Yellowstone Backpacking Tours

Phone Number for Wyoming Hiking Guides

Sportsman Lake

Highlights

  • Experience pristine Yellowstone valleys and meadows
  • Camp near a beautiful mountain lake
  • Enjoy the views from a high pass or summit
  • Watch out for wildlife as you hike through the wilderness
  • Hike in comfort with just a light day pack
  • Enjoy our top-notch service and wonderful llamas!


Description

Our Sportsman Lake llama trek offers a diverse experience of Yellowstone's amazing wilderness. We'll hike through endless meadows, into deep pine forests, and across alpine ridges, all the while keep our eyes peeled for wildlife such as moose, elk, wolves and bison. Our route takes us into the Gallatin Mountains, named after Albert Gallatin, the longest-serving US Secretary of the Treasury and one of the architects of the important Alaska Boundary Treaty. We'll have an opportunity to hike the tallest peak in the Gallatins, Electric Peak at nearly 11,000 feet in elevation. And for those not interested in the strenous ascent of ELectric Peak, we will still get up high for amazing views at Electric Pass.

Our trek takes us up a pristine mountain valley with a sparkling trout stream winding its way down from the Gallatin Mountains. We hike up over a low pass to our camp at Sportsman Lake, where we spend two nights and have the opportunity to get above treeline. We'll then descened via a different mountain valley back to our trailhead.

Don't miss this absolutely fantastic mountain adventure - give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more or book your spot today!


 


Yellowstone Llama Trek Photos

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to Trailhead: 3 hours
Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles
Elevation Loss: 300 feet


This Yellowstone llama trek begins with pickup at your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming. We'll shuttle to the northwest corner of Yellowstone at the foot of the spectacular Gallatin Mountains. We'll prep the llamas, do an orientation, and hit the trail up the Fan Creek drainage.

Fan Creek is a beautiful, charming stream falling from the high peaks of the Gallatins. It flows at the bottom of a broad, grassy valley rimmed by pine and aspen trees. We hike in and out of pristine meadows and will keep a sharp eye out for moose in the creekside willows.

We'll set up camp tonight above Fan Creek and enjoy a hearty backcountry dinner and roaring campfire.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 750 feet
Elevation Loss: 550 feet

Day 2 starts with a delicious breakfast before we break camp, load the llamas and resume our hike up Fan Creek. Today takes us to the headwaters of Fan Creek and then up and over a high pass to drop us into Sportsman Lake. The views from the pass are fantastic, and we'll stop to enjoy a picnic lunch there before descending into Sportsman Lake.

Sportsman Lake is at the base of Electric Peak, a towering alpine summit that is just below 11,000 feet. We'll soak up the views, possibly wet a line (if you're a fisherman), set up camp and settle down for another wonderful dinner and relaxing evening in some of the prettiest country you've ever seen.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: up to 12 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: up to 3200 feet


Today is a layover day, so we'll be leaving camp set up near Sportsman Lake. Our destination is either Electric Pass or Electric Peak. Electric Peak is a rugged, strenuous hike that takes us to nearly 11,000 feet. For guests who really want to push themselves, we'll make an attempt for the summit. For guests more interested in moderate hiking, we'll hike to Electric Pass for extraordinary views and a wonderful picnic lunch. Either way, we'll eventually make our way back to Sportsman Lake for another evening of good food, good company, and good night's sleep.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 4.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 550 feet
Elevation Loss: 300 feet

We'll enjoy a relaxing morning today and gradually break down camp. Our hike is not a long one at just over 4 miles. We'll retrace our steps up to the pass from Day 2, then drop into the East Fork of Specimen Creek, another pristine Yellowstone watershed. This drainage has a good population of moose and wolves, so we'll keep our eyes peeled. Broad meadows, sparkling trout waters, deep pine forests, and peaceful solitude will characterize today's hike through God's country. We'll celebrate our final night in the wilderness with one last backcountry feast.


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles
Elevation Gain: minimal
Elevation Loss: 1000 feet
Shuttle to Jackson Hole: 3 hours


Today offers a hike through several old burn areas that provide an opportunity to study the effects of fire years later. These burn areas are from 1988 and are a wonderful example of the restorative nature of forest fires. These areas provide great forage and habit for large mammals. This area is also known for its petrified wood, so we'll keep an eye out for samples. Eventually we'll come to our ending trailhead, where we'll load into the shuttle and begin our journey back to Jackson. As we watch the Wyoming scenery careen by outside the windows, it will be difficult to not start day dreaming about our next adventure!


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.

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 5-8 guests; and 3 guides/handlers for 9-12 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°