Yellowstone Hiking Guides
Yellowstone Llama Treks
Yellowstone National Park Llama Hikes
Yellowstone Llama Hiking Tour
Yellowstone Guided Llama Treks
Yellowstone National Park Tour
Yellowstone National Park Guides
Yellowstone Hiking Vacation

Black Canyon of the Yellowstone

Highlights

  • Excellent Spring and Fall Trip
  • Active wildlife area in May and June
  • Quiet meadows bordering the beautiful Yellowstone River
  • Cross many tributaries creeks that flow into the Yellowstone River
  • Waterfall on North America's longest undammed river
  • Rejuvenating solitude and breath-taking vistas


Description

The Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River not only has an amazing name but is a great early season and late season hiking trip. If you are looking for a unique adventure for your group you won’t be disappointed in the beauty and highlights of this trip. There is an amazing amount of wildlife that frequent this area. Especially Bison and elk during the early summer months as they bear and raise their young along the meadows of the Yellowstone River. If you enjoy animal sightings and or trying your hand at catching wild trout this is the trekking adventure for you!
You will have the chance to see many distinct species of wildlife while hiking to and from our base camp. The meadows are full or rich blades of grass, flowers and rich history told by the bends and drops of the well-traveled Yellowstone River. Our guides will walk you through the different layers of archeology as they interpret through time to bring such an amazing place to life. With the rich flora and fauna there is much to discover and explore in the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River.
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800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 4.7 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 720 feet
This Yellowstone National Park Llama Trek begins with pickup at your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming. Once we reach the Blacktail Trailhead (1N5) we will eat a quick snack, load up the llamas, and begin our 5-mile trek to our base camp on the Yellowstone River. The trek from the Blacktail Trailhead allows us a unique opportunity as we will pass by Blacktail Falls and descend to the Yellowstone River. Few locations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem allow the opportunity to descend from the trailhead to your campsite.
Day 2
  • Hiking Mileage: 5-10 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: Up to 400 feet
Today we will start with a delicious breakfast, then load up our day packs for a long hike up the Black Canyon. Our hike takes us along the shores of the Yellowstone River, America's longest undammed natural river. We will keep a sharp eye out for wildlife and remains of wildlife that perished in this canyon over the winter. Depending on how far we go, we will have the option to also hike to the top of high bluffs overlooking the river, drink from pure spring-fed creeks, and dip our tired feet in the swirling trout waters of the Yellowstone River. We'll eventually return to camp and relax around a wonderful outdoor dinner prepared by your guide.
Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 5miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 120 feet
Today we head the other way and hike downstream to Knowles Falls. Our route takes us up and over rock slides, along the Yellowstone River, to the roaring falls. We'll again keep an eye out for wildlife as they are often abundant throughout the Black Canyon in the early season (but of course no guarantees). We'll enjoy a picnic lunch at Knowles Falls and then return to camp for our final celebratory backcountry dinner.
Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 4.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 720 feet
  • Shuttle to Jackson: 4 hours
Today is our last day on the banks of the Yellowstone River. We will head back the way we came and get a unique perspective as we hike up and out of The Black Canyon. Many times, we will see wildlife in the meadows and along the Yellowstone River as we hike out. The views are simply beautiful as we pass by many Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce and Juniper Trees.



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 Jackson 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 a 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. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before your trip to coordinate the rendezvous and answer any last minute questions you have.

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°