Common Rookie Mistakes When Backpacking In Yellowstone, Part One

Common rookie errors begin with trip planning. That’s because Yellowstone National Park includes areas of widely varying elevation and geography, and this translates to radical differences in local climate and conditions on the ground, often within very short distances. Therefore, we find tremendously varied habitats and scenery, a big attraction throughout the Yellowstone Rockies. But this landscape and climatic diversity can trip you up if you don’t plan properly. For example, a trek to the lush and wet Bechler area of the park in late June would be a swampy slog indeed, with clouds of swarming mosquitoes. Planning a Bechler trip before late summer is a common rookie mistake. Yet  trips to the same area of the park in mid-August or September are wonderful, and we offer two scheduled treks in this southwest part of Yellowstone known as “Cascade Corner: one in mid-August and another in early to mid-September.

By the same token, June in northern Yellowstone is a wonderful mix of roaring creeks and rivers, spectacular wildflower blooms and lots of wildlife in a verdant late-spring wonderland beneath snow-covered peaks. But a trip to that same area in early August will typically find  hot and dry conditions with fewer blooms and much of the wildlife having moved up to higher elevations.  And if you really want to discover what peak mosquito season in Alaska is like, plan a trek to Yellowstone’s Pitchstone Plateau in early or mid-July. That would be a classic rookie mistake. Yet many other areas of Yellowstone are great in early to mid-summer, with mosquitoes, sure, but not to the extent that they will ruin your trip. These are just a few examples of typical Yellowstone  rookie mistakes in trip planning. Of course, if you sign up for a trek with Big Wild Adventures, such mistakes won’t occur because we know the Yellowstone backcountry and all of its wonders and climatic nuances. We plan each trek for an optimal time for each particular area of the park. So rest assured, while perusing our Yellowstone Backpacking trip page, that each trek is planned for a great time of the season to be in that particular area. See you in the wilds of Yellowstone, the world’s first National Park!

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