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Backpacker Magazine – May 2013

First Night Out: Views

Three hikes with spectacular views

by: Sarah L. Stewart and Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Upper Green River Lake (Jeff Diener)
Upper Green River Lake (Jeff Diener)
Greenstone Lake (Dave Miller)
Greenstone Lake (Dave Miller)

Yellowstone National Park, WY
Ribbon Lake

You could spend a lifetime exploring Yellowstone’s vast stretches of untouched wilderness—and you’ll want to after this marquee trip along the brink of a 1,000-foot gorge. Some of the park’s most dramatic views belong to the central Canyon district, where the Yellowstone River slices through a chasm of yellowish volcanic rock. Most see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from a handful of drive-to overlooks, but this 4.8-mile out-and-back is your ticket to a private sunset show along the canyon rim. From Artist Point’s vista of 308-foot Lower Falls, follow the rim .5 mile east to join the Clear Lake-Ribbon Lake Trail and enter a lodgepole forest where elk and bison roam. The trail climbs 200 feet to two campsites at Ribbon Lake. From the streamside site on the north side, hike a couple of hundred yards to the edge of the canyon and peer from the top of 1,000-foot Silver Cord Cascade. Linger here to watch the fading rays ignite the canyon with a golden glow.

Go
July/August for snow-free trails Get there From Gardiner, MT, take US 89 south 5.5 miles; go left on Grand Loop Rd. Follow it 38.7 miles to South Rim Dr.; turn left for Artist Point. Permit Required; free Map BACKPACKER PRO Map Mt. Washburn via Dunraven Pass Trailhead ($20, backpacker .com/promaps) Contact nps.gov/yell Trip ID 333325


Wind River Range, WY
Upper Green River Lake

The remote, rugged, and remarkable Winds have a rep as an experts-only destination. But this sweet campsite requires just a two-hour hike along a mostly level trail. Kick back lakeside and enjoy the views, or explore nearby alpine terrain like Squaretop Mountain. get there At Cora on US 191 north of Pinedale, turn right on WY 352. Go about 40 miles; the road dead-ends at the Green River Lakes Campground and trailhead. Permit None required Map Earthwalk Press Northern Wind River Range ($10, onmimap.com) Contact fs.usda.gov/btnf


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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star
john
Jan 19, 2014

Would be nice if the picture that went with the high peaks article was from NY.

Star Star Star Star Star
Mike
Jan 17, 2014

The Wind River hike above is a good one for getting started. There are a lot of moose up that drainage so be smart. If you fish, get a license and take some gear. Camp away from the trail, which is easy to do, and have a more wilderness-like experience. Late August to early Sept. is a good time. Snow is gone and the bugs are gone. Hunting season usually begins in mid-Sept.

Star Star Star Star Star
AZ Hiker
Jan 16, 2014

Live to hike another day by staying found and knowing how to use a compass. Even skilled explorers can become lost or somehow end up spending the night hunkered down because of weather or injury. Many people never consider that they might end up spending more nights outdoors than they planned on or waiting for medical help --and so they hike without the essentials. Day-hikes can be the most dangerous because hikers usually carry minimal supplies. Learn what to pack for a day-hike, what to do if you get lost, how to get rescued, and survival packing just in case you end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors. Read "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart" (Amazon). Learn how to orient yourself using a compass, a compass and a map, a map and no compass, no compass and no map. A compass doesn't need a signal, satellites, or batteries and works in all types of weather, day or night, but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Learn how to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. The ability to know your way and know where you are is something we all need in any survival situation not just while hiking. This book is for all ages. Look for it on Amazon, "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart."

Star Star Star Star Star
AZ Hiker
Jan 16, 2014

Live to hike another day by staying found and knowing how to use a compass. Even skilled explorers can become lost or somehow end up spending the night hunkered down because of weather or injury. Many people never consider that they might end up spending more nights outdoors than they planned on or waiting for medical help --and so they hike without the essentials. Day-hikes can be the most dangerous because hikers usually carry minimal supplies. Learn what to pack for a day-hike, what to do if you get lost, how to get rescued, and survival packing just in case you end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors. Read "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart" (Amazon). Learn how to orient yourself using a compass, a compass and a map, a map and no compass, no compass and no map. A compass doesn't need a signal, satellites, or batteries and works in all types of weather, day or night, but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Learn how to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. The ability to know your way and know where you are is something we all need in any survival situation not just while hiking. This book is for all ages. Look for it on Amazon, "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart."

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