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The Teton/Washakie Wilderness Complex in the Upper Yellowstone River area south of Yellowstone Park is one of my favorite areas in the Rocky Mountains because it is big, wild and few people go there. After a couple of backpacking trips in the area, I decided to go back for a solo trip with a packraft to add a new challenge.

My plan was to take an off-trail route over the mountains to the Thorofare River, packraft down to the Yellowstone Park boundary, and then hike and raft back along the Buffalo River.

I ended up changing plans a bit due to high snow, but I met a grizzly bear, followed a pair of bald eagles, floated two rivers, and saw no one for 4 days.

My trip didn’t go as planned but it reinforced lessons I’d learned earlier about trip planning, being flexible and not getting into bad situations.

Photo Essay

Togwotee Pass, Schmidt Exploring Upper Yellowstone River
The view starting out near Togwotee Pass. I met two day-hikers here from the Togwotee Lodge. They were the last people I would see for four days.
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