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Hike Bechler River Trail in Yellowstone National Park

Bechler River Trail | Yellowstone National Park
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to hike the Bechler River Trail

  • Trip Highlight

    Experience Yellowstone’s famous hot springs known as Mr. Bubbles

  • Trip Highlight

    Camp next to wonderful waterfalls and hot springs

  • Trip Highlight

    The river crossings add a hint of excitement to the trail

Hot springs, geysers, river crossings and waterfalls await on this 34-mile trek through Yellowstone’s backcountry with your own Bechler River Trail guide. Trek through the Bechler River Valley, set up camp under the stars, view wildlife, get up close and personal with the Lone Star Geyser and soak in hot springs on this incredible five-day guided backpacking trip. Start out with a trek to Lone Star Geyser — Yellowstone’s impressive backcountry gem that erupts 30-45 feet high. Hike along the Firehole River and over the Continental Divide and experience river crossings, waterfalls, boulder canyons and the occasional bison spotting as you finish off your 5-day adventure! This is an intermediate level trip due to its length and slight elevation change, but the hot springs make it all worth it! Find out more about some of the best (and most photo-worthy) hikes in Yellowstone.

Season

Spring through fall; shoulder seasons less crowded

Nearest city

Bozeman, Montana is a two-hour drive

Duration

5 days

Skill level

Intermediate

Itineraries

Book This Adventure

Bechler River Trail Guided Backpacking Trip

5 days

Trek 34 miles through the famous Bechler River Valley and experience Yellowstone’s largest backcountry geyser — Lone Star Geyser. Fording rivers and trekking through canyons, you’ll camp near lakes and waterfalls and soak in the incredible riverside hot springs (don’t forget your bathing suit!). Highlights include Shoshone Lake, Shoshone Geyser Basin, Dunanda Falls, along with ample opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1

After meeting your guides, head to the trailhead and embark on your adventure! Hike to the largest backcountry geyser in Yellowstone — Lone Star Geyser — where you will hopefully witness a 30-45-foot eruption. From Lone Star, continue along Firehole River and over the Continental Divide before arriving at camp in Shoshone Meadows where you will set up camp, leave backpacks behind, and hike to Shoshone Lake, one of the largest wilderness lakes in the lower 48 and the backdrop of the Shoshone Geyser Basin!

Day 2

Begin your day with a hearty breakfast and hike to the high point of the trip, a plateau of lush meadows and thick forest. Continue to the headwaters of the Bechler River and into the Bechler Canyon where you will make camp near the river and explore the valley’s remarkable “Mr. Bubbles,” a series of incredible soaking hot springs — don’t forget to bring your bathing suit! Lounge in the hot springs while enjoying views of Bechler Canyon, and in the evening gather with your family around the campfire and enjoy the starry skies.

Day 3

Hike downstream for two river crossings up to 3 feet high. Don’t worry, your guide will assist each individual across the river so that the experience can be both fun and safe. After fording the river, witness two grand waterfalls: Colonnade Falls (a two-part waterfall, the second of which is the highest on the hike) and Iris Falls. Set up camp for tonight a mere five-minute hike from Colonnade Falls.

Day 4

Hike the lower part of the canyon flanked by berry-laden boulder fields. After exiting the canyon, hike through Bechler Meadows, a great spot for viewing moose and bison! Make camp near the hot springs at the base of Dunanda Falls, a picturesque waterfall that spills over a band of moss-covered cliffs — take some photos and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Day 5

Wake up and prepare for your last day in the backcountry! Have your final backcountry breakfast before packing up gear and hiking 8 miles to the Bechler Ranger Station. After a 3.5 hour drive, you’ll be back to Bozeman. Say your last goodbyes and start planning your next adventure!

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Yellowstone

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Yellowstone please refer to the National Park Service’s website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Five full days of hiking in Yellowstone
    • Tents
    • Meals
    • Cookware
    • Stoves and fuel

What’s not included:

    • Transportation to Bozeman/Yellowstone
    • Transportation to the trailhead — can be arranged by the guide
    • Accommodations prior and after the trip
    • Personal clothing and camping gear
    • Snacks
    • 3.5% land use charge

How fit do I need to be?

The best thing about hiking in Yellowstone is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. However, this is an intermediate hike, so expect to see a little more change in elevation and increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Advanced hikes are full day treks with steep descents and challenging switchbacks. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

    • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
    • Hiking poles — optional
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
    • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
    • River crossing shoes
    • T-shirt/Sport shirt​ (synthetic)
    • Long sleeve base layer​ (synthetic or wool)
    • Long sleeve cotton shirt​ ​for insects
    • Medium-weight​ p​olar fleece
    • Puffy jacket (​down or synthetic fill, light to medium-weight)
    • Rain jacket (​lightweight)
    • Bottom base layer (lightweight synthetic or wool)
    • Hiking pant​ (synthetic/nylon)
    • Hiking short (synthetic)
    • Rain pant (lightweight)
    • Gaiters — through mid July
    • Down Coat​ (lightweight but warm) — early and late season
    • Fleece Pants — early and late season
    • Balaclava or neck gaiter​ — early and late season
    • Spare clothes for layering
    • Waterproof rain jacket
    • Sunhat
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Bowl, spoon, and insulated mug
    • Drink​ ​mixes
    • Snacks (nuts, dried fruit, snack bars, etc.)
    • Water treatment​: tablets or filter — provided by the guide, but it’s always good to carry extra
    • Bear spray
    • Headlamp or flashlight
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • The guest to guide ratio for private hiking tours is usually five guests and one guide.
    • Pricing is per person, and the cost decreases as your group grows, making it the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family.

If your hiking party is larger than five people, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • Anyone over the age of 18 can join these day-hiking tours
    • Minors younger than 18 may join these day-hiking tours, but only on a case-by-case basis

If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

The park has five entrances, depending on the direction you’re traveling from.

    • If you plan to enter through the south entrance, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the closest airport.
    • If you plan to enter on the north side, Bozeman, Montana is the closest airport.
    • To the west, it’s Idaho Falls, Idaho and to the east, it’s Yellowstone Regional Airport near Cody, Wyoming.

Here’s a map of Yellowstone from the National Park Service to make planning your trip easier.

Specific meeting time and location will depend on the itinerary you choose. Once you and your guide agree on the details of your trip, your guide will suggest the best place to meet.

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