Yellowstone Plateau Abbreviated (Was Lamar Valley)

Hot Spring Hikers
Wyoming $2,000 • July 3-7, 2023

Just east of Canyon Village and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, central Yellowstone gradually rises up toward the Mirror Plateau, a landscape that some view as Yellowstone National Park’s wildest! This country is heavily forested with lots of lodgepole pine that escaped the 1988 wildfires, so it’s mostly old growth, relatively open and easy to walk through. Walking through it we will, as substantial portions of this trip will be off-trail, be away from virtually all other humans. This trip also has beautiful meadows, lakes, streams and big views across vast expanses. We’ll explore a remote seldom-visited thermal basin. Bison, grizzly and other typical Yellowstone wildlife species are abundant. Here is an opportunity to really get in touch with the wild side of Yellowstone National Park – and yourself. We rate this trip moderate due to the off-trail sections, even though the uphills are modest. The trip base is Bozeman, Montana.

We usually do a “lollipop loop”, beginning and ending at the Wapiti Lake trail-head just east of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The terrain is rolling and wild, with some of the most beautiful woods and vistas in the Yellowstone National Park region. Except for near the trail head, this is one of the wildest, least-visited areas of the park.

TRIP BASE: Bozeman, MT. Comfort Inn, 1370 N. 7th Avenue, 59715; (406)587-2322. Motel has airport pickup. Meet in lobby.Pond Lilies

Pre-trip orientation plus food and gear handout and safety talk are at 6 PM the evening prior to the first trip day, at the Comfort Inn lobby.

TRANSPORTATION: Air service to Bozeman; All clients are responsible for getting  themselves from the airport to the hotel.  We suggest Uber or any local cab company.   Making those arrangements in advance is suggested.

TRIP RATING: This Yellowstone backpacking journey is moderate on good trails with rolling ups and downs. Our longest backpack day is about 8 miles.

ELEVATIONS: 6500-8500 feet. Maximum one-day elevation gain with pack is about 1000 feet.

YELLOWSTONE WEATHER: Usually lots of sun with warm to hot afternoons and wonderfully cool nights. Afternoon thunderstorms are common, but prolonged rain is not. Nonetheless, Yellowstone weather can change quickly and radically, and depending upon elevation, it could snow or even approach 90 degrees! Click here for a National Weather Service forecast.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Early Yellowstone summer wildflowers, big open grassy expanses, young forest dating back to the famous 1988 wildfires, shady old growth and rugged snow-capped peaks. Lots of wildlife in Yellowstone: bison, pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, bear and of course the iconic gray wolf.

Broad Creek Backpackers
SPECIAL TIPS: A lightweight set of binoculars will be handy for wildlife viewing. Yellowstone is grizzly country, so eschew deodorants and other good-smelling substances!

STATUS: The Yellowstone backcountry has yet to be fully protected as a Wilderness Area under the Wilderness Act of 1964, only because of local/regional politics. But it is wonderfully wild.

ITINERARY: The trailhead is 2 hours from Bozeman,MT. All campsites in Yellowstone are reserved in advance exclusively for our group.

Return our homepage to restart your Yellowstone guided hikes trip research and also read about other guided tours.

Note: The exact route varies depending upon conditions, so mileages and elevations are approximate, not exact.

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Have questions? Call (406) 823-0337

Lovely Lodgepoles

Bog Orchid on Yellowstone Backpack Trip
Grand Canyon Yellowstone


Annual Trip Calendar

Scheduled Yellowstone National Park Trips

At the links below, we’ve listed details about our Yellowstone hiking and backpacking trips plus other treks in Wyoming & Montana. When backpacking in Yellowstone Park with us, you will be in either Wyoming, Montana or both.

All Yellowstone Trips


Broad Creek, in Yellowstone National Park

List prices include our complete gear package and there is a $300 discount if you bring your own (see our Canoeing List, Backpacking List, and/or Questionnaire for details – found here). Also, we offer a $300 discount for the second trip in a calendar year. Scheduled trips are for persons ages 14 and over. Exceptions to the age requirement will be made by us on a case-by-case basis.

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