Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike the Sky Rim Trail in Yellowstone National Park

Immerse yourself in the world's first national park with this spectacular backcountry hike

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Trip Ref #10109

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike the Sky Rim Trail in Yellowstone National Park

Immerse yourself in the world's first national park with this spectacular backcountry hike

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

United States

ANNUAL LEAVE

2 days off work

SEASON

Jul-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 9 people

MEETING POINT

Bozeman Airport, Montana

ACCOMMODATION

Campsite · Glamping

DIFFICULTY

Tough

This is demanding hike with 4000+ feet gain, so would suit experienced hikers capable of walking for 6-7 hours a day with a pack.

Experience true backcountry as you hike along the Sky Rim Trail in Yellowstone National Park

Look out for bears, wolves, moose, bison and other Yellowstone wildlife

Take in the highlights of Yellowstone including Norris Geyser Basin, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Lamar Valley.

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Maarten, August 2021

The national parks are beautiful and our guides Megan and Alex were great! We had a chance to see a ton of wildlife, including wolves, bears, bison and more. The evenings at the campsite were very nice with campfires and some games. We would highly recommend this trip.

Included

Guides

Expert, medically-trained naturalist guides with wilderness first responder training

Accommodation

2 nights backcountry wild camping followed by a night in a luxury safari style tent to finish

Meals

Delicious fresh food included throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Equipment

We'll provide all the group equipment you need for your backcountry camping including tents, sleeping mats and cooking items

Permits

All your National Park entry fees and permits

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport

12pm on Day 1

Ends

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport

4pm on Day 4

Transfers

Your host will meet you at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Bozeman, Montana at 12 pm, so please book a flight that arrives before 11.30 am. Alternatively, you can be collected at your accommodation in Bozeman at 10.30 am if you are already in town.

At the end of your trip, you'll be dropped at the airport at 4pm, so you can book any flight that leaves after 5.30 pm to ensure you have enough time to check-in. Alternatively you can be dropped at your accommodation in Bozeman if you are staying on.

Travel options

There are direct flights to Bozeman Airport (BZN) from all over the US and major hubs in Europe, including London, UK.

Day 1

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Glamping · Triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Evening meals around the campfire will be based around rice and pasta dishes with fresh vegetables. For breakfast there will be eggs, pancakes and fruit. Lunches will be meat-based sandwiches unless you request a vegan/vegetarian option. During the adventure you'll be kept full of delicious, local snacks. Water, tea and coffee are provided as well as wine and beer in the evenings. Vegetarian, vegan and other dietary requirements can be accommodated - just request when booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Backcountry wild camping

For the first two nights you'll stay at a backcountry camp site. You'll carry your own tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat and everyone will muck in to help set up and take down camp. All part of an American backcountry adventure.

West Yellowstone

Your last night will be spent at a luxury glamping site called 'Under Canvas' just outside the National Park's west entrance. You'll stay in twin-share safari style glamping tents with uninterupted views of Montana's picturesque landscape.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private tent just for the backcounty camping (nights 1 and 2) can be requested. Or you can also request a solo tent and your own glamping safari tent for all three nights of the trip.

See Optional Extras for prices. Please request at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

Day 1

Welcome to Montana!

Hiking

2-3 hrs · 6-8km · 150m up · 150m down

Your host will meet you at Bozeman Airport and whisk you off to West Yellowstone, the gateway to the world's first national park. No trip to Yellowstone is complete without experiencing Old Faithful, a geyser named after its frequent and predictable eruptions. You'll also take an easy walk to the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook to admire one of the largest and most colorful hot springs in the world.

In the evening, your guides will prepare you for tomorrow's overnight backcountry adventure on the Sky Rim Trail. You'll enjoy a big dinner at your campsite home for the night before settling down for a good nights sleep.

Day 2

Head out into the backcountry on the Sky Rim Trail

Hiking

8-10 hrs · 16km · 1200m up

This morning, you'll strap on your pack for two nights in the backcountry. After breakfast, you'll hike out through lodgepole pine forests and alpine meadows before beginning your initial ascent up the ridge. Expect panoramic views of some of Yellowstone's highest peaks. After a stunning day on the trail, you'll arrive at your backcountry campsite where you'll cook a delicious camp dinner. Listen to local ghost stories around the campfire before settling into your tent for the evening.

Day 3

Continue along the Sky Rim Trail and hike out of the backcountry

Hiking

8-10 hrs · 16km · 1200m down

Today you'll continue hiking through the national park, taking in Yellowstone's vistas and learning about the history of the national park along the way. Your naturalist hiking guide will be on the lookout for wildlife throughout, and can tell you about the recent succesful reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone and the myriad positive impacts this had on the ecosystem. You'll have a picnic lunch in a scenic meadow.

Towards the end of today's hike, you'll make your way out of the backcountry and descend back to the trailhead. Tonight you'll spend the evening at a luxury safari style glamping site, amongst a field of horses. 

Day 4

See more Yellowstone highlights on your way back to Bozeman

Hiking

2-3 hrs · 6-8 km · 150m up · 150m down

After breakfast and bidding your luxury camp spot farewell, you'll jump in the van to cram in as many of Yellowstone's highlights as you can en route back to Bozeman. You’ll take the scenic route back, stopping at Norris Geyser Basin, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Lamar Valley and Mammoth Hot Springs. Your guide will have you back at Bozeman Airport in time your onward flight later this afternoon or evening.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

All your camping equipment including tent, sleeping mat and cooking items.

What's available to hire?

  • Sleeping bag (see Optional Extras for prices)

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Backpack (60-70 litres)
  • Waterproof cover or drybags

Clothes

  • Hiking boots, waterproof with sturdy sole (worn-in)
  • Long sleeve base layers (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Long pant base layer (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Light synthetic shirt or tank for warmer days
  • Hiking pants or shorts (at least one pair should be long pants)
  • Insulating mid layers (fleece jacket or vest, down jacket)
  • Waterproof, windproof shell
  • Wool Hiking Socks, multiple pairs
  • Light gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Casual clothes for camp

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag (2-3 season). Also available to hire.
  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner (optional)

Other

  • Water bottles or Camelbak, 3L total minimum capacity
  • Headlamp
  • Small towel or facecloth
  • Toiletries and personal first aid
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal mess kit
  • Trekking Poles (Optional)
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Ear plugs

Optional Private Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Tent Upgrade

Per Person

Optional Private Tent & Yurt Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Tent & Yurt Upgrade

Per Person

Sleeping Bag - Down

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag - Down

Per Person

Sleeping Bag - Synthetic

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag - Synthetic

Per Person

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 89kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip requires good fitness levels and previous hiking experience is strongly recommended. The backcountry portion is 20 miles of hiking with 4000+ feet of elevation gain whilst carrying weight, so the Sky Rim is generally considered a difficult trail.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. The amount to tip is entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip in the USA; your guides will rely on tips for a considerable portion of their income.

We suggest to budget for 10%-20% of the trip cost as a guideline.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

There is drinking water available at your campsite on day 1 and glamping site on day 3.

For the backcountry section of the trip water will be provided but you'll need to carry your own water. Please bring reusable water bottles and/or a bladder to fill up for the hikes.

The weather in Yellowstone is extremely erratic. It can and does snow any month of the year, so make sure to pack for any and all weather, sunshine, warmth, cold, rain and snow.

Generally in July and August you can expect cool mornings followed by warm pleasant daytime temperatures. Summer days are typically sunny, with an occasional thunderstorm. Daytime highs are mostly in the 70s Faranheit (20-25 celcius), occasionally creeping up to the 80s (late twenties celcius)

September is a little cooler particularly in the mornings and evenings while camping out, so bring extra layers.

Yes you can leave any excess luggage with your host at the start of the trip.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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