Early season in Yellowstone National Park means snow melt. Many of the creeks and rivers are swollen and most likely impassable. The trail may also become a marsh. I didn’t think of this when I originally sold the idea of backpacking here to Brenna and Bradley (pictured below),
specially the idea of hiking around Shoshone Lake and down Bechler River trail. But it became clear after a quick look on the backcountry situation report on the Yellowstone NPS webpage was that our plans would have to change for the beginning of June. So sometimes the lesson here is just going with what’s available or take the advice of a ranger. That’s how we ended up following the early season roars of the well names Hellroaring Creek and Yellowstone River for a few days. We were even joined by a local.
Note from John (website editor & author) on 2022/12: When I started to writing this report earlier in the year, the northern portion of Yellowstone National Park flooded knocking out several roads including the portions between Gardiner, MT and Cooke City, MT (NPR). While the road that’s part of the Northern Loop where the trailheads for this hike are located on has reopened, I don’t have exact information about the backcountry conditions and bridges status. Please check with the Yellowstone backcountry status report for more up to date information (NPS). So this report is most likely dated already… which is part of the reason I had stopped working on this series. But back on the saddle I go.
This is the third entry of our 2021 Wyoming trip series covering our backpacking trip up Hellroaring Creek, Yellowstone River, & Blacktail Deer Creek (3). You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.