The Thorofare

Yellowstone National Park, WY
5.0 (24 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Pristine Wildernesses
  • USA's Longest Undammed River
  • Vibrant Wildlife Habitat
  • Layover Day to Explore
  • Scenic Boat Shuttle
  • Yellowstone Meadows & River Valleys
  • Dramatic Night Skies


Do you want to have an unforgettable adventure this summer? If so, the Thorofare backpacking trip is for you! This trip is a 7 day/6 night hiking adventure into the headwater basin of the Yellowstone River, arguably the most pristine and remote area in the Continental United States. Rich with wildlife, mountain views, vast meadow systems, roaring rivers, crystal clear creeks, and feeling of wildness, this trip is truly spectacular!

We catch a boat shuttle from Bridge Bay Marina to the beginning of our hike along the eastern edge of Yellowstone Lake. From here we hike to the South end of the lake, where the mouth of the Yellowstone River marks the beginning of the Thorofare Country. For 3 more days we hike up the Yellowstone River into some of the most remote wilderness in the continental United States. The chances of seeing wildlife are very good (although never guaranteed of course), as this area is the Eden of Yellowstone’s animal habitat. Bring your fly rod along if you’re a fisherman, and you’ll have the opportunity to catch 20 inch native cutthroat trout. Bring your camera along if you’re a photographer, and you’ll be shooting pictures of the most pristine area in Yellowstone. On day 5 we begin our hike back to Yellowstone Lake, exploring and scouting for wildlife along the 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 …
From USD
$2440 Per Person
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 2-5 Guests
Trip Length: 7 Days
Distance: 44MI / 70KM


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

The difficulty of this trip comes mostly from pack weight and remoteness. Although the hiking is fairly moderate, there is elevation change most days and some sections of the trail can be loose from horse traffic. This area is said to be the most remote section of land in the contiguous US.

Hiking Distances:

6-10 mi

Backpack Weight:

45+ lbs


Lightly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 2000 ft

Heights Exposure:


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.


  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 45+ lb backpack for 8-10 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on lightly rugged terrain
  • Crossing creeks and rivers on slippery rocks and/or logs
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Yellowstone backpacking trip a solitude 5. You can expect to see no more than a handful of other groups throughout the duration of your trip. This is a wonderfully serene and wild area where wildlife are abundant.


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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Day 1

  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 2.5-hour drive
  • Hiking Mileage: 8.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 100 feet

This unforgettable Yellowstone backpacking adventure starts from Bridge Bay Marina on the north end of Yellowstone Lake, where we catch a boat shuttle that will drop us off 9 miles away along the the Southeast Arm of the lake. During the boat ride, and also once we’re hiking, we’ll have fantastic views of Mt. Doane and Mt. Stevenson. Dot and Frank Islands meanwhile aid in grasping the size of Yellowstone Lake. It is over 20 miles long, 14 miles wide and 300 feet deep. Scientists believe it is part of the ancient caldera of Yellowstone’s supervolcano. Once on shore, we’ll hike 8 miles to our camp at Beaverdam Creek, which marks the beginning of the valley of the Upper Yellowstone River. Camp for the evening is atop a bluff overlooking the creek and the expanse of the Thorofare!

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 7.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: marginal

After crossing Beaverdam Creek we hike through thick willows and enter the broad meadows of the upper valley. Moose are sometimes encountered lounging among the willows. Another mile of hiking brings us to burned forests from the fires of 1988. Now over a quarter century old, the cleansing, regenerative effects of the fire are clearly evident. We’ll make camp this evening in the vicinity of Trapper Creek, with spectacular views of the Trident (a series of rocky escarpments) to the south and Turret and Table Mountain to the east. Occasionally wolves can be heard howling from this part of the valley in the late evening and early morning.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 450 feet

The next morning we’ll hike deeper into the Thorofare, as our trip continues south, paralleling the Yellowstone River. Often following grizzly or wolf tracks on the trail, we continue to scout for wildlife as we hike. We’ll hike a short distance downstream from camp to a large tributary of the Yellowstone River named Mountain Creek. We’ll depart the valley here and hike upstream along Mountain Creek to its junction with Howell Creek. We’ll then hike a few miles up Howell Creek to camp near the park boundary. We’ll have the opportunity to sleep in one of the most remote areas of the Continental United States.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 4-10 miles (optional day hike)
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1250 feet

Day 4 is exciting for two reasons. The first is that we’re not moving camp! We’ll sleep in and enjoy a delicious breakfast before embarking on a spectacular day hike to Eagle Pass, the second exciting part of the day. Several miles up Howell Creek the trail steepens and ascends through classic Yellowstone subalpine terrain to Eagle Pass. This will place us just below Eagle Peak, the highest peak in Yellowstone at 11,358 feet. Here we will have brilliant views of the wild and beautiful Absaroka Mountains to the east.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 350 feet

On day 5 we’ll begin our hike back toward Yellowstone Lake, enjoying the wildlife, wildness and views as we go. The views hiking back north are very different than they were on the way in. As we hike we’re watching the Yellowstone River flow into Yellowstone Lake and the Gallatin Mountains in the distance. Our camp will be near the Yellowstone if not right on its shores.

Day 6

  • Hiking Mileage: 9.9 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 150 feet

Day 6 we’ll continue hiking back through the Yellowstone River valley to a camp right on the shores of Yellowstone Lake.

Day 7

  • Hiking Mileage: 4.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: marginal
  • Shuttle: 2.5-hour drive

On day 7 we’ll hike along the eastern edge of Yellowstone Lake and catch the boat shuttle back to Bridge Bay Marina. A comfortable drive through Yellowstone National Park back to our hotels ends this amazing backpacking trip.

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


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

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


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


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, WY; Victor, ID or Driggs, ID
  • 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

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, 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?

At 5:00 PM the evening before Day 1, your guide will conduct a virtual orientation meeting (via conference call) at 5:00 PM 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 Details

This trip begins and ends in Jackson, WY, with pick-up also available in Driggs and Victor, ID.

You can fly into:

  • Jackson Hole – some hotels and several transportation companies provide airport shuttles.
  • Idaho Falls – small, more affordable airport; Salt Lake Express (208-656-8824) offers 2 daily shuttles between Idaho Falls and Jackson.
  • Salt Lake City – Salt Lake Express (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 4 and 6 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.

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 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)





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.


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.


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 (24 reviews)
Dustin G

Unique and untouched part of America.

9 months ago

Awesome experience! Incredibly beautiful in the thorofare. It just felt wild out there and is extremely remote. We saw elk, bison, bobcat, mountain lion, wolf, and grizzly tracks. We heard a pack of wolves 2nd day in the evening howling. We heard elk almost every night. Guide was able to point out interesting facts about what we saw from wildlife tracks to rock formations. Food was incredible tasting and there was enough to feel satisfied after hiking 8 miles with a heavy backpack. Highly recommend seeing such a unique and untouched part of America.

Sam P

Had an amazing trip

11 months ago

Dani went above and beyond. She was patient with my wife and my dad who were slower hikers, and she tolerated my crude sense of humor. My wife and I are big on leave no trace and she definitely surpassed our standards. The menu she made was excellent there was not a bad meal once and there was always more than enough food. I think I can speak for the group when I say we were all very impressed with her cooking ability, and we were not expecting to eat that good in the back country. The trip was amazing we didn't see anyone outside of our group for 6 days! The area was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Dani was very strict with the bear awareness and we did not have a single incident, eventhough we had bears all over the place. On trips like this I feel like a guide can really make or break a trip and I feel like Dani really made this trip for us. She was knowledgeable about the local flowers and plants that were in full bloom. Pointed out various animal foot prints, and even knew detailed history of the park. We had an amazing trip and I can't brag enough.

Billy B


11 months ago

It will be hard to find a better guide than Danielle Tilley. She is excellent!

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