Continental Divide Trail (CDT)

38    West Yellowstone - Turpin Meadow                            142 Kilometer

West Yellowstone

Old Faithful

Turpin Meadow                                 142 km

Luckily we had a room for the night at the Old Faithful Inn. It is booked out for more than a year in advance. However there are always last minute cancellations. One just has to watch out for it and then when something suitable shows up be fast with booking it. We had decided to hitch in thereby not doing this part for a second time. Walking with a sign for Old Faithful we got a ride even before reaching the toll booth. Soon we arrived at the Inn. We could check in early thus allowing for a good walk around to see the various geysers. The Inn which barely avoided destruction in the big 1988 wildfire sweeping through the park is quite a sight. Next morning there was a good breakfast at the Inn before hitting the trail. Only a few miles in we first heard and then met a group of six Chinese kids with large back packs hiking for a few days in the park. A short side trip took us to Lone Star Geyser. Later we met Bambi, another northbounder. Just past the Shoshone Geyser Basin the trail passes through very wet meadows. Here it was impossible to avoid walking through water. At our designated campsite we had to hang our food on the provided bar.

Next day we ran into many northbounders. In total it was 20 over the course of three days and included a single hiker and a couple from Germany and Allgood the president of ALDHAWest. This was quite a busy trail. Especially compared to what it had been until now. But first the outlet of Lake Shoshone had to be forded. When arriving, there was a couple with a canoe on the other shore. Just for the fun of it and not expecting a yes I asked for a ride across the river. And we got one. This way we avoided fording a potentially deep river.

The trail inside Yellowstone NP is rather flat with little challenges. The days were hot. Besides the northbounders we met quite a few short distance hikers. Deer watched us passing by from up close. They are not afraid inside the park. And then we met Tugboat a southbound hiker with an 80 pound pack. We gave him many tips how to lighten his load. Later we learned by email that this was helpful for him.

From Two Ocean Plateau we could see the smog from the big Lava Lodge wildfire. The CDT was closed and a road walking detour over many miles was set up. This detour would take us through an area, were the Forest Services relocates misbehaving grizzlies. So instead of going via Brooks Lake Lodge and through the Winds to Pinedale we decided to go to the CG at Turpine Meadow. From there we planned to hitch to Jackson Hole Airport to rent a car from Enterprise for a ride to Durango in Colorado. At Parting of the Waters we met two horse people who offered us a ride from the CG. Getting there we saw several mule pack trains. At the CG we were invited by some horse people for dinner.

Old Faithful geyser erupting as seen from the balcony of Old Faithful Inn

Passing by Lake Shoshone the CDT crosses very wet meadows

The canoe gave us a ride across Lake Shoshone outlet avoiding fording

Parting of the waters - A creek splitting into two, right side running to Pacific Ocean, left to Atlantic Ocean

Pack trains - A row of loaded mules passing by along North Fork meadows

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Last updated on 15.11.2017