Scout Group in Yellowstone
Feb 10, 2022 at 6:26 am #3739775
I’m still researching options for our troop in 2023 to present to the troop. One option I’m considering is Yellowstone. Do any of you have experience getting group backcountry permits? Another option is to use campgrounds as a base and day hike.
I might look at a couple of days in Yellowstone and then do a loop in Cirque of the Towers. I know it’s crowded, but (currently) no permits, which simplifies things for a group of 10-12.Feb 10, 2022 at 9:21 am #3739783
I don’t have any experience backpacking in Yellowstone. But when I was there with the family day hiking 10 years ago my experience was that most of the crowds are around Old Faithful and the other postcard sites. On any one trail, once you hike about 2 miles, you had the trail to yourself. Things might be different now with COVID and increased use of outdoor recreation areas.
The two least visited National Parks in the western USA are Lassen Volcanic NP in California and Great Basin NP in Nevada.Feb 11, 2022 at 9:33 am #3739932
Thanks, Bruce. I will probably need to have options based on ability to get permits for this trip.Feb 11, 2022 at 12:07 pm #3739955David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I concur with Bruce that 1) leaving the boardwalks in Yellowstone leaves most everyone else behind, 2) Great Basin NP, once you’re away from the visitor’s center at Lehman Caves, is even less utilized although water-hauling/caching can be an issue, and 3) Lassen is what I considered the “right-sized” NP. Lots to do (caves, volcanic features, summit the peak, fish, swim, hike, backpack) but small enough that you start to recognize other park visitors at the road-side features. There are a variety of out-and-back or loop backpacking trips possible in Lassen.
Be aware that those three NPs have some to a lot of elevation so sea-level Scoutmasters will be huffing and puffing and any laxness around hats, long sleeves and sunscreen can result in bad sunburns.Feb 11, 2022 at 12:37 pm #3739957
I just took a look on Alltrails for Lassen Volcanic National Park, filtered for backpacking, and most of them are closed due to the Dixie Fire. Even if they open this year, I wonder how scenic it is now.Feb 11, 2022 at 5:22 pm #3739976
I was looking at the maps and in email conversation with the Lassen Rangers about a potential snow camping outing in to the backcountry. The only part closed is Warner Valley. Given the volcanic soil, there will be some fantastic wildflowers. There is a map of the closed area if you scroll down on this page here: https://www.nps.gov/lavo/learn/management/compendium.htm (On an earlier page, the Rangers have also posted links to all the USGS quad maps that cover Lassen.
If Lassen is of any interest, email the rangers and ask them what kind of shape, how scenic, etc the backcountry will be in this summer. Great Basin has bigger mountains
And you can get Bison Cheeseburgers at the Mineral Lodge right outside Lassen before or after your trek.Feb 11, 2022 at 6:21 pm #3739982Feb 11, 2022 at 7:12 pm #3739986
@ Brad. I have never backpacked in Lassen. Just lots of snow camping and many day hikes.
But as David points out, the elevation changes can be deceiving for the newly arrived visitor. There is a long trail up Brokeoff Mountain that ascends gently but continuously and without mercy but ends with a glorious view.Feb 12, 2022 at 8:05 am #3740012
Lassen is very close to Mt Shasta. If there is any snow on Mt Shasta, you could book a climb with one of the guide services. I know an Eagle Scout who works for one of the outfits whom you could ask for.Apr 28, 2022 at 9:25 am #3747846Adam MBPL Member
For Yellowstone options, check out the Bechler trail. Your group could do an out an back or one way if you can work out the shuttle. The trail isn’t difficult, but there are a few river crossings that will be waste deep for younger scouts. Maybe look into the Alaska Basin, accessing from the west side (Targhee area). I think your group size is well within their limits. There’s a BSA camp between Yellowstone and Teton NP, Camp Loll. They do a couple of treks from their camp, including Bechler. Check out their website for ideas: https://www.utahscouts.org/loll.May 2, 2022 at 1:34 pm #3748157HopearotieBPL Member
I agree with Adam M. I’ve backpacked Bechler and it’s not busy (compared to the rest of Yellowstone) sites are at least 1/2 mile apart. This was one of my first ever backpacking trips. Easy, great views, and fun swimming holes. Pack bug repellent. All sites have a bear hang, fire ring, and pit toilet.May 3, 2022 at 10:11 am #3748224Paul WagnerBPL Member
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
As a long time fan of Lassen, I have real concerns about the damage the Dixie fire did there. The whole east half of the park was burned ..which is also prime backpacking country, due to how it connects with the Caribou Wilderness next door. It was also burned.
I concur about the trails in Yellowstone. It isn’t two miles, it’s one mile and you leave everyone behind.May 3, 2022 at 10:27 am #3748225
Great info, folks! Very much appreciated.Jun 11, 2022 at 7:51 am #3751810MarkBPL Member
@drshane-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2Locale: Northwest Wyoming
All YNP backcountry camp sites are by reservation only. Get your permit ASAP. You must attend a mandatory orientation at a backcountry ranger station when you pick up your permit. Group size is limited to 10-12 depending on the camp sites you will be using.Jun 15, 2022 at 5:45 am #3752114
All YNP backcountry camp sites are by reservation only. Get your permit ASAP. You must attend a mandatory orientation at a backcountry ranger station when you pick up your permit. Group size is limited to 10-12 depending on the camp sites you will be using.
Yeah, I’ve looked into that. And now I need to see if the flooding has any impact on this possible trip.
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