Great Loop Section #1

9/1/14-9/5/14     45.6 miles

The plan was simple.  We were going to spend our September hiking in Yellowstone National Park. 30 days, 300 miles, one step at a time in the worlds first national park.

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30 days worth of food organized and divided into 5 resupplies.

“Let’s do this.”


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For the next 30 days our objective was very simple.  We would be following 4″x 2″ florescent orange trail markers through Yellowstone National Park.  These markers would act as our guides, and often be a daily gauge of how we felt the trip was progressing. After extended periods without sighting a marker we could feel the uncertainty begin to creep into our thoughts. Upon sighting on of these little beacons of direction we would beam with confidence, proud of our wilderness prowess.

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We started our trip just outside of Island Park, Idaho.  After a few miles of forest service road we entered Yellowstone near the Buffalo Lake Ranger’s cabin.  Our first night we camped along the beach next to Buffalo Lake.

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Zack crossing boundary creek.

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Bear hangs prepped and ready for the evening.

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The first few nights were colder than we had expected.  We found ourselves wishing that we had brought along sleeping bag liners for a little extra warmth at night.

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On day five we forded the Fall river and made our way along the south boundary trail. This stretch of the route was certainly a bit uninspiring.  Long stretches of wide straight trail, at times it felt just like we were walking along a road.  After 9 miles of hiking we intersected the South Entrance Road.  The next two miles were really the most difficult stretch.  Road walking always kills the feet, but we made it safely to Flagg Ranch and celebrated with beers!

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 First resupply at Flagg Ranch, 2 miles south of Yellowstone.

The weekend before we started the trip we had driven from Bozeman down to Flagg Ranch with hopes to stash our resupply buckets.  The front desk staff at Flagg Ranch was awesome and readily agreed to put our two five gallon buckets in a safe place until we retrieved them.  Thank you!

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