls River, and the trail disappeared again without the benefit of any cairns. I used a topo map and a bit of terrain association to find the way to the bottom of the ridge.

The Falls River.


Short ford of Proposition Creek on the way to Site 9U4 near Union Falls.

Valley garter snake.

Part 2 of 5
Part 3 of 5
Part 4 of 5
Part 5 of 5

My Y-Net write-up of this trip is here.

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