Yellowstone National Park | Wyoming

Backpacking Trip in Yellowstone National Park

Season

Spring through fall; shoulder seasons less crowded

Nearest city

Bozeman, Montana is a two-hour drive

Duration

4 days

Skill level

Intermediate

Escape the crowds and experience Yellowstone’s impressive backcountry

To experience all that America’s first national park has to offer, Yellowstone guided backpacking trips are the way to go. Away from the crowds, you’ll learn about the rich history of the park from a certified guide who will lead you safely during the day and help you set up camp under the stars at night. On this 20-mile, four-day adventure, your group will experience Yellowstone the way few others do — off the beaten path and into the majestic backcountry wilderness. If photographing wildlife is your thing, this is the best way to ensure you’ll have the most action in front of your lens.

Most Popular Itineraries

Guided 4-Day Spring/Fall Backpacking Trip

$1215 per person · 4 days

Tent along the banks of the Yellowstone River on this four-day point-to-point guided backpacking adventure. Traverse Black Canyon, hike past cascading waterfalls, and get up close and personal with the park’s abundant wildlife. There’s also a day to relax at camp and fish, or take on an extra day-hike to the impressive Knowles Falls. Each night, your cozy campsite and a delicious prepared meal awaits.

Women’s Guided 4-Day Spring/Fall Backpacking Trip

$1215 per person · 4 days

Hiking, camping and camaraderie come together as you trek 20 miles past waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife through the Black Canyon to end your days gazing up at star-covered black skies. Starting in spring or fall, when the crowds have subsided, this epic all-female adventure is the kind of trip you’ll remember for your lifetime.

Trip Highlights

If you’re looking for solitude, you’ll find it on this guided Yellowstone backpacking trip (not an easy task in this busy park!). Every night, you’ll camp with views of the impressive Yellowstone River, and every day, you’ll hike between four and six miles taking in the park’s impressive geological features. Crevice Lake, the Black Canyon, Knowles Falls and Blacktail Deer Creek are just some of the highlights on this multi-day hike. This trip runs in spring or fall, so you’ll also beat that mid-summer Yellowstone heat, making for more comfortable hiking days.

Things you need to know

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

Why should I go hiking?

Most people travel to Yellowstone and do the scenic loop drive, never venturing more than a few feet from their cars — but cars just don’t do Yellowstone justice. Why view this breathtaking landscape passively through a window, when you can walk on epic trails that take you past geysers, waterfalls, canyons, rivers, wildflower meadows, and mountain peaks? Hiking is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy Yellowstone’s striking terrain and experience the untouched nature around you.

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yellowstone backpacking guide
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Bozeman, Montana to Yellowstone and back
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray canisters and food-hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Yellowstone’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your adventure to the objectives of your group. Because there is so much to see and do in Yellowstone — and it gets crowded quickly — this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What do I need to bring?

A trip packet will be emailed to you after your booking with more details, but here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

What’s the itinerary?

Please keep in mind, despite best efforts to stick to a set itinerary, plans can occasionally change based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

4-Day Spring/Fall Backpacking Trip
Day 1:

  • Meet in Bozeman, Montana and drive 2 hours to the trailhead
  • Hike begins with 600-foot drop in elevation to a suspension bridge across the Yellowstone River
  • 3-mile detour up the scenic Hellroaring Creek Valley to access a bridge and continue to camp on the banks of the Yellowstone River and the mouth of the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone. Total hiking for the day: 6.6 miles

Day 2:

  • Hike downstream over a beautiful knoll 400 feet above the Yellowstone River
  • Continue on to Crevice Lake and make camp near the lake on the shores of the Yellowstone River
  • Today is the prime day to see wildlife — bison, elk, deer, wolves, coyotes, black bears and grizzly bears
  • Total hiking for the day: 8.7 miles

Day 3:

  • This is a layover day to take in and enjoy your surroundings. Rest around camp or take on an additional day hike exploring downstream to Knowles Falls and steeper parts of Black Canyon.
  • Total hiking for the day: 6 miles

Day 4:

  • From camp, hike upstream along Blacktail Deer Creek to the trailhead
  • Once you reach the canyon, incredible views of the surrounding area abound
  • Shuttle back to Bozeman
  • Total hiking for the day: 4.6 miles

How fit do I need to be?

Due to its length (20 miles) and change in elevation, this Yellowstone backpacking trip is rated intermediate. You will hike four to eight miles per day carrying 25 to 35 pounds. The trails are well-maintained, but you will gain around 1000 feet of elevation over mountainous terrain. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be carrying a full backpack filled with water, your gear and other things you’ll need throughout the day, so you should consider yourself active and healthy before attempting it. If this trek is too challenging, there are plenty of less strenuous Yellowstone hikes to get started on.

What is the minimum age requirement?

Anyone 5 and older can join private day-hikes in Yellowstone, with final approval on a case-by-case basis. If you’re travelling with children under 12, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What about group sizes and pricing?

The standard group size on backpacking trips is six guests and one guide, with a maximum of ten guests and two guides. Pricing is per person, and costs decrease as your group grows, making it the perfect opportunity to hike with family or friends!

What about bad weather?

Yellowstone is prone to sudden temperature and weather changes, so you need to be prepared with the right gear. The same white cloud shielding you from sunbeams can easily turn into a thunderstorm within minutes. Rest assured, your guide — all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMTs — will know the correct course of action if the weather throws a curveball. In most cases, unfavorable weather won’t stop you from experiencing a guided hiking tour within the park, but if plans need to shift, your guide will amend your itinerary to find a trail more suitable to the day’s weather.

Do I need an insurance policy?

It’s highly recommended that you cover all your bases with travel and medical insurance. While hiking might seem like a low-risk outdoor activity, accidents can happen anywhere and we recommend insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for costly medical expenses. And as we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to have cancellation insurance that also covers lost baggage. It’s tried and tested and it works.

Cancellation policy

All policies regarding cancellation, rescheduling and trip insurance will be clearly laid out by your guide prior to booking your adventure. Contact us if you’d like more information on a specific adventure.

Getting there and meeting location

Yellowstone multi-day hiking tours begin in Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman has an airport served by many major airlines. You can also fly into Billings and drive the 2.5 hours to Bozeman.

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