Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

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Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by roadtripmom » September 20th, 2013, 10:27 am

So sorry I do not have a better camera! This was the most amazing trip. I guess you just had to be there :D
We started at Dogshead/Lewis Channel trail head and hiked a 63 mile loop that included part of the Bechler River in the Southwest corner of the park. We spent 6 nights and 7 days and saw too many waterfalls, geysers, hot pools, steam vents and interesting thermal features to count. We also had sun, wind, lightning, thunder and rain at times. It was a really epic adventure for us and I recommend it highly. The only bears we saw on the backpacking trip were a Black sow and two cubs from our campsite on day 5. The grizzly crossed the road in front of us on a driving day. ( Made my day !) We woke up to a coyote sniffing around our tent on night 6 and it froze in the light from the head lamp. We also startled a group of Sandhill cranes in the woods and they all took flight at once. Awesome ! We met folks from Utah, Wisconsin, Sweden and even Corvallis on the trail. All of our campsites had food hanging poles and a water source and we also carried a bear canister. Surprisingly, bear canisters are not required.

We stayed in a variety of cabins and campgrounds on our other nights in and around the park and love them all (except Mammoth campground, can you say "too close to the road"?) Although an entire herd of elk came through the campground and sunset. It was neat. If you have never been to Yellowstone, I highly recommend the trip. The old lodges are amazing and the thermal features are just cool and you just might see a grizzly bear !

Grand Prismatic. Wow ! We had to hike up on a hill to get this shot.
Bears !
Found these horses in the back country with "handcuffs" on their front legs. They were hopping. Weird
That hill in the backround had a sow and two black bear cubs on it in the morning ! And the creek was almost bathwater warm due to a hot spring further up.
The last day on the Pitchstone Plateau we followed cairns and no trail for miles. We saw no one else all day.
#1 on my bucket list !
Mr. Bubbles. A well known back country hot spring. It was better than amazing !!
Obligatory Falls Shot
Throwing the food bag. By the 4th night he was a pro. We also carried a bear canister.
Wow !
We had to ford several times, but this one was the deepest.
This pit toilet was my favorite.
When hiking in Grizzly country, this made me the most nervous.
Lots of these.
Shoshone Geyser Basin. It was really awesome.
Filling my bucket, one hike at a time.

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by n.bumppo » September 20th, 2013, 1:51 pm

The "handcuffs" are hobbles. The horse owner puts them on the horse when they let them out to feed. The hobbles limit the horse's range so the owner can find them.

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by bobcat » September 21st, 2013, 10:58 am

Magnificent outing! Haven't seen too many reports on Yellowstone. I agree that hiking through a willow thicket in grizzly country is one of those high alert situations!

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by raftingdog » September 21st, 2013, 11:15 am

toilet without regular seats got named groovers and that name still used on rafting trips..... one of Lewis and Clark expedition returned to Yellowstone and spent winter... wrote book about it

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by Peder » September 21st, 2013, 2:56 pm

Looks like the loop of a lifetime! Great picture of # 1 from your bucket list...
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by Steve20050 » September 22nd, 2013, 11:12 am

Thanks roadtripmom; I enjoyed seeing your report. I lived just east of Yellowstone for a couple years back in the early 80s. It is a great park and combined with the Absaroka - Beartooth wilderness this area has years worth of exploration possibilities. I used to love the hot springs as most do, and well to be honest I was just as happy to not see a grizzly than to encounter one. My favorite memories are hiking there in the fall passing pools with rising steam and hearing the bull elk bugle, very surreal stuff.

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by joerunner » September 22nd, 2013, 2:44 pm

I really enjoyed that. Thanks!

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by kepPNW » September 23rd, 2013, 4:31 pm

roadtripmom wrote:Wow !
Drove across Montana two days ago. Can totally relate to this one. The sky is often as fascinating as the rocks. :)

Looks like a fabulous trip!
Back on the trail, again...

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by Sean Thomas » September 23rd, 2013, 5:16 pm

Wow, that first photo is awesome!! I've never been to Yellowstone or any of the surrounding areas but your TR makes me wish I had. What a beautiful place and a great experience you must have had, thanks for sharing :)

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Re: Yellowstone ! 63 mile loop

Post by roadtripmom » September 24th, 2013, 4:34 pm

Thanks everyone. It really was an incredible trip! Yellowstone is a truly special place and one I will return to again.

KepNW...I agree. We were mesmerized by the clouds every day of our trip !
Filling my bucket, one hike at a time.

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