Yellowstone Backpacking Tours

Phone Number for Wyoming Hiking Guides

Bechler Llama Traverse

Highlights

  • See Yellowstone's largest backcountry geyser
  • Explore the amazing Shoshone Geyser Basin and Shoshone Lake
  • Traverse the stunning Bechler River Canyon
  • See multiple, amazing waterfalls
  • Enjoy great opportunities to see wildlife (not guaranteed)
  • Soak in hot springs
  • Hike in comfort with just a light day pack
  • Enjoy our top-notch service and wonderful llamas!


Description

You're not like to experience a trek as special and enchanting as this traverse of the stunning Bechler River Valley in Yellowstone National Park (check out a video)! This is our most popular Yellowstone llama trek because it so amply provides the opportunity to experience the iconic features of Yellowstone in the backcountry, away from the crowded highways and boardwalks. Having it all to ourselves, we'll check out backcountry geysers, pristine rivers and streams, mountain lakes, hot springs (yes, we can soak in them!), thundering waterfalls, and the picturesque meadow systems of Yellowstone, all in the wilderness.

The Bechler Llama Traverse is arguably the crown jewel of Yellowstone's backcountry hiking because it truly has it all. Give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information or to reserve your spot.

Please note: Due to Yellowstone's permit system, it's best to register before March 1st of the year you'd like to hike with us. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more!



 


Yellowstone Llama Trek Photos

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to Trailhead: 2.5 hours
Hiking Mileage: 6.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Elevation Loss: 200 feet


This Yellowstone llama trek starts with an exciting first day as we hike to the largest backcountry geyser in Yellowstone: Lonestar Geyser. With some good fortune, we’ll see its 70-foot eruption of boiling water. From Lonestar Geyser we hike along the Firehole River, then over the Continental Divide to tonight's camp at Shoshone Lake, one of the largest backcountry lakes in in the Continental United States and the backdrop for the amazing Shoshone Geyser Basin. The geyser basin is home to an incredible number of geysers, each with a unique "personality" - there are bubbling pools, frothing potholes, out-of-this-world shaped mounds spewing fountain-like streams of scalding water into the air and grumbling crevasses. We'll end our day with a hearty meal, raging campfire, and a wonderful night's sleep.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 650 feet
Elevation Loss: 1350 feet

The second day's hike begins with a climb to the high point of the trip, a plateau of lush meadows and thick forests. A long day’s hike brings us to the headwaters of the Bechler River and then a ways into Bechler Canyon. After making camp near the river we’ll explore the valley’s first remarkable feature: "Mr. Bubbles," a series of hot springs fit for royalty. Bring your bathing suit because we’ll take some time to lounge in the hot water while enjoying the peaceful scenery of Bechler Canyon.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 100 feet


Today is a layover day to soak up the beauty of this amazing canyon, and to soak in the Mr Bubbles hot springs some more. We'll enjoy a hearty breakfast, a wonderful lunch, some great hiking and soaking, and finally a feast of a dinner around a roaring campfire. You'll have time to enjoy a good book, relax, do some exploring on your own, or possibly some fishing if that's your thing.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 5.6 miles
Elevation Gain: minimal
Elevation Loss: 700 feet

Hiking further down canyon we’ll do two longer river crossings which could be as deep as three feet with relatively swift water - your guide will support the group at these crossings. Our exciting fords across the river will be rewarded with two amazing waterfall: Colonnade Falls, a two-part waterfall (the second of which is the highest on this trip), and Iris Falls. We'll set up camp and enjoy a tasty dinner before settling in for some much deserved sleep.


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
Shuttle to Jackson Hole: 2.5 hours


After a final, nearly seven-mile hike through meadows and beautiful stands of lodgepole pine we’ll arrive at the Bechler Ranger Station, which marks the end of our llama trek. We'll shuttle back to Jackson Hole and say our good-byes.


Dunanda Falls 6-Day Variation: We can add an extra day to this trip which allows us to visit Dunanda Falls, a stunning waterfall with hot springs close by. It makes day 4 a bit longer and adds a 6th day to the itinerary, which also increases the cost. Feel free to ask us about this variation if it interests you.


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Pack llamas to transport the majority of gear and food and a dedicated llama handler
  • One or more professional, knowledgeable, certified Yellowstone National Park hiking guides (max guest to guide ratio is 6:1, not including the llama handler)
  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming to the trailhead and back
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and your kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
See the Packing List page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs or Mountain Hardware tents
  • Sierra Designs sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
  • Mountain Safety Research cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter waterbottles per person, either a headlamp or flashlight per person, and a lightweight waterproof stuff sac for your clothes and belongings. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group at predetermined hotel in Jackson, Wyoming for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead. For private trips, you also have the option to originate your trip in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, discounted lodging and more.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional Wyoming hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, training in llama-handling, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size

Every llama trip has a dedicated llama handler/wilderness guide. The standard ratio of guests to guides/handlers on llama trips is 1 guide/handler for 1-4 guests; 2 guides/handlers for 5-9 guests; and 3 guides/handlers for 10+ guests. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.


Weather Around Yellowstone

Being a Northern mountain environment, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Wyoming's mountains. On trips in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you're likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures around Yellowstone:
     
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
High
Low
 
June
70°
42°
 
July
80°
47°
 
August
78°
45°
 
September
68°
37°