Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hike to Shoshone Lake from Old Faithful

I was planning an overnight backpacking trip on my two days off here in Yellowstone. Most of the back country offices are closing now, the season being so late, so I elected to get to Old Faithful bright and early and see what campsites were available. I packed my gear, bear canister, bear spray, 800 power- fill Marmot sleeping bag, my custom prototype Brawny tent, on my retrofitted exterior frame. As you can see, I am a stealth, black and green girl.

As fate would have it, all the campsites were spoken for. The young kid manning the shop at the Ranger station couldn't seem to understand my objective, Continue my hike along the CDT in Yellowstone. Fine, all the sites are taken, I turn this into a day hike.

I got a late start because I waited for the ranger station to open. If I had called ahead and tried to reserve one, it would have cost $25 bucks. Sometimes we have to work because of co workers calling in sick, so back country permits are best when gotten at the last minute. Then, they're free.

I started at 9 a.m, met several guys hiking out. They had decent sized packs, had poles and could very well have been CDT hikers. Its the right time of year for Northbounders, maybe getting late, but about now is right. I was surprised to see these three bear boxes down at Lake Shoshone.

All along one could see evidence of the fact we do live on a volcano. Hot spots and steam rising were evident, then suddenly, I'm hiking through lush green forest. I passed many heading towards Old Faithful. I saw a green tent, and two rangers heading out from it around 11 a.m. We greeted each other. It was obvious they had day packs and would return to their tent later.

At 1:00 p.m I took a 15 minute lunch break.

The Lake had one kayaker on it, and I thought this spot would have made an ideal campsite with the bear boxes just down the trail.

There were many signs directing the hiker to various destinations, with mileages. The trail was well marked, unlike some other places in Yellowstone where bush wacking and general direction is all you can go by, just keep the river on your right in, on your left heading back.
All told this day hike was a wonderful 21 mile day, ending back at the Ranger station at 4:50. I took off my boots, put on flip flops and ate food from the bear canister I'd left in the car, along with other over night gear, like the tent, sleeping bag, and cook set.


  1. What a beautiful hike! I will add it to my bucket list. Have never been to Yellowstone, it is amazing. Can you winter there? I am always inspired when I reread your blogs and books. Our girl scout camp is in two weeks and I will be leading a night hike. Thank you so much for writting about your experiances. I have learned so much from you and I have shared much of it with our girl scout service unit and well as my own troop.

  2. Thanks Flo, I do hope to winter here. The jobs are scarce though, upper management getting first offers, taking whatever they can, even washing dishes. My fingers are crossed. If not here, I will hope to winter in the Grand Canyon.

    I appreciate your kind words and friendship, will continue to post on all my adventures.