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Backpacker Magazine – August 2008

Yellowstone National Park

America's first national park is a playground for grizzlies, wolves, moose, and hikers (not in that order).

by: Rachel Odell

Photo courtesy Wyoming Travel & Tourism
Photo courtesy Wyoming Travel & Tourism

Entrance Strategy

>> Getting there Located in Wyoming's northeastern corner, Yellowstone has five official entrances. For this trip, go through the North Entrance, about 80 miles southeast of Bozeman.

>> Season Midweek in late summer for uncrowded trails; mid-July for wildflower explosions; post-Labor Day for crisp days and bugling elk (and zero mosquitoes).

>> Gear shop Stock up on bear spray at Northern Lights Trading Company in Bozeman (866-586-2225). YNP doesn't require bear canisters (you hang your food, whether it's in a bag or a box), but if you'll sleep easier, rent or buy one here.

>> Pre-trip breakfast Load up with the Cateye Café's specialty: banana bread french toast, the sweet "aristocrat of the griddle," served with cream, farm-fresh eggs, and organic potatoes. In Bozeman; (406) 587-8844

>> Best frontcountry campground Norris, near Norris Geyser Basin, has 116 walk-in campsites ($14, first come, first served). The premier spot: a shaded site at the edge of Lewis Creek, where the river makes a sharp S-curve before flowing into the park.

>> Permits Yellowstone's eight visitor centers are open from April through September. Get to the North Entrance's Albright Visitor Center early for beta on your hike. All multiday trips require a permit, obtainable no more than 48 hours in advance of your trip. However, a mail-in reservation system allows hikers to request permits as of April 1 ($20 per permit request; 307-344-2160;

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Reader Rating: -


Jim Hall
Jul 21, 2011

Pelican Creek trail bridge washed out about 3 miles in. Great hike over open areas. Bison and deer and elk. Wild flowers and blue skies. July 11.

Jim Hall
Jul 21, 2011

Lone Star Geyser Trail on July 12. Great short hike to remote geyser. Be aware....bugs are BAD along the way.

Brian Potucek
Aug 29, 2010

Make sure u walk down white creek from the Great fountain geyser. You will see some nice blue pools, and a couple of small geysers by the river. Trail ends at two small waterfalls at the end of the valley. You will loose the trail a bit but just keep following the river.You should have this off boardwalk trail to yourself.

Yellowstone National Park
Apr 14, 2010

For the active visitor, the park has thousands of miles of trails from dayhikes to backcountry explorations. The main attractions are all located on the grand loop road and here are some of the top reasons to visit the park.

Sep 25, 2008

I have spent a lot of time in the Yellowstone area and am always skeptical when I see guides like this. But I have to say that I am very impressed. They recommended great hikes that will give you a good understanding of the diversity of this amazing ecosystem. If you are in for a little longer and more remote experience, try hiking the Thorofare region in the SE corner of the park.

Scott Sanders
Sep 05, 2008

Make SURE you don't stay too long at Old Faithful. Some of the coolest geyser's are behind it and down stream along the wooden path. An hour of two before sunset makes for some very pretty photographs.


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