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Scout Group in Yellowstone


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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #3739775
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    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.

    #3739783
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    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.

    #3739932
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    Thanks, Bruce. I will probably need to have options based on ability to get permits for this trip.

    #3739955
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: 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.

    #3739957
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    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.

     

    #3739976
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    @ Brad

    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.

    #3739982
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    @Bruce thanks. I’ll check that out. You had me at bisonburger.

    #3739986
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    @ 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.

    #3740012
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    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.

    #3747846
    Adam M
    BPL Member

    @amcfarland1

    Brad,

    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.

    #3748157
    Hopearotie
    BPL Member

    @hopearotieyahoo-com

    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.

    #3748224
    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member

    @balzaccom

    Locale: 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.

    #3748225
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    Great info, folks! Very much appreciated.

    #3751810
    Mark
    BPL Member

    @drshane-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2

    Locale: 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.

    #3752114
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    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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