Yellowstone Backpacking Tours

Phone Number for Wyoming Hiking Guides

Lamar-Pelican Loop

Highlights

  • Spend days exploring Yellowstone's amazing river valleys and vast meadows
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife as that is what Lamar and Pelican are famous for
  • Hike past a variety of thermal features
  • Enjoy moderate hiking through peaceful mountain scenery
  • Hike in comfort with just a light day pack
  • Enjoy our top-notch service and wonderful llamas!


Description

This trip is a fantastic choice for guests looking to explore Yellowstone's signature river valleys, vast meadows, wildlife habitat, and backcountry thermals. We hike up three connecting river valleys - Lamar River, Miller Creek and Mist Creek to a mountain pass that drops us into the Pelican River Valley. The views from Mist Creek Pass are breathtaking and stretch all the way to the Tetons, Yellowstone Lake, and Mount Sheridan.

We'll spend days soaking up the magic of Yellowstone's pristine and fascinating backcountry where the Snake Indians once lived and hunted, and where early trappers thrived in the 19th century. If you're a fisherman this is a great trip for trout fishing, and we should have time in the afternoons to wet a line. If your main focus is seeing wildlife, this is a great choice for that too (wildlife is of course never guaranteed).

Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more or book your llama trip today!


 


Yellowstone Llama Trek Photos

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to Trailhead: 2.5 hours
Hiking Mileage: 4.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 300 feet Elevation Loss: 200 feet


This Yellowstone llama trek begins with pickup at your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming. We'll shuttle past Teton National Park, where the Tetons' towering, jagged peaks and the perfect oxbows of the Snake River frame our views to the west. We'll enter Yellowstone and continue to our trailhead. After prepping the llamas and doing an orientation we'll hit the trail.

Today's hike takes us across the wide open expanse of the Lamar Valley and up the Lamar River past some classic Yellowstone thermal activity. The Lamar Valley is famous for its wildlife, particularly bison and wolves. We'll keep an eye out for animals while we hike and discuss some of the flora we're seeing as well - wildflowers, grasses, bushes, some edible and some with medicinal uses. The views from Lamar Valley are beautiful as we can see far up the valley to side canyons, rocky cliffs, and distant alpine ridges.

We'll camp not far from the Lamar River and continue to keep an eye out for wildlife. Once camp is set up we will head up Cache Creek or down to the Lamar River for some sightseeing and/or fishing. We'll cap our first day of with some great backcountry cooking and a good night's sleep.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 7.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Elevation Loss: minimal

We start today with a hearty breakfast, break camp and load up the llamas. Our hike takes us farther up the Lamar River to Miller Creek. We'll soak up peaceful views of broad river valleys and open meadows, and keep a sharp eye out for wildlife. Most of today will be spent on the trail. Tonight's camp is at the confluence of the Lamar River and Miller Creek - a majestic spot near vast, open meadows in the bottom of broad valleys. Both of these rivers are very scenic as they wind down their respective, classic Yellowstone watersheds and make for great feet-soaking and/or fishing.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Elevation Loss: minimal


Today takes us higher into the mountains toward the headwaters of Mist Creek. We'll leave the Lamar Valley behind and head up Miller Creek. More broad valleys, great wildlife habitat, the shimmering waters of the creek, interesting flora and pine forests are likely our only companions besides each other. We'll stop along the way to soak up the magic of this wonderful valley and to enjoy trail snacks. Tonight's camp is at a pristine spot along Mist Creek. We'll feast on a great dinner and sit around a roaring campfire before turning in for a good night's sleep.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 6.6 miles
Elevation Loss: minimal
Elevation Gain: 850 feet

Today's takes us still farther up Mist Creek to just below Mist Creek Pass. Now we're getting higher into the mountains and earning views of the mountains around us and of the valleys behind us. Broad, open valleys continue to be the signature characteristic of our surroundings, with beautiful trout streams winding their way through the grass. Tonight's camp is only a mile from Mist Creek Pass in a stunning valley near Mist Creek. We'll celebrate our final evening with another feast and a cozy campfire.


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
Elevation Loss: 850 feet
Elevation Gain: 600 feet
Shuttle to Jackson Hole: 2.5 hours


Today is a very special day as we'll be leaving the Lamar/Miller/Mist network of valleys behind and entering into the famous Pelican River Valley over Mist Creek Pass. Althought this entire trip is good for seeing wildlife, today is probably our best chance. After breaking camp we'll hike up to the pass and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains that include Pelican Valley, Yellowstone Lake, the West Thumb, Mount Sheridan and the Tetons. Once in Pelican Valley we hike past some thermals including some very cool mud pots. Eventually we arrive at our ending trailhead, de-rig the llamas and shuttle back to Jackson. Perhaps we'll start contemplating our next adventure as the Tetons float past our windows. We'll say our good-byes in Jackson and head off for some much-deserved showers and rest.


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°