Snake River Drainage

Various • 0 mi • 0 ft

The Snake River begins as a series of springs and rivulets that come together under the crest of the Continental Divide, due south of Yellowstone Lake and just barely within the park. A multitude of other creeks, both in and south of the park, start in the same general Two Ocean Plateau area. Flowing west and northwest, these streams gradually come together across the south end of Yellowstone National Park. Upon picking up the Heart River, the Snake takes an abrupt jog and heads southwest. A second major tributary, the Lewis River, joins the Snake just above its exit from Yellowstone at the South Entrance. Now flowing south, the river loses itself in Jackson Lake. Besides the Heart and Lewis Rivers, this drainage includes three of the four largest lakes in the park and a number of other tributary streams. The name Snake appears to have been derived from the sign-language symbol for the Shoshone Tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the region. At least part of the river had been named Snake by 1812. This eTrail contains information on Snake River (Headwaters to Heart River, Heart River to Lewis River, Lewis River to Jackson Lake), Mariposa Lake, Heart Lake, Beaver Creek, Heart River, Outlet Creek Drainage, Wolverine Creek Drainage, Polecat Creek, and Glade Creek.
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Activity Type: Fishing
Nearby City: Cody
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Several options
Season: Last Saturday in May to first Sunday in November
Local Contacts: Yellowstone National Park
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Recent Trail Reviews


My first time in Yellowstone. A good friend who knows the area well planned the 7-day hike in South Yellowstone. Much of our hiking and fishing was along the Snake River drainage. The hike was amazing. Great scenery, trout fishing, and plenty of wildlife. Encountered 6 Grizzly Bears along different parts of the trail. September 14th-23rd, We hiked a loop beginning and ending at South Boundary Trail head (located near the Snake River Ranger Station just north of the South Entrance to Yellowstone). Our Hike: -Hike into 8C1 (5.5 Miles) for two nights. -Hike onto 8b2 (5.5 Miles) for one night -Hike onto 8C4 (6 Miles) for one night -Hike onto 8C2 (4.5 Miles) for two nights -Hike back to Trailhead (8.5 Miles). On the return to the trailhead, we passed our first campsite 8C1 so the last 5.5-miles of the hike was on the original path from South Boundary Trailhead. It was a good time of year for this hike. The river crossings were manageable with knee high water. Bugs were non-existent. Light long sleeve or T-shirt weather during the day, cold at night for sleeping. Three campsites were located on the river and one on Basin Creek Lake. All had good fishing opportunities. Review to be continued. Too much to talk about. When I have more time, I'll complete with trail description, campsite details, etc....

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