YNP\GTNP 2014 – 8\14 2014 – Bechler River Day Three

Today was to be another big mileage day as well because we decided to exit the backcountry a day early to get home and get our new puppy before starting work on Monday. Plus, I think Sara had enough of bugs as she got chewed up pretty good. The plan for today was to get to our normal campsite, and then day hike to Shoshone Lake. Tomorrow we’ll exit at Lone Star Geyser and hitch a ride back to our car at Delacy Creek. This way we still complete the planned mileage while leaving a day early. 

Once again we awoke to rain the AM and had to pack up camp wet to begin our third day of the trip. It started raining at about 4 AM and continued till about 6:30. As we ate our breakfast of Nutragtrain bars and hiker mocha (instant coffee and hot chocolate mix) there were blue skies approaching which lifted our spirits considerably. We left camp at about 7:30 and hit the trail. The waterfalls along the route just kept coming. 

Ragged Falls:

P1030219

Twister Falls:

P1030235

As we continued past twister falls the terrain became more alpine with low grasses and lodgepole pines. This was a welcome change to the thick brush as we were able to stay mostly dry all day. We stopped near campsite 9D4 for a break and some fresh water and found a very nice meadow and spring area to rest and refill. 

P1030240 P1030238

We also found these flowers growing out of a giant pile of obsidian sand and thought they were quite striking. 

P1030242

Sara on the trail:

P1030244

We reached our campsite at 8G1 and found that the previous occupants had left us some art. When we later hiked to Shoshone Lake, we found another of the same drawing on the beach. 

P1030248

After pitching our tent and hanging our food for the night, we went for a day hike to Shoshone Lake to explore the geyser basin. This is as impressive a geyser basin as any of the minor ones lining the road in the park. In fact, I’d say it’s bigger than most with the exception of the Norris and Old Faithful basins. Here’s a few photos of this beautiful place:

P1030251 P1030252 P1030253 P1030254 P1030255

After exploring the geyser basin we headed over to the lake shore. Shoshone lake is the largest backcountry lake in the lower 48. The only ways to get to get there are to hike, on horseback or to paddle up the Lewis Lake channel. There was a family camped opposite of us on the shoreline. 

P1030270 P1030271

After a nice visit to the lake we went back to camp, had dinner and went straight to bed before dark. It had been a long day, about 14 miles total, more than half of that with full packs.