Gallatin Skyline

Yellowstone National Park, WY
5.0 (9 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Amazing Gallatin Mountains
  • Stunning Views
  • Deep Wilderness
  • High Country Lakes & Rivers
  • Hike Up High on Two Prominent Peaks
  • Potential to See Wildlife

Description

The Gallatin Skyline Backpacking Tour traverses the length of the Gallatin Mountain Range inside Yellowstone National Park. It is a long, challenging, rewarding hike that features mountainous terrain, fantastic views, and abundant wildlife. With a great mix of meadow hiking, peak hiking on two prominent Yellowstone mountains, steep hikes up to high passes, and camping near rivers and lakes, this hike has it all!

You’ll also hike past Paradise Valley, with some of the best views in the park, and camp next to Shelf Lake which is the highest lake in Yellowstone, sitting at 9,200 feet in elevation. The culmination of the trip is on day six, when you’ll hike over Bighorn Peak (10,000 feet) and follow its high ridges for nearly six miles.


Need to Know: March 1st Permits

Due to Yellowstone’s permit system, which issues backcountry hiking and camping permits on March 1st each year, it’s beneficial to register before February 28th of the year you’d like to hike with us. Give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more!

7 Days
$1755 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 7 Days
Distance: 40MI / 64KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 5

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
35-45 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
3-10 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
2250 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
2000 feet
Quality of Trails:
Well maintained trails and off-trail
Additional:
This trip features off-trail sections and peak ascent attempts. The hiking in these sections is through meadows and across rocky alpine ridges.

Participants should:

  1. be very active, healthy people
  2. exercise vigorously several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking, biking, or running for hours at a time without taking breaks

SOLITUDE LEVEL 5

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Yellowstone backpacking trip a solitude 5. You can expect to see a handful of other groups over the entire duration of your trip.

2021 TRAVEL LOGISTICS

The standard departure location for this trip is Jackson Hole, Wyoming (or alternatively the nearby towns of Victor and Driggs, Idaho). Most of the travel information on this page is geared toward these locations.

However, in 2021 some trip dates will originate from Bozeman, Montana. Please click here to see a list of trips originating from Bozeman. If your trip date is on the list, please see the Bozeman Meeting, Travel and Logistics Page to plan your travels.

Montana and Wyoming do not charge sales tax on services, so there is no sales tax for this trip.

All trips in Yellowstone National Park have a 5% fee required by the National Park Service. This fee is applied when your reservation is made and is passed through directly to the national park.

There are no other taxes or fees associated with this trip. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 4-hour drive
  • Hiking Mileage: 6.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 750 feet

We’ll begin this Yellowstone backpacking trip from the Glen Creek Trailhead in Northwest Yellowstone, a few miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs. At just over 7,000’ of elevation , the trailhead lies in beautiful meadows below Terrace Mountain. Bison are often seen even before leaving the vehicle. The day’s hike consists of a gradual but steady climb through meadows and stands of pine and fir to camp on the banks of the Gardner River, one of Yellowstone’s finest.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles (optional day hike)
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,000 feet each way

We’ll not be moving camp this day. Instead, we’ll use the day to hike the southeast ridge of the magnificent Electric Peak, the tallest peak in the Gallatin Range at nearly 11,000’. The first two miles of the hike up the southeastern flank of the mountain travels a well-defined trail at a moderate grade. The trail gets gradually less-defined and steeper after that. Regardless of whether we summit, it is a long hike/climb that will reward us with tremendous views from the mountain’s flanks.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2,100 feet

Day 3 begins with a 3-mile hike and 2,000’ of elevation gain to Electric Pass, on the southwestern shoulder of Electric Peak. There are more tremendous views of Yellowstone from here. We’ll then descend the valley on the other side, losing another 2,250’ of elevation to Sportsman Lake. Here we’ll get a different perspective on Electric Peak looking at it from the west. Sportsman Lake makes for a peaceful camp in a small meadow nestled beneath another large mountain.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 7.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet

Day 4 is relatively mellow as we hike across the Gallatin Crest again and transition into the Specimen Creek drainage. We’ll make camp at another beautiful Yellowstone lake called High Lake.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 7.0 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: 1,200 feet

Shortly out of camp the group is rewarded with tremendous views of Paradise Valley before descending towards Crescent Lake. After a relaxing break on the lakeshore, we’ll continue hiking through the conifers and across Specimen Creek. We’ll then climb the final 2-miles to our campsite at Shelf Lake, Yellowstone’s highest lake.

Day 6

  • Hiking Mileage: 9.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2,500 feet

Day 6 is the longest and most spectacular day of the trek and is really the culmination of the entire hike. After departing camp we’ll gain the Gallatin Crest and hike over a spectacular peak called Bighorn Peak, at nearly 10,000’. There will be fantastic views of the snowcapped Spanish Peaks to the northwest and the Gallatin Range to the southeast. Bighorn sheep are also commonly seen. We’ll hike an additional 6 miles along the crest before descending Daley Creek to the evening’s camp. Incredible views of big country are a norm throughout this day’s hike!

Day 7

  • Hiking Mileage: 3.5 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 650 feet
  • Shuttle: 3.5-hour drive

Our final day on this backpacking trip consists of a short 3.5-mile hike down Daley Creek to the Daley Creek Trailhead. Your backpack no longer laden with food, you’ll be able to appreciate the broad and lush valley on this final day.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yellowstone hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jackson Hole (some trips in 2021 are originating from Bozemant, MT) to Yellowstone and back
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

Your guide will conduct a virtual orientation meeting (via conference call) at 5:00 PM the evening before your trip begins to review the packing list, communicate the first day’s logistics and answer any last minute questions you have. Your guide will give you the phone number for this call during the pre-trip contact approximately 10 days before your trip start date.

Early on the morning of Day 1 your guide will pick you up from your accommodations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Driggs, Idaho; or Victor, Idaho*.

*Select trip dates in 2021 are originating from Bozeman, Montana. Please click here to see the list of trip dates starting from Bozeman. These trips will have a pre-trip orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will designate the exact location of this meeting during the pre-trip contact.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

You can expect the first day’s pick-up time to be between 5 and 7 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Yellowstone

Being a Northern mountain environment, Yellowstone is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Yellowstone. On the Spring/Fall Trekking Adventure in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you’re likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures in Yellowstone:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

MonthHighLow
June70°42°
July80°47°
August78°45°
September68°37°

Accommodations

Accommodations

BACKCOUNTRY SLEEPING

Tent Camping

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

BACKCOUNTRY CUISINE

Fresh & Delicious

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

AMAZING CAMPSITES

In the Action

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (9 reviews)
Chris H.
5.0

Excellent Guide

11 months ago

Our guide Beau did a great job throughout the hike. He came prepared, was very up to date on the info on the hike and showed both a lot of skill both on the trail and at camp. At times we did have a few slower hikers and Beau showed a great amount of patience and commitment in ensuring that we all undertook and finished the hike as a group. Would definitely recommend Beau as a guide in the future.

Kristalynn H.
5.0

One of the Best Experiences of My Life!

11 months ago

Hands down one of the best experiences of my life! From the first interaction until the final moments, I have only had a positive experience. Beau was our guide for a 7 day, Gallatin Skyline backpacking trip. I’m not going to lie and say I am a pro at backpacking, I am far from it. I didn’t have to be, because Beau and the Wildland team prepared all of us for what we were going to experience as best they could. If you’ve never hiked a day in your life, this isn’t the trip for you. If you feel comfortable hiking and physically fit, I believe you can do this (because I did). The itinerary is stacked in a way that it gives you necessary breaks to recuperate but also to keep pushing yourself. Our group was made up of all single travelers. If you are in the same boat, don’t worry! Beau made sure that each one of us felt comfortable with everyone and with what we were doing that day. As a group, we completed everything. Meals: I had no idea what to expect meal wise, as my backpacking experience is limited to shorter trips. Beau did a great job of preparing a diverse cuisine that was lightweight (important, as everyone carries some in their pack) and tasty. Breakfast included a hot beverage of choice (coffee/tea) and meal. We had everything from breakfast quinoa to peanut butter/apple tacos. Lunch was trail pizzas to hummus bowls. Dinner was beef stroganoff (highly recommend) to a Brazilian dish that was to die for. There was always plenty of water available to fill our bottles/water bladders up with. I never went hungry. On the trails We had snacks that we could divy out when needed. Packing: as a newbie to backpacking, I had no idea what I really needed to bring. Beau did a great job of taking the time to layout what he packs and what the company provides, so that I had a better idea of what to pack. I will say that by following what he sent, I didn’t pack too much or too little. The only thing extra I would have brought was water shoes. Hiking: I am not going to lie and say that this wasn’t challenging because it was. Hiking with a 40lb pack on is no joke, trust me. Do the necessary training! You’ll feel better and have more fun. Overall experience: if I could do the trip all over tomorrow I would. Beau took care of all of us and taught us a lot along the way. This hike offers phenomenal views Of paradise valley, the Gallatin range and so much more. I will definitely book with Wildland again in the future! If you are lucky enough to get Beau as a guide, just know that you will come out more knowledgeable about nature and have a greater appreciation for being outside.

Ben H.
5.0

Terrific Company with Amazing Guides

2 years ago

This was my 3rd trip with them and it was another unforgettable trip. They are a terriffic company with amazing guides who always have their clients best intentions at heart. Looking forward to booking my 4th with them soon.

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