Black Canyon of the Yellowstone
This is Nomadic By Nature’s earliest backpacking trip in Yellowstone — while most trails lie under a blanket of snow, Black Canyon of the Yellowstone remains mostly snow-free because of its low elevation. As we hike along the Yellowstone River, you will gain perspective of how wild the canyon really is.
This region is home to big wildlife — big horn sheep, elk, deer, bison, birds of prey, and the possibility of grizzly bear, to name a few. Highlights include a raging and untouched river, amazing geology, waterfalls, and ever-present wildlife — all combine for a powerful experience in the World’s First National Park.
DAY BEFORE TRIP STARTS
We will meet the evening before our trip starts in Bozeman, Montana at 5:00 pm, at a predetermined hotel. If the meeting is held at a different hotel than you are staying, your guide will gladly provide transportation to and from the meeting. In this meeting, we will do a general orientation that will cover introductions, trip itinerary, safety precautions, pack fitting and group gear distribution. Most importantly, this is a chance to meet with your guide to discuss the personal gear and clothes that you plan on bringing; your guide will offer advice about what to bring and what to leave behind for a successful and comfortable trip. This meeting generally lasts one hour.
Travel time from Bozeman: 2.5 Hours
Distance: 3 - 6 Miles
Nomadic By Nature will pick you up from your hotel and start the journey into the park’s northern entrance. Once on the trail, we will start downhill, giving us big views of Yellowstone’s northern range. At the bottom of the hill, we’ll cross the famous suspension bridge over Hellroaring Creek. When the trail splits, we will veer slightly east toward Coyote Creek and Buffalo Plateau. This region is true to its name, as spotting big wildlife is common. We are likely to see bison, pronghorn and other animals along the hillside. In addition, it is common to see the remains of wolf kills, and shed elk antlers. We will nestle in for the night by the creek, watch the stars and enjoy the quiet of the backcountry.
Distance: 8 Miles
After a hearty breakfast, we will leave camp set up and start out on a day hike to Buffalo Plateau. We'll start slowly gaining elevation up Buffalo Plateau, where we will be rewarded with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. This area is known for it's wildlife in the spring and fall, and we are likely to see bison, elk herds, pronghorn and bears. We'll eat lunch at a scenic lookout, then meander our way back down to the river and our camp. Your guide will prepare a great meal, and we can enjoy games or solitude for the rest of the evening.
Distance: 5 Miles
With an early start to increase our chances to see wildlife, we'll eat breakfast, pack up and hit the trail. We’ll start by retracing our steps until we reach the canyon and the shores of the Yellowstone River. All the while, we’ll be looking for wildlife as we travel along the river. This is a great day for incredible views and plenty of time to take it all in. Our campsite will be on the banks of the river, so make sure you bring your fishing pole! We’ll eat a gourmet dinner, prepared by your guide, and relax in the beauty of the scenery.
Distance: 8 Miles
Difficulty: Hard (due to elevation gain)
Today we will hike over the Blacktail Plateau, and as we climb out of the canyon, we’ll receive spectacular views, and the possibility for more wildlife spotting. We'll continue on toward Rescue Creek
where we'll set up our camp for the night. After setting up tents, we will grab our day packs and start up the hill just behind our campsite. This off-trail route will eventually take us to Mt. Everts, but along the way we will have great views of the Northern Range and all of the mountains surrounding; we will also have good opportunities to see wildlife, such as sandhill cranes, foxes, bears, and everything in between. Once we get to the top of Mt. Everts, we can look down on Mammoth Village and across to Electric Peak and others in the Gallatin Range. This is the best view of the trip! When we are ready, we'll slowly descend back to camp, and eat a hearty and well-deserved dinner!
Distance: 5 Miles
Travel time back to Bozeman: 2.5 hours (estimated arrival is 3:30 pm)
Once we break down camp for the last time, we will start hiking out along Rescue Creek. The trail will take us over rolling hills, and through forests and meadows. Eventually the trail will open and you can see the hills that surround the Yellowstone River. We'll make our way to the trailhead, where the van will be waiting, filled with a fresh lunch and cold drinks. We will drive back through Paradise Valley on our way to Bozeman.
FOUR DAY VERSION:
Instead of hiking to Rescue Creek and up Mt. Everts, the four-day version will have us climbing out of the canyon at Blacktail Plateau.
Trip Note: While this trip has the option for world-class fishing, Nomadic By Nature does not supply fishing poles, nor does it supply fishing licenses. You can obtain Yellowstone fishing licenses from various locations in Bozeman and many surrounding locations, click here for more information.
Nomadic By Nature always tries our best to follow the itinerary as closely as possible. However, there may be slight variations based on the National Park Service permit system and the ever-changing dynamics of the outdoors.
All backpacking gear is provided by Nomadic by Nature, including backpacks, tents, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles, group cooking supplies, and more.
Click below to review the checklist of what is provided, and what you'll need to bring on your backpacking trip in Yellowstone National Park.
Due to the nature of the Park Service’s permit system, Nomadic By Nature will not know the exact dates of your trip until April. As soon as we get our permit dates, NBN will notify you immediately. We strongly recommend making your accommodation and flight reservations at that time.
GETTING TO AND FROM BOZEMAN:
All NBN backpacking trips will depart from Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman International Airport is 10 miles from Bozeman’s downtown. We ask all guests to arrive in Bozeman the day before the trip starts, so they can attend the pre-trip meeting, which will be at 5 pm the night before. If your flight is delayed, please reach out to Nomadic By Nature.
We strongly recommend NOT flying out the same day that the trip ends. With long drive times and unpredictable wildlife encounters along the roads, it is hard to predict a precise time that we will arrive back in Bozeman.
Nomadic By Nature is not responsible for providing accommodation the night before the trip, or the night we return from the trip. However, we have a corporate rate with the C'mon Inn in Bozeman. Be sure to ask about the rate when you book with us!
TRAINING FOR THE TRIP:
By getting in shape before you start your backpacking trip you'll be able to enjoy your trip without worrying about aches and pains. Training for the trip not only helps yourself out, it helps the whole team accomplish the goal and stay safe and comfortable out there.
Check out our recommendations for training for a Nomadic by Nature backpacking trip.
Refund & Cancellation
Cancellation policy is per person.
Cancel 30 or more days prior to trip departure, refund less the $300 deposit.
Cancel less than 30 days prior to trip departure, receive a trip credit.
Trip credits are for the full trip amount and are good for two years.
For more information, please see Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the page.
Guests are no longer required to wear masks while in vehicles to and from the trailhead
Hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer are provided
All dishes will be cleaned using soap and bleach
All gear will be cleaned after each trip
Guests are asked to stay home if they are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms
Why Nomadic By Nature?
It's a lot of planning and a big commitment -- you don't want to choose just any outfitter or guide to take you into the wilderness for a several day stretch. Our experience is vast, personally and professionally, and we want you to be confident in choosing Nomadic By Nature. To learn more about our background and passion for backpacking and the outdoors, click below to read our story. We have much to share and show you -- so we hope you'll join us for an unforgettable experience!
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