Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies
A popular backpacking trip around a massive mountain lake. This is a superb, moderately difficult backpacking trip especially suited for anglers—and one of the few major backpacking trips in Yellowstone that doesn’t require a bothersome vehicle shuttle. Heart Lake sort of looks like the big heart of Yellowstone, but it isn’t named for its shape. Instead, it’s named after Hart Humey, an old trapper who frequented the area before the park was created.
Through the years, “Hart” Lake became Heart Lake. Regardless of the name, however, this seems like the heart of the southeastern section of Yellowstone. It’s a uniquely large and beautiful mountain lake in the shadow of stately Mount Sheridan. Anglers love the healthy population of large cutthroat and lake trout. Bald eagles and loons love it, too, looking for the same fish, and grizzlies roam the slopes of Mount Sheridan. Heart Lake is a truly monstrous mountain lake. It spans 2,160 acres and gets down to 180 feet deep. It has also become a popular destination for hikers, so don’t plan on having the lake or the trail to yourself. Special attractions: Variety—lakes, fishing (lake and stream), wildlife viewing, mountain climbs, thermal areas—all in one trip.