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Bechler River Hike......and what campgrounds are open?

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:54 pm
by westerberg
I have always, for 25 years, wanted to do the Bechler River hike. I now have a shot at it in early September. My question is this. Has anyone done it in a day? I know it's a stretch, but i'm in good shape, and my son is in better shape. Also, i have read that some campgrounds are open. Canyon, Bridge Bay, and Grant Village. We want to shuttle a car down to the ranger station and start at Lone Star Geyser. For the shuttle car, if anyone has done this, is it better to go out West Yellowstone, or down south on 89 out of the Park? Thanks a million.

Re: Bechler River Hike......and what campgrounds are open?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:03 pm
by karenandbill
Going out by West Yellowstone is by far the fastest way. Take Hwy 20 south of Island Park, ID. Turn left on Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. It is a good road and both upper and lower Mesa Falls is worth a stop if you like waterfalls. Continue past the falls and turn left at E 1400 N. That becomes Cave Falls Rd which takes you to the Bechler Ranger station.

If you go out of the South Entrance to Yellowstone, there is Grassy Lake Rd (also known as Ashton-Flagg Ranch Rd) that cuts across. The last time I drove that road 3 years ago, it was terrible. High clearance vehicle is definitely needed and it's slow going, so I wouldn't recommend going that way.

I looked at the trail and it is 24.1 miles, rated difficult with almost 3000' elevation gain. I would not attempt this in one day unless I was in like marathon-runner type shape. Can you take two days? I haven't checked but I would guess there would be back country camp sites. In September it should not be very crowded.