Yellowstone Bechler River Trail Backpacking Trip - 6 Days

A backcountry gem located in the remote reaches of Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bechler River Trail Backpacking Trip - 6 Days

A backcountry gem located in the remote reaches of Yellowstone National Park

Experience Yellowstone’s remote Bechler River Trail on this stunning 5 day guided backpacking adventure. Yellowstone is one of the most historic and popular parks in the USA for good reason. But seldom do people dive into the remote locations beyond the roadside pull outs. The Bechler River Trail in the Southwest corner of Yellowstone NP is an off the beaten track backcountry gem that any hiker should experience. Away from the crowds you will experience stunning geysers, thermal hot springs you can soak in, alpine lakes, blue ribbon trout streams, waterfalls, and world class wildlife viewing. This time of year is also ideal for seeing the stunning fall foliage, and perhaps some wild berry picking.

IMPORTANT: The Yellowstone's permit system is at work here, and they issue backcountry hiking and camping permits on March 1st each year, so it is important that you book into this trip early so we can collect the necessary permits to operate this trip date.

Group Departure: Sept 6 - Sept 11 (Labor Day Weekend)


  • Explore remote regions of Yellowstone's famous Bechler Valley
  • Guided tour of Yellowstone’s top features & Wildlife
  • Largest backcountry geyser
  • Visit Shoshone Lake & Shoshone Geyser Basin
  • Camps near rivers, streams, hot springs, geysers, and wildflowers
  • A soak in riverside hot springs

Length: 30.3 miles (48.9 KM)
Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced
Dates: Trips start late August - early September due to trail conditions (private dates can be booked on request)

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Day 1: Pick up in Bozeman - Yellowstone Wildlife & Sightseeing Tour

The trip starts at the Host Hotel in Bozeman at 6am. After meeting your professional guide, we drive to one of the various thermal attractions in Yellowstone. Through out the day, your guide will explain the geothermal processes of Yellowstone, the park's history, and ecology. We want everyone to have a great time while understanding the sights and sounds of the park. We will also mix in some wildlife viewing opportunities. Yellowstone National Park is home to the greatest display of wildlife in North America. Large mammals like bears, wolves, bison, elk, and moose all call Yellowstone home. This tour is designed to see and observe the animals of Yellowstone in their pristine and natural habitat. If we are lucky, we will listen to wolves howling, elk bugling, bison snorting and the screech of a bald eagle soaring over head, these are all some of the sounds and sights of Yellowstone.

Visited sights my include (itinerary subject to change based on weather conditions and time site between visits):

  • Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin
  • Grand Prismatic Spring
  • Fountain Paint Pots & Lower Geyser Basin
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Norris Geyser Basin

Accommodation: Hotel in Gardner/ or Mammoth (based on availability)

Day 2: Start Bechler River Backpacking Trip

Starting with an early pick up from the hotel in Gardner. We will drive to Old Faithful and start the hike. Start at the Lone Star Trailhead. Travel along the Firehole River and pass by the Lone Star Geyser Basin. We cross the Continental Divide and enter into the Shoshone Lake area. Pass by the Shoshone Geyser Basin.

Hiking Distance: About 10 miles

Accommodation: Camping

Day 3: Bechler River Backpacking Trip

Climb up the Pitchstone Plateau and through the dense Lodgepole pine forests.  On this day we will reach “Mr. Bubbles” an amazing series of geo thermal pools. Make sure to bring your swimsuit to a much earned soak in these beautiful springs.

Hiking Distance: About 8 miles

Accommodation: Camping

Day 4: Bechler River Backpacking Trip

Drop into the Bechler River Drainage. On this day we will pass by numerous waterfalls such as Colonnade and Iris Falls as well as backcountry thermal features. There will also be two exciting river crossings this  day, we will camp along the Bechler River.

Hiking Distance: 6-8 miles

Accommodation: Camping

Day 5: Bechler River Backpacking Trip

Continue along the Bechler Drainage and into the Bechler Meadows. The Bechler Meadows seems endless with good views of the backside of the Grand Teton Mountain Range. We can figure out the campsites. Would be nice to camp along Boundary Creek and a possible side hike to Dunanda Falls-soak in thermals.

Hiking Distance: 8-10 miles

Accommodation: Camping

Day 5: Bechler River Backpacking Trip (Final Day)

Short Day Hike out to the Bechler Ranger Station. With any luck the Aspen trees will be in full fall foliage. Will be shuttled back to Bozeman.

Hiking Distance: About 8 miles

Accommodation: Not included

Additional Trip Info

  • Knowledgeable wilderness guide
  • Food, snacks, and necessary supplies
  • National Park Service Backpacking Permits
  • Gear (backpacks, sleeping pads and bags, tent)
  • Transportation logistics

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