This loop trail is a great overnighter or long Day trip. Great scenery and options of side trip to 4 lakes make this a spectacular trip. An other point that sets this trail apart is that it is one of the flattest 15 mile loops to be found in the Rocky Mountains! One drawback to this route may be the number and size of the river crossings. You will cross the Bechler River, Falls River (twice), and Mountain Ash Creek.
The hike begins on the South Boundary Trail which you follow to Cave Falls Road. You will ford the Falls river here, it is a significant crossing, deep and fast with lots of rocks.
One could also start this hike from either the Cave Falls or Fish Lake Meadows trailheads.
Yellowstone has a designated backcountry campsite system, and a Backcountry Use Permit is required for all overnight stays. Each designated campsite has a maximum limit for the number of people and stock allowed per night. The maximum stay per campsite varies from 1 to 3 nights per trip. Campfires are permitted only in established fire pits. Wood fires are not allowed in some backcountry campsites. A food storage pole is provided at most designated campsites so that food and attractants may be secured from bears. Neither hunting nor firearms are allowed in Yellowstone's backcountry.
Permits may be obtained only in person and no more than 48 hours in advance of your trip.Permits are available from most ranger stations and visitor centers. In order to obtain the best information on trail conditions, permits should be obtained from the ranger station or visitor center nearest to the area where your trip is to begin. The Backcountry Use Permit is valid
only for the itinerary and dates specified. Backcountry travelers must have their permits in possession while in the backcountry.
Directions: From Flagg Ranch or Ashton Idaho, The route in from Flagg Ranch is more scenic and rougher. Flagg Ranch is located just south of the park on the Ashton-Flagg road, past Grassy Lake Reservoir. Watch for a signed junction, turn right toward Cave Falls Road and right again onto Cave Falls Road. Continue about 2 miles to a junction where the pavement starts, turn left here to reach the trailhead at the ranger station. Allow 2.5 hours from Flagg Ranch.To get to the Ranger Station/ Trailhead from the west, either Ashton Idaho or West Yellowstone, take Idaho Highway 47 . Follow this highway to Green Timber Road, which turns into Cave Falls Road. Allow 1 hour from Ashton, Idaho a distance of 22 miles.
Elevation: 6,400 feet
Elevation Gain: Minimal
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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