Mountain Country Trek

Yellowstone National Park, WY
5.0 (11 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Mountain Passes & Peaks
  • Pristine River & Lakes
  • Mountain Solitude
  • Point to Point Thru-hike
  • Iconic Meadow Systems
  • Potential to See Wildlife
  • Dramatic Night Skies

Description

In Northwestern Yellowstone, the Gallatin Mountain Range climbs high above the rest of the Park providing a spectacular setting for this backpacking trip! Offered as a four or five day option, it can be a relatively short enhancement to your Yellowstone visit or a vacation in and of itself. Featuring the best of Yellowstone’s mountain country – rivers, meadows, lakes, deep forests, treeline passes, and alpine ridge hiking – this trek is one of the best!

We’ll start hiking near Paradise Valley – one of the most beautiful and wildlife-rich areas in Yellowstone National Park. From there we’ll gradually hike uphill to our first night’s camp, nestled beneath towering alpine peaks and near a pristine mountain creek. From there it’s a beautiful hike over a high mountain pass and through to the other side of the Gallatin Mountains, with potential wildlife sighting opportunities the whole way.


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!

Read more …
4 Days From
$1540 Per Person
5 Days From
$1725 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: 4-5 Days
Distance: 25MI / 40KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

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

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
Both ends of this trip are on well-maintaned trails, with more rugged hiking in the middle of the trip. The climb up towards Electric Peak is steep and very rugged (which earns the “significantly rugged” rating). The trail becomes worse the higher we ascend. Other sections of our trails can be loose and steep, and lingering snowfields can add difficulty near a high pass. There is one major crossing of the Gardiner River, but it is a moderate ford.

Hiking Distances:

3-8 mi

Backpack Weight:

35-45 lbs

Terrain:

Significantly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

3000 ft

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 35-45 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on significantly rugged terrain
  • One moderate river crossing
* 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 no more than a couple of other groups per day.

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.

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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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

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

This fantastic Yellowstone backpacking tour begins at a trailhead in northwestern Yellowstone. 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 gradual but steady uphill hiking through meadows and stands of pine and fir to camp on the banks of the Gardner River, one Yellowstone’s finest rivers.

Day 2

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

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: 1800 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2100 feet

Day 3 begins with a 3-mile hike and 1,800’ of elevation gain to Electric Pass, on the southwestern shoulder of Electric Peak. There are more tremendous views from here. We’ll then hike down the valley on the other side, losing 2,100’ of elevation to Sportsman Lake. Here we’ll have 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 and offers great evening hiking opportunities.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 800 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 110 feet

The first mile of hiking on Day 4 passes through a large swath of burned forest from the 1988 forest fires. This will be a good opportunity to witness the natural progression of Yellowstone’s fire-dependent lodgepole pine forests. Young trees blanket the landscape and some grow to nearly 20 feet tall. After topping out on a high ridge we’ll leave the burned timber and hike into a beautiful forest and the splendor of Fan Creek. This part of the hike gets light use by other backpackers, which may surprise you when you see how truly beautiful it is.

Day 5 (excluded on 4-day itinerary)

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 400 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 700 feet
  • Shuttle: 3.5-hour drive

The rest of the hike is slightly downhill through open country all the way to the trailhead. Moose and bears are frequently seen in this portion of the hike. The hike ends in the beautiful Gallatin River Valley near the confluence of Fan Creek and the majestic Gallatin River.

Variations

This route can also be done in 4 or 5 days. A 4-day itinerary can involve either skipping the layover day to climb Electric Peak or climbing Electric Peak and hiking all the way out from Sportsman Lake on day 4.

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. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

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
  • 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.
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jackson Hole 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 communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to Yellowstone
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • 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 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.

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 Precautions

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.

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.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (11 reviews)
Bruce W
5.0

Fun time was had by all

1 year ago

First time with Wild Land Trekking. Professional, knowledgeable with obvious experience. Food was phenomenal. Fun time was had by all.

Bruce P.
5.0

Incredible guide

3 years ago

Matt was an incredible guide and worked very hard to make our trip a wonderful experience. At the same time he has a very relaxed and enjoyable demeanor which is exactly want you want in an outdoor experience.

Jennifer M.
5.0

We had a Wonderful Trip

3 years ago

It was a wonderful trip,the weather was perfect and the information we received in preparation of the trip was spot on. Matt was the perfect guide for our group and I'm not sure I'd want to backpack with out him on a future trip. We look forward to our next adventure with Wildland Trekking!

See All Guest Reviews!

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