Trees You’ll Encounter On Yellowstone Backpacking Tours

Our guided Yellowstone backpacking tours are in the wild back-country of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park. Big Wild Adventures has been leading Yellowstone hiking tours for about 37 years, and most of our treks are in forested wilderness punctuated by mountains, canyons, lakes, rivers and large beautiful meadows. Often, the first question we hear from our clients is “what kind of trees are these?” Because Yellowstone is mostly a high elevation plateau with dry, cold climate and potential year-round frost in most areas of the park, tree diversity is low, simply because few species can withstand such climatic rigors. And if you read Backpacker Magazine, you might think that much of Yellowstone is covered with ponderosa pine, the most widespread pine tree in the western U.S. In fact, a few years ago I was quite surprised to read about a Backpacker Magazine writer’s joy in sleeping under Yellowstone’s ponderosas. Trouble is, there are no ponderosa pines in Yellowstone National Park. Really. None at all.

On the other hand, lodge-pole pine is ubiquitous over most of Yellowstone except for portions of the north-central part of the park, which are lower elevation and therefore encompass warmer, drier country than elsewhere. In this drier realm, Douglas-fir is the major tree species, with limber pine and Rocky Mountain Juniper scattered about, especially on dry rocky slopes and ridges. Quaking aspen is the only common deciduous tree in Yellowstone, and it is making a comeback, partly due to wolf-predation on elk, creatures that love to munch aspen seedlings. Aside from a smattering of cottonwood trees along the Lamar River and a few other park waterways, all of the other trees you’re going to encounter while backpacking in Yellowstone, like the lodge-pole pines and Douglas-firs, are conifers. Those trees are Engelmann Spruce, subalpine fir and whitebark pine, a high-elevation cousin of the limber pine. These are the three species that, along with lodge-pole, dominate the high country. And that’s it!  By my count, that makes 9 tree species, although there may be some Colorado blue spruce along the Snake River near the southern boundary. Compare that with the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, an area less than a quarter the size of Yellowstone but with over 130 tree species growing in a wet, mild southern Appalachian climate with a long frost-free season. In Yellowstone, by contrast, learning to identify trees is simple; if you can count to nine or ten, you can learn to identify all of the trees you could possibly encounter while backpacking in Yellowstone with Big Wild Adventures!

Fairly, fitness and medicines are playing on the minds of people all around the World. Online drugstores provides best-quality formula medicaments and other medications. One of the most popular preparation is Viagra. This article tell more about ““. Nearly every man knows about ““. Other matter we should is ““. Albeit sex is not vital for good heartiness, it’s no doubt good for you. Other medicaments may interact with this medicament, including recipe herbal products. Not all feasible interactions are listed in standard medication guide. Stop using this remedy and get medical help if you have sudden vision loss.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”– John Muir

The West’s #1 Trekking & Canoeing Wilderness Adventure Company For 40 Years!

As seen in…Our Guided Backpacking Expertise in West
As featured in Backpacker, Sierra, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, The New York Times, and more.

Green Business IconA Green Business

View Trip Calendar

No company offers a wider variety of great treks, from north of the Arctic Circle to the Southwest deserts. Our trips include the following places:

Our trips are wild and remote, off the beaten track! We also emphasize safety and low-impact (leave no trace) wilderness travel.

Clothing/Personal Gear Lists:

Trekking List Canoeing List

How to Book A Trip

Simply complete this web form
or call (406) 848-7000.

A family business since 1978

Our Staff Contact Us

Member of the: Gardiner Chamber of Commerce

Rock Spire

More photos