Backcountry Camping Advice (YellowStone N.P., Grand Teton N.P., Glacier N.P.)

BLC3128

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This summer I am driving out west with my partner to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Teton National Park. We will be out there from late July to Mid August. Her and I both like the idea of spending time in the backcountry as well as checking out the small towns and city life. I'm posting here to see if you may have advice/recommendations for us about backcountry hikes/camping spots in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, or Glacier.

  • We are looking to spend 1-2 nights in the backcountry per park.
  • We are looking for really scenic areas to camp and areas that are off the beaten path, but are open to sharing views with others!
  • We are both in great shape and are experienced backpackers so a 15+ mile day is not off limits, but I'd like to keep the mileage to 8 miles/day and under. Short treks are welcome as well!
  • We both understand we will be in bear country and have camped in bear country before, but not Grizzly Country. We will both be packing bear spray and I'll be packing a 44mag w/ 340gr Buffalo Bore hardcast loads.
Also, if you have a recommendation on places to grab a bite to eat, places to visit, etc. Please feel free to share.

Thanks in advance!

Brandon
 

26Reload

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Its been said many times....bear spray is not an effective deterrent...and you are the only one pack a pistol into what has been a hotbed of grizzly encounters as well as killing....and she isn't packing anything....what if you are already be mauled...whats she gonna do..swat the bear on the butt with a branch.....nit smart dude.....keep her and yourself safe...go hiking in the Moab.....at least the vermin are smaller..snakes and scorpions....still deadly...but more manageable....
 

BLC3128

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Its been said many times....bear spray is not an effective deterrent...and you are the only one pack a pistol into what has been a hotbed of grizzly encounters as well as killing....and she isn't packing anything....what if you are already be mauled...whats she gonna do..swat the bear on the butt with a branch.....nit smart dude.....keep her and yourself safe...go hiking in the Moab.....at least the vermin are smaller..snakes and scorpions....still deadly...but more manageable....
Thank you for your response. I understand there is an increasing rate of bear attacks in those areas. Nonetheless, her and I have discussed having herself armed as well. Right now, the deciding factor is her proficiency with a sidearm.
 

jmcmath

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NC
This sounds like it’s going to be a blast. My wife an I went to Yellowstone and grand teton in 2017 and it was incredible. I will try to look back through some of the maps for great treks we did.

I only had one encounter and it was a black bear right here
1075B8C3-D7F0-4C14-8BF2-3A75226421C2.png
He had no interest in us, but also had no interest in altering his direction/changing what he was doing.

We took maybe a 7 mile hike near mammoth that had a few beaver ponds on it, and I walked up a hill to look to my left to 2 muley bucks 15 feet from me.
F662456D-EBA1-4B10-824D-09F22F69A156.jpeg
1D86DF2F-0247-413A-A927-4FE553010BF1.jpeg
 

VTbluegrass

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Feb 13, 2018
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I can only say I am jealous. Me and my wife drove to Yellowstone on our honeymoon a few years ago. We did most of our backcountry camping though in the west side of the Black Hills on the way I liked it better than Yellowstone just because there were less people. Once out in the Yellowstone region we fished and as much as I had read about the Madison River I liked the Gallatin more. Fished with a great guide out of Fins and Feathers I would definitely go again.

I do not own a large bore handgun so I only carried my normal carry piece for two legged creatures. My wife and I carried bear spray in an easy access spot when in the wood and camping and followed all camping rule for bear country. Hell it took effort to find one to get some pictures.

I figure worrying about bears in the mountain west is like worrying about sharks at the beach. Take them into consideration and use some sense but if something bad is going to happen its really close to the bottom of the list of probability.
 

BLC3128

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Jul 1, 2017
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109
This sounds like it’s going to be a blast. My wife an I went to Yellowstone and grand teton in 2017 and it was incredible. I will try to look back through some of the maps for great treks we did.

I only had one encounter and it was a black bear right here
View attachment 135873
He had no interest in us, but also had no interest in altering his direction/changing what he was doing.

We took maybe a 7 mile hike near mammoth that had a few beaver ponds on it, and I walked up a hill to look to my left to 2 muley bucks 15 feet from me.
View attachment 135875
View attachment 135874
Awesome pictures! I am very interested in your routes! Feel free to post them here or private message me! Thanks again!
 

sab

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Aug 28, 2003
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You didn't mention dogs, but if you have dogs, you'll have to leave them at home. They are not allowed in the backcountry areas of Yellowstone.
 

beveridgek

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Jul 17, 2012
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If you want a remote area without a lot of crowds, try the Shoshone Lake trail. Its in the southwest corner of Yellowstone, about 11 Miles in, and beautiful country.
Firearms are forbidden in all National Parks, so definitely keep this plan to yourself.
The pistol you are going to carry should do the job.
I went in this same trail many years ago with a group of Boy Scouts. We stopped on a sandbar in a creek about halfway in, and when I went to the upstream end of the sandbar, there were several HUGE grizzly prints there with the water still running back in them.
We never saw a bear, but were very careful about not eating or having food within 100 feet of our tents, and not allowing things like chap stick or toothpaste to end up in the tents. Evidently, "scout" was not on the menu.
We saw elk, mule deer, a badger, eagles, osprey fishing in the lake, al sorts of stuff. And lots of footprints, bear poop, both black and grizzly. The bears probably saw us, but we never saw them.
 

beveridgek

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Jul 17, 2012
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OK SAB, so I should have said "Firearms USE is prohibited in Yellowstone NP." Excuse me.
The point is that if you use a firearm, even to protect yourself from a bear, you will go to jail.
You will probably get in more trouble for killing the bear than is you shot someone who was trying to mug you.
 

sab

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beveridgek:

I meant no personal ill-will with my reply. There's an old saying that "it's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6," which applies in this case. Being alive after defending oneself against a grizzly that is not afraid of people and having to deal with the legal ramifications vs. being dead because the bear spray didn't work is truly a personal choice. One that's easy for me.

I made my response because you stated that the OP should keep his plan to carry a gun to himself because firearms are forbidden in all national parks, when that is not the case, and there is no need to keep his plan to himself. When my wife and I visited Yellowstone a few years back, we saw several people open-carrying handguns, and no one, including park staff and rangers even looked twice at them. There is no need to keep a plan to carry guns to oneself, which is not a trivial point for the OP to understand.

If I have offended you, please accept my heartfelt apologies - none was intended.

SAB
 

Muddyboots

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Michigan
I would strongly suggest food and waste products be no closer than 100 YARDS from your tent with open view to the elevated cache at least 15 ft off ground between 2 trees. Brush teeth at least 50 yards from tent. Even waste products should be no closer than 50 yards. The advice for absolutely no food or any kind of product that is "sweet" to a bear in tent at any time is spot on. The lingering odor alone can be enough to invite them in. There are some really nice portable electric fencing for camping that is quite effective for night time unwanted visitors. If anything it gives you some precious time to respond with pepper spray and or noise makers;).

I once had a bear go thru the side of my tent while we were out scouting even though we left the front entrance wide open. I think it was just to let us know he was there. No damage inside (bear clean procedures can work) but really screwed up tent wall. Duct tape and some heavy needle thread got it to last rest of trip.
 
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