Backpacking tents near meadow in YellowstonePristine River in Yellowstone

Mount Holmes and the Gallatin Range

Yellowstone National Park, WY

Trip Highlights

  • Pristine Wilderness
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Peak Bagging
  • Alpine Lake
  • Mountain Views
  • Solitude

Description

Are you looking to enjoy lots of diversity in just a few days with the added bonus of not having to break-down camp each day? This trip packs a big punch in 3 or 4 days, featuring many of Yellowstone’s most sought-after features in a short amount of time. Epic mountain views, iconic Yellowstone meadows, wildflower fields, dense forests, alpine lakes and peaceful creeks are the highlights of this hike. Here, in the northwest corner of the Park, it is prime habitat for grizzlies, black bears, elk, deer, marmots, and all types of birds. We head into the Gallatin Mountain range, which boasts some of the most renowned peaks in the park, and create a base camp in the forest along Winter Creek. From there, we day hike to the 10,336′ summit of Mt. Holmes, and/or to the hidden gem of a unique and beautiful alpine lake.

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3 Days From
$2150 Per Person
4 Days From
$2455 Per Person
Trip Type: Llama Trek
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 2-8 Guests
Trip Length: 3-4 Days
Distance: 21+MI / 34+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip follows well maintained trails on the first and last day, with moderate distances, elevation changes and backpack weights. The day hikes on day 2 and/or 3 are off trail and require hiking on moderately rugged terrain with rocky, log-strewn, loose and vegetated sections.

Hiking Distances:

5-10 mi

Backpack Weight:

10-20 lbs

Terrain:

Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

2700 feet

Heights Exposure:

Light

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 10-20 lb backpack for 5-7 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain (while day hiking)
  • River and creek crossings on slipper rocks and/or logs
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Yellowstone backpacking trip a solitude 4. You can expect to see a couple of other groups per day.

MINIMUM OF 2 GUESTS

If a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 4-6 weeks before the departure date, and notify guests of changes and options immediately.

PRIVATE TRIPS

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

PRIVATE RATES FOR THIS TRIP

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
PDF Trip Itinerary Packet Book online
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 3 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 5.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 800/500ft

This trip starts off with picturesque views as we head from the parking lot straight into open fields that burst with wildflowers most of the Summer. We quickly gain open views high on a hillside, giving us a great vantage of Grizzly Lake. The trail continues through meadows often dotted with red, yellow, purple, and pink flowers before descending into a classic Lodgepole Pine forest. Along babbling Winter Creek, we set up a cozy backcountry base camp.

Day 2

  • Hiking Distance: optional day hike – 10.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2700ft

We get to enjoy a morning without breaking down camp before setting off for a good day’s hike. If we’re up for an attempt at summiting Mt. Holmes, the southern terminus of the Gallatins, we’re in for a full day of breathtaking views. The trail starts with a more gradual ascent but gets us above tree line very quickly. We spend most of the first couple miles traversing the lush southern hillside below Trilobite Point. We’ll make sure to keep our eyes peeled for bears, raptors, and herds of elk. As the trail gets steeper, we’ll marvel at the changes in plants, trees, and open space of each microclimate. Approaching the summit offers renewed spectacular views of Antler Peak, Dome Mountain, and others along with the glacial-fed lakes below them. The summit features the remnants of a fire watch tower that burned down after a lightning strike. This 360-view will take your breath away as you survey Electric Peak to the North all the way to the Tetons to the South on a clear day.

Day 3

  • Hiking Distance: optional day hike – 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000ft

For today’s layover, we will wrap around the foothills of Trilobite Point on the opposite side from the Mt. Holmes route. After a short tromp through luscious riparian zones, we ascend a great hill that wastes no time getting us wide open views because it is a burn area. The down trees make way for a panorama of Gardners Hole, Swan Lake Flats, and Bunsen Peak. From there, we head into a dense old growth forest that channels a lusciousness reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest. Trilobite Lake is literally and figuratively a hidden gem. This algae-laden lake, is tucked away by the density of the surrounding forest and the towers of peaks above it. It is a charming quiet spot to see what fish or woodland critters may be around.

Day 4

  • Hiking Distance: 5.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 500/800ft
  • Shuttle: 3 hours

On the last day, we will finally break down camp, enjoy a delicious breakfast, pack up the llamas and say goodbye to Winter Creek. We get to enjoy our first day’s hike again in the opposite direction and hopefully add some more wildlife sightings to our trip. We’ll enjoy one more nutritious lunch together before the scenic drive back to Jackson Hole.

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

  • Pack llamas to transport the majority of gear and food
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • 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
  • Roundtrip transportation from Jackson to the trailhead and back
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to Yellowstone

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% 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 trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

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!

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.

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

Travel to Jackson, WY

This trip begins and ends in Jackson, Wyoming. Jackson has an airport served by United, Delta, and American Airlines. A Black Car Service (307-413-2572) provides private airport shuttles (advance reservations are recommended.)

You can also fly into:

  • Idaho Falls – small, more affordable airport; can meet your guide in Driggs, ID instead of Jackson; requires a car rental
  • Salt Lake City – Salt Lake Express (800-356-9796 or 208-656-8824) and Alltrans (800-652-9510) offer daily shuttles (4.5 hours). Advance reservations required.

Pre and Post-trip On Request Lodging

We secure limited amounts of pre and post trip lodging in Jackson, Wyoming as an optional add-on for guests of this trip. This lodging is on request, and is available on a first come, first serve basis. If interested, please reach out directly to our team to check availability.

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 Precaution

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. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

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.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and 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.

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