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Alaska, Yellowstone, and awesome group trips for 2013! Let's plan now!
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Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Alaska, Yellowstone, and awesome group trips for 2013! Let's plan now! on 12/31/2012 14:44:06 MST Print View

Hey gang.

2013 is upon us !

Let's plan some amazing group trips for 2013.

I'm really eager to try out Alaska, and explore more of Yellowstone!

We're far enough out that we can book tickets for decent prices. I'm in California but I'm willing to fly anywhere within the US.

We also have *plenty* of time to do research.

Personally I'd like to explore more places which still have megafauna (grizzlies, elk, bison, etc).

- Alaska. Maybe a group trek doing around 100-150 miles over a 2 week period in Denali?

- Yellowstone. I went through the Lamar valley in summer 2012 and would like to explore more of the park. My takeaways are that you need to really research your route because a good portion of the park is barren / dry and there may not be any wildlife.

I think what we should do is pick 2-5 destinations and proposals for when we want to go ... then maybe create threads for each one so people can collaborate on trip planning.

I did planning for Yellowstone last year so I have a pretty good idea of how to organize that one...


Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Yellowstone 2013 on 01/01/2013 08:40:38 MST Print View


I could certainly be talked into the Thorofare or Gallatin Skyline/Sportsman's Lake routes in YNP or the Teton Crest in nearby Grand Teton NP. Let me know if I can help in planning. Thorofare is August-mid September, Gallatin late August, Teton Crest probably September.


Robert Burke
(coastiebob) - MLife

Locale: Wishing I was Backpacking
Sounds Great! on 01/01/2013 13:03:39 MST Print View

I would also be interested in Glacier and the Windrivers. Thanks for bringing up this thread!

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Yellowstone 2013 on 01/01/2013 16:16:16 MST Print View

OK... I'll look into those routes now... I'm going to pull out my map.

Have you been to Yellowstone before?

My takeaway from my first trip is that doing research prior can really help with finding an ideal trail/route.

The route we took into the Lamar Valley was VERY dry and without many trees so it was a bit like being in the African Savannah...

Here are my pics:

We saw a LOT of skulls. Probably 5 or so...

Ideally I'd like to at least hit a river so I can bring my rod and catch us dinner. I'm an avid fisherman and the rivers in Yellowstone are world famous.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Sounds Great! on 01/01/2013 16:21:15 MST Print View

I'm down for Glacier NP as well...

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Yellowstone 2013 on 01/01/2013 19:17:07 MST Print View

The Thorofare is considered one of the top cutthroat trout fisheries in the world. The other two routes I suggested, Gallatin Skyline and Teton Crest have little fishing. The Bechler River trail in Yellowstone's northwest corner is a gorgeous hike and great fishing too.

I've been to Yellowstone many times and now live close by, so I'm familiar with route and campsite planning. Last summer was very dry and on most routes in YNP water isn't a problem. Anything in Grand Teton NP requires careful attention to water sources.

Keep me posted on your plans.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Yellowstone 2013 on 01/01/2013 19:33:22 MST Print View

OK. The Thorofare trail looks really nice ... plenty of water, fishing, and great views.

Here's a good overview of it for other people reading this thread;

We should figure out the number of days for the trip. Probably 5 work days including two weekends for 9 days is ideal for most people.

I might personally take 2 weeks off and do a second week by myself.

The Bechler River Trail also looks nice...

but it's in the southwest (are we talking about the same one?)

I'm also down for 10-20 miles each day but not sure of the general fitness level of the group we should target.

I can do 5-10 per day if we are fishing :) Plenty of time on the water to catch dinner!

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Bechler River trail on 01/02/2013 08:21:24 MST Print View

Kevin, you are right; I misspoke, Bechler River is in the southwestern corner of the park. I believe that the Bechler is catch and release only. Not sure about Boundary Creek and Shoshone Creek, two tributaries with good fishing.


Yes 1000
5-10 on 01/03/2013 23:05:19 MST Print View

I'm interested if its 5-10 Miles a day with moderate elevation gain.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Western Montana on 01/04/2013 00:20:04 MST Print View

I would be in for Glacier NP or anywhere in Western Montana, but only can do July.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Montana on 01/04/2013 07:20:20 MST Print View

The Bechler is a great place to fish. A variety of species, native and non, and you can keep and eat the non-native (and huge) rainbows in the lower reaches. With a car shuttle a big southern loop through the Bechler and over to the Thorofare and up along Yellowstone Lake is a great trip with fantastic fishing the whole way. Some potentially big river crossings and Grizz closures make it better later in the summer.

It'd be my pleasure to meet some BPLers and show them around Glacier. I'd recommend either embrace the snow (ice axe) and come in late June, or wait until September when the crowds have thinned. August is pretty Yosemite-style and thus a bit of a nuisance.

Yes 1000
YNP in July on 01/04/2013 14:48:46 MST Print View

I was in YNP in July last year during the July 4th holidays and it was crowded. Although I just car camped and hiked few short trails. I would love to go back and get away from the crowds and go hike in the interior parts of the park.

Edited by mamamia on 01/04/2013 18:53:14 MST.

Scott Truong

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Alaska, Yellowstone, and awesome group trips for 2013! Let's plan now on 01/04/2013 18:50:44 MST Print View

If you guys don't mind me tagging along, I'd be super stoked about anything in Montana or Wyoming, an extra huge bonus if it involves fishing.

As long as know a month in advance, I can come whenever. Great thread. Thanks.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: RE: Alaska, Yellowstone, and awesome group trips for 2013! Let's plan now on 01/05/2013 19:06:28 MST Print View

Yeah... let's do it. Seems like there are 3 people showing interest... two of whom want fishing.

We're looking at two trails on the southern end of the park.

I'm game for either. I figure that my goal is to explore the entire park, so starting ANYWHERE is fine.

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
Yellowstone on 01/05/2013 19:08:27 MST Print View

I have never been to Yellowstone or the Tetons and I'm dying...I mean DYING to go.

There, I said it. :)

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Re: RE: Alaska, Yellowstone, and awesome group trips for 2013! Let's plan now on 01/05/2013 19:11:35 MST Print View

We should probably create a thread JUST for Yellowstone.

Let's shoot for 9 days. 5 work days + two weekends.

Southern portion of Yellowstone, near rivers for fishing.

Should we shoot for spring or summer? I don't mind dealing with a bit of snow, especially if it is hot during the day.

I also found that the BEST way into the park from Jackson Hole is to hitchhike...

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Yellowstone on 01/05/2013 19:43:05 MST Print View

Come with us !!! I think you will be the fourth..

The Grand Tetons are amazing. The only downside is that the lake was very occupied while I was there.. It has a 'mall' feeling but once you're over the mountains it's great and very little people.

We could also create a thread for the Grand Tetons and / or Glacier NP ...

Maybe we should just create the threads and allow people to jump in and plan the trips.

Maybe do them back to back so someone could do ALL of them?

Yes 1000
Fishing on 01/05/2013 19:56:05 MST Print View

I'm not that good in fishing, but have caught a trout here and there :-)

It would be nice if we can look for something like long weekends and take off from work for rest of the days. Not sure if spring is the right season if there is still lots of snow. Have to go when it is warm, flowers, blossoming not much snow on the ground and those lovely reddots (Bison calfs) running all around :-)

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Fishing on 01/05/2013 23:24:14 MST Print View

I think this is a good point. For the yellowstone trip we should try to figure out the ideal time to go...

The only downside I can think of a three day weekend is perhaps EVERYONE will have the same idea so a commute might be a bit more expensive.

But a 3+3+5 (11) day trip would rock.

It might also be possible to split it in half and make it back to the road so that another party could join up. Not everyone can take that long off from work.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Yellowstone 2013 on 01/06/2013 07:49:21 MST Print View

If the Bechler is part of the route, I strongly recommend early September at the earliest. The southwest corner of the Park is the lowest point in the Park and is boggy and buggy through August. Another consideration is that the campsites there tend to fill up quickly so if we choose that we should be ready to apply when the backcountry office begins taking reservations (mid-April).

I'd really like to include the Thorofare. As Dave pointed out, the later the better there too because of the fords.