The Thorofare Backpacking

Mammoth, Wyoming

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Perhaps the best, long backpacking trip in Yellowstone. Like the Gallatin Skyline hike, this hike offers hardy backpackers the opportunity to savor the wild essence of Yellowstone. Unlike the case with most trips in Yellowstone, you really can’t bail out on this one if something goes wrong. When you get to the confluence of the Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek, it’s approximately 30 miles by trail in any direction to the nearest road. Therefore, more so than for any other trip in this book, make triple sure you’re physically ready and packed as lightly as possible. Yellowstone Lake, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, is like an inland ocean. You can hike four days on a perfectly flat trail, and then you get the rare experience of fording major rivers and climbing over the Continental Divide in the same day. You ford the Snake River, struggle up the precipitous Big Game Ridge, and then ford the Snake River again. Simply put, this is a truly incredible trip. Special attractions: Possibly the only place in the lower forty-eight states where you can hike 30 miles on a flat trail and then be 30 miles (by trail) in all four directions from the nearest road.

The Thorofare (Backpacking) Professional Review and Guide

"Perhaps the best, long backpacking trip in Yellowstone. Like the Gallatin Skyline hike, this hike offers hardy backpackers the opportunity to savor the wild essence of Yellowstone. Unlike the case with most trips in Yellowstone, you really can’t bail out on this one if something goes wrong. When you get to the confluence of the Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek, it’s approximately 30 miles by trail in any direction to the nearest road. Therefore, more so than for any other trip in this book, make triple sure you’re physically ready and packed as lightly as possible. Yellowstone Lake, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, is like an inland ocean.

You can hike four days on a perfectly flat trail, and then you get the rare experience of fording major rivers and climbing over the Continental Divide in the same day. You ford the Snake River, struggle up the precipitous Big Game Ridge, and then ford the Snake River again. Simply put, this is a truly incredible trip. Special attractions: Possibly the only place in the lower forty-eight states where you can hike 30 miles on a flat trail and then be 30 miles (by trail) in all four directions from the nearest road."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Mammoth
Distance: 68.5
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 7 to 14 days
Season: Best summer and fall
Local Contacts: Yellowstone National Park
Local Maps: USGS Lake Butte, Frank Island, Sylvan Lake, Trail Lake, Eagle Peak, The Trident, Badger Creek, Crooked Creek, Mount Hancock, Snake Hot Springs, Lewis Canyon; Trails Illustrated Yellowstone Lake
Driving Directions: Directions to The Thorofare (Backpacking)

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May 2018