Heart Lake to Mt. Sheridan
This guided trip offers backpackers a little bit of everything Yellowstone has to showcase— thermal hot springs, pristine lakes, big rivers, remote valleys, and mountain summit views.
We camp on the shores of Heart Lake, one of the largest backcountry lakes in Yellowstone. Weather permitting, you'll have a chance to summit Mount Sheridan, with views all the way to Grand Teton National Park. Once leaving Heart Lake, we traverse Snake River and travel far into the southern boundaries of Yellowstone.
On this trip you'll have excellent opportunities to spot wildlife, soak in hot springs, and experience remote parts of Yellowstone 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: 4.5 Hours
Distance: 8 Miles
Difficulty: Hard (due to long drive to southern border of the park and a long hike in with heavy packs)
Nomadic By Nature will pick you up from your hotel in Bozeman and drive through Gallatin Canyon, where the famous movie, A River Runs Through It, was filmed. We will enter the park at West Yellowstone, and make our way south, passing numerous geyser basins. Once we reach the trailhead, we will do a final pack-check and be on our way. The hike today will cover a lot of scenery, including lodgepole pine, abundant wildflowers, small geyser basin fed by Witch Creek, and an amazing view of Heart Lake where we will be camping the first night. Once we reach the shore, we will hang out on the beach, skip rocks, go for a swim in Heart Lake, enjoy the view and marvel at the peace that the backcountry of Yellowstone has to offer.
Distance: 7 Miles
Difficulty: Hard (due to 3000 foot elevation gain to the summit)
We will start off with a calorie-rich breakfast, and leave our camp set up, taking only day packs as we hike to the summit of Mount Sheridan, standing tall at 10,305 feet. Even if we don’t reach the top, this hike is spectacular; every step you take upwards rewards you with astounding views of Yellowstone National Park. The views are incredible — on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Grand Tetons, Lake Yellowstone, Heart Lake and the Absaroka Range. Nomadic By Nature believes that the views from Mount Sheridan are some of the best views in the entire park. Once we hike back down, we could have the time to jump in the lake, and then eat a well-deserved dinner and rest up for our hike south tomorrow.
Distance: 5 to 8.5 Miles
Following a healthy breakfast, we will make our way south. The trail leads us along the shoreline of Heart Lake, where it is possible to see bald eagles, pikas and numerous other animals. Most of the day will be spent hiking through large meadows and lodgepole pine forests, until we reach our campsite along the banks of the Snake River — a perfect location for stargazing.
Distance: 6.5 Miles
The trail will take us through vast meadows, teeming with wildflowers in early summer. Eventually, we will cross the Snake River, and into a valley encased by a volcanic cliff to the north and an old-growth forest to the south. Our camp this night will be set up along the Snake River, with nearby hot springs that we can explore — depending on the time of year, some groups may be able to soak in them!
Distance: 6 Miles
Travel time to Bozeman: 3 hours (estimated arrival time in Bozeman is 5:00 pm)
Our hike out will be through a dense lodgepole pine and spruce forest. Near the end of the hike, we will cross the Snake River a final time. We will depart at the South Entrance, where we will enjoy a fresh lunch, and drive back through the park to Bozeman.
Snake River Crossings:
We will cross the Snake River multiple times over the course of the trip. Having a pair of water shoes, such as Chaco, Teva, Keen, Crocs, or sandals with a heel strap is required.
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 a have 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!
Ready to Book?
Complete the form below if you have any questions, or reach out with a phone call!
If you're ready to book, click the link at the bottom of the page!