Ten Yellowstone Backcountry Dayhikes

Dawn-To-Dusk Marathons
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Fawn Pass

It's best to coordinate with another group, starting from either end, for this hike. Swap car keys in the middle to avoid the very long vehicle shuttle. From whichever end you start, get going at dawn for this traverse of the Gallatin Range. To start at the east end, park at the Glen Creek Trailhead, 5 miles south of Mammoth on the Norris road. At 2 miles, turn southwest on the Fawn Pass Trail. Cross the Gardner River at 4 miles, and ford Fawn Creek twice in the next 1.5 miles. At 12 miles, reach Fawn Pass, with spectacular meadows and views over the Gallatin River valley. Descend steadily through more meadows, past the trail junctions for the Bighorn Cutoff (16 miles) and Fan Creek (19.5 miles) until you finally arrive at the parking area at milepost 22 along highway 191 (21 miles).

Pitchstone Plateau

The southwest corner of Yellowstone is little-visited. For most of this 18-mile hike, don't expect to see anyone, and be prepared to navigate across open country where trail marking tends to be sketchy. Start early at the trailhead located on the South Entrance road, about 2 miles south of Lewis Falls. The trail begins steeply, but then becomes more gradual as it climbs to the treeless grassland of the Pitchstone Plateau. At 4.5 miles you pass Phantom Fumarole and other thermal features. The high point of the hike is 8,715 feet, at roughly 8 miles. Enjoy views of the Tetons and Mt. Sheridan before starting the long descent. Cross Proposition Creek at mile 14.5, and two miles further, join the Mountain Ash Creek Trail. Another 1.5 miles brings you to the Ashton, Idaho - Flagg Ranch road at Grassy Reservoir.

Select a Hike Introduction,Short and Sweet, Remote Geysers, Moderate Hikes

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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