Lamar to the Grand Canyon
This guided backpacking trip covers some of the best scenery Yellowstone has to offer. You'll hike through wide-open meadows scattered with big mammals, up and down on rolling hills and over Mist Pass to Pelican Valley.
Then, we'll head north to alpine lakes, old-growth forests and a diverse ecosystem. And finally, end the trip at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
This trip is for experienced backpackers who want to see a little bit of everything that Yellowstone has to offer!!
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: 3.5 Hours
Distance: 5.6 Miles
We will pick you up early in Bozeman and enjoy a scenic drive through Paradise Valley on our way to the park. Once in the park, we’ll start our search for wildlife as we drive through Little America and Lamar Valley. The trail will start as we cross a footbridge over Soda Butte Creek, where we can look down and see Cutthroat trout swimming in the pristine waters. The first few miles are flat and wildlife is typically plentiful in these wide-open meadows. After a mile and a half, we will climb up some rolling hills and have our last glimpse of the road until the end of the trip since this is a very secluded part of Yellowstone. We’ll continue searching for wildlife as we cross Cache Creek, then we will cover the last 2 miles to camp.
Distance: 9 Miles
We will start with a healthy breakfast, prepared by your guide. After breaking down camp, and packing up, we will continue our trip along the Lamar River; the trail will take us up and down and provide us with excellent vantage points to enjoy the scenery. Along the way, we can stop and check out an old patrol cabin, all while continuing to search for wildlife. We will set up camp in a spacious meadow and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
Distance: 9 Miles
Difficulty: Hard (due to elevation gain)
This is the day we will continue backpacking along the Lamar River until we reach the important junction of Mist Creek— here we will cross the Lamar River and Cold Creek. We will start to climb out of the valley and make our way up to a spectacular meadow nestled high in the mountains. As a group, we will take lots of breaks along the trail to enjoy the sounds of the meadow and watch wildlife.
Distance: 12.7 Miles
Difficulty: Hard (due to long distance)
Today we will travel over the remote Mist Pass. Since our campsite the night before was at high elevation, we won’t have much elevation to gain and after we break out of the trees, we will have tremendous views at the pass. You will be able to see the Grand Tetons, Pelican Valley, Yellowstone Lake— it’s a special view to say the least. Then, we start the downhill; we lose about 800 feet with well-graded switchbacks. Once down in the valley, we will visit a old backcountry patrol cabin. Then we turn north and start our world-class trek through Pelican Valley. We will see wildlife and thermal features as we hike. Once at camp, your guide will make a tasty meal and we can get some much needed rest and tent time!
(The high hiking mileage is due to the fact that there is no overnight camping in Pelican Valley.)
Distance: 5-8 Miles
Today is a layover day! We will still get a early rise to maximize the wildlife viewing, but generally have a more relaxed morning with plenty cups of coffee! Once we are ready, we'll set off to some remote and stunning lakes. The hiking will be easier with lighter backpacks. We will have lots of opportunities to relax near the lake shores with a pair of binoculars. You never know what you might see on this day
filled full of solitude and peaceful meadows.
Distance: 8.5 Miles
Time to head into the forest! Most of the trip has been filled with wide-open spaces, now its time to
switch it up. The highlight today will be the diversity you'll experience in this part of Yellowstone, a new ecosystem is always refreshing to experience. Once at camp, we'll set up our tents and enjoy the last night under the shelter of the trees and stars.
Distance: 7.6 Miles
Travel time back to Bozeman: 3 hours (estimated arrival is 5:00 pm)
With a early start and a quick break down (we'll be pros of packing a backpack by now), we'll be on the trail and cruising pretty fast with lots of anticipation of what's to come. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is waiting for us. It’s a marvel of geology, and like no place on earth. We won’t spoil too much of the surprise but lets just say it will be a place you will never forget. After the trip we will enjoy a big fresh lunch with cold drinks and will be off on our way back to Bozeman for some well-earned showers and a hot dinner!
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!
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!