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Yellowstone National Park
Hiking -- Bechler to Old Faithful
August 14 - 17, 2012

Berry Creek, Yellowstone

Horseback Guides/Packers:
Dry Ridge Outfitters
Kevin & Deb Little (Licensed Yellowstone Outfitter)
Rendezvous Backcountry Tours
Jeff Jung & Diane Verna
Length:
Three nights & four days
Activity:
Backpacking
Difficulty Level:
Moderate

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Three million people visit Yellowstone National Park each year because of its beauty, geothermal features, and wild animals. The vast majority of visitors visit Old Faithful and almost all of them arrive by vehicle.

Hike through and enjoy the beauty, hot springs, geysers and wildlife of the southwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park known as the Bechler region. We’ll hike 33 miles over four days through some of the most remote wilderness in the United States to reach Old Faithful. We’ll hike through various ecosystems, including pine forest, remnants of the mammoth 1988 fires, marshes and geothermal areas. We ford streams on foot, pick many varieties of berries along the way, view many waterfalls, stop to watch the eruption of Lone Star Geyser, and soak in natural bubbling hot springs.

For this trip, Deb & Kevin are teaming up with Jeff Jung and Diane Verna of Rendezvous Backcountry Tours. Jeff and Diane will be your hiking guides each day while Kevin and Deb provide the horses to carry our gear. They will cook true western style meals in Dutch ovens around the campfire.

Hiking averages 8-9 miles per day, mostly on flat ground with a few big hills. While Deb and Kevin tend to the horses and set up camp, we’ll hike, learning about the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, with only light day packs, to our next destination. Our trek finishes at Old Faithful, where we’ll see the famed geyser erupt and stop in to admire the historic Old Faithful Inn before our return to Teton Valley, Idaho.

HIKING ITINERARY

Dunanda Falls, Yellowstone
Dunanda Falls, Yellowstone National Park

DAY 1
Depart Driggs, Idaho for Yellowstone from Kevin and Deb's barn in Felt, Idaho. After a scenic 1.5 hour drive, we'll arrive at the historic Bechler ranger station, where we will begin our 6.6 mile hike through the Bechler Meadows to our first night's camp on Boundary Creek (9A0). After finding the campsite, we will take a short hike (1.5 miles) to the 150' Dunanda Falls. The waterfall is beautiful, but what makes it really special are the small hot springs pools located in the river just below the falls! The experience of soaking in these hot springs is like no other. After our soak, we will return back to 9A0 campsite with a total of 9.5 miles of hiking. Deb & Kevin will have camp setup and a hot meal cooked around the campfire.

Bechler River
Bechler River
Three Rivers Hot Spring
Three Rivers Hot Spring

DAY 2: Today we hike from our camp along Boundary Creek through the Bechler Meadows 10 miles up the Bechler River. The elevation gain is moderate as you enjoy the beautiful fall foliage colors in the river canyon and several river crossings which include the Bechler River. That afternoon and/or next morning, you'll have the opportunity to soak in the "Mr. Bubble," a very large hot springs pool famous for a small, underwater geyser that continually shoots up from the middle of the pool; you can actually stand over it and feel the rumbling of the earth!

Lone Star Geyser at Yellowstone
Lone Star Geyser

DAY 3: This will be our easiest hiking day as we will only walk about 5 miles. First, in the morning, we will take time to have a leisurely soak in the hot springs at Three Rivers. Afterwards, we will slowly gain altitude, camping near the Continental Divide at Douglas Knob (9D3).

Dry Ridge Outfitters
View Along the Way!

DAY 4: This may be our most challenging day with an 11.7 mile walk. We will cross the Continental Divide, hike through a geothermal area of hotpots, bubbly streams and colorful cauldrons towards Lone Star Geyser. If the timing is right, you may like to take a side trail to see this backcountry geyser erupt - a sight few who visit Yellowstone ever see! From the Lone Star area it is about a four mile hike leading us through areas burned in the 1988 fires to Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. If everyone is up to it, we will stop at Old Faithful to see the geyser erupt before we provide your transportation back to Teton Valley, Idaho.

Mileage/Route:
Bechler Ranger Station to 9A0 – 6.6 miles
Hike to Dunanda Falls from 9A0 campsite – total of 3 miles
9AO to 9BO – 10 miles
9B0 to 9D3 – 5 miles
9D3 to Old Faithful – 11.7 miles
Total: 36.3 miles

COST: $,1,050.00/per person plus tax

Price includes  sure-footed horses carrying all of your gear to/from camp each day, four days guided hiking, three nights tent camping, all camping equipment including sleeping bag and pad, all meals starting with lunch day one through lunch day four, and transportation to/from Yellowstone. Tax and gratuity not included.

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INFORMATIONAL LINKS:


Dry Ridge Outfitters
P.O. Box 419, Tetonia, ID 83452 - 208.354.2284
info@dryridge.com
 
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