Observation Peak Trek

Yellowstone National Park, WY
5.0 (1 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Great Family Trip
  • Camp Near Cascade Lake
  • Historic Fire Lookout
  • Amazing Views
  • Short Hiking Distances
  • Day Hike to Observation Peak
  • Opportunities to See Wildlife

Description

This Yellowstone backpacking tour is a great opportunity to get younger kids away from the busy highways and give them a taste of camping in the amazing backcountry of Yellowstone. It can be done in 2 or 3 days, and it features beautiful but mellow hiking with low mileages (only 2.7 miles in and out of camp). We enjoy camping on the shores of a pristine lake, hiking to a lookout tower for amazing views, campfires (weather permitting), and enjoying Yellowstone’s stunning wilderness!

The sunsets and sunrises from our lakeside camp are breathtaking. On the 2-day itinerary we’ll continue hiking to Observation Peak the first day, but on the 3-day itinerary we’ll hike to Grebe Lake, which is a fantastic area for wildlife. That evening we’ll enjoy a big, tasty dinner at our cozy camp.


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!

2 Days
$645 Per Person
3 Days
$975 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: 2-3 Days
Distance: 10MI / 16KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

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:
20-30 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
2.5-6 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1400 feet day hiking
Most Elevation Gain:
1400 feet day hiking
Quality of Trails:
Well maintained
Additional:
This trip is rated Level 2 Difficulty because of the low daily mileages and little elevation gain/loss while hiking with multi-day backpacks.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise regularly
  3. be comfortable hiking 2-3 miles in hilly our mountainous terrain with a 20 pound backpack

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Yellowstone backpacking trip a solitude 3. You can expect to see other hikers occasionally throughout the trip.

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

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 3-hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 2.7 miles + 4 miles day hiking
  • Elevation Gain: 200 feet

From Jackson we’ll drive through the Southern Yellowstone to the Cascade Creek Trailhead. Wildlife is typically seen on the way to the trailhead. It is a 2.7-mile hike to Cascade Lake, a picturesque lake with excellent fishing where we’ll make camp. Following lunch there will be an optional day hike to Grebe Lake, the headwaters of the Gibbon River. Grebe Lake is one of just a few lakes in the park that is home to the arctic grayling, a rare and unusual looking fish native to Yellowstone. Various waterfowl frequent the lake and deer and moose are sometimes spotted along the shore.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles (optional day hike)
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,300 feet

Following a casual morning and delicious breakfast we’ll commence our ascent of Observation Peak. From the lake, it is 2.5 miles of steady uphill through open meadows and whitebark pine forest to the summit, 1,300 feet above the lake. Observation Peak possesses an abandoned, rustic fire lookout and a 360-degree panorama of portions of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. The Gallatin and Absaroka ranges are visible, as well as portions of Yellowstone Lake and the Central Plateau.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 2.7 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 200 feet
  • Shuttle: 3-hours

Following another casual morning and delicious breakfast we’ll pack up and hike the final 2.7 miles back to civilization.

2-day Variation

For a 2-day itinerary we’ll ascend Observation Peak after setting up camp on day 1. On the morning of day 2 we’ll hike out to Grebe Lake before packing up camp and hiking out that afternoon.

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

This tour is booked on a custom basis for private groups so does not have set dates (requested dates are almost always available). Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to schedule your hike!

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, Wyoming 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.

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)
  • 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 (1 reviews)
Liz S.
5.0

Fun family trip

4 years ago

Brian was great! The trip was me and my three hyper 13 and under kids and he was really engaging with them and they loved him and the trip and had so much fun

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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