A Wild Backcountry Experience in Yellowstone National Park
Sunrise Pack Station specializes in horseback backcountry fishing trips throughout Yellowstone National Park. They offer a unique vacation experience. Whether you are an educationally-oriented family, a fisherman looking for a remote trout fishing experience, or if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of ordinary life while enjoying the wilderness of Yellowstone, Sunrise Pack Station can accommodate you. They provide professionally guided and accredited horseback trips inside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. Their gentle horses and mules will carry both you and your belongings to comfortable camps surrounded by the pristine scenery of Yellowstone National Park. Well-trained guides will prepare delicious meals, see to your comfort, and create a cozy camp atmosphere.
Sunrise Pack Station operates a low-impact, tent-based camp, due to National Park Service regulations and a “Leave No Trace” backcountry ethics. They provide warm zero-degree rated sleeping bags and a full-length pillow atop a ThermaRest sleeping pad for your sleeping comfort. Cots are available upon request. You will be housed in the Johnson Outdoors company’s latest design for four-man backpacking tents. The tent is called the Timberline SQ Outfitter 4, holding two people and gear with plenty of room. There is a sun shower for guests situated in a private area, away from streams to prevent soap from contaminating the waters of our favorite national park. At every camp, there is also a latrine where guests may refresh themselves and use sanitary wipes in a secluded area.
Because they camp in bear country, Sunrise Pack Station uses a variety of safe practices to keep bear interactions limited to viewing these amazing animals from a safe, respectful distance. They place the sleeping area 100 yards away from the cooking area, as recommended by experts. All food and scented materials stay in the cooking area, where they are hung from a “bear pole” high in the air to keep scents and bear attractants out of the animals’ reach and to keep bears away from the guests. Bears do not like large horse herds or groups of humans, so bear problems are rare. The hanging of the food and the clean kept camp help avoid drawing in any bear passing by.
Food and Beverages
Each day meals are prepared in the covered “kitchen” area of the camp and eaten as a group either at the large table or around the campfire. The menu will likely include tasty appetizers, steaks, salmon, an assortment of vegetables and scrumptious desserts. Dinner is cooked in the core camp area, where the bear pole is and the food is kept tables and chairs are set up, table cloths and dishes are set, the camp cook prepares his meals in a clean outdoor kitchen and he has been trained in food service and cleanliness. Once meals have been prepared and consumed the guides wash the dishes and discard leftover food in a separate garbage sack to help avoid bear problems.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Wildlife viewing in the Park is unbelievable. Elk, deer, moose, bear, wolf, coyote, birds, and eagles all call Yellowstone National Park home. Hiking around camp, short day rides and relaxing are all available for non-anglers. The staff at Sunrise Pack Station is extremely knowledgeable about the Park’s history, ecosystem, and the surrounding area; they can entertain anyone!
Internet / Communications
There is no internet access while in camp and cell phone service is spotty while in the park. Be sure to check with your service provider prior to your trip regarding specific coverage in the area.
How To Get There
Anglers will want to fly into Bozeman, Montana (BZN), Billings, Montana (BIL), Jackson, Wyoming (JAC), or Idaho Falls, Idaho (IDA), depending on which trip you are participating in.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Once the itinerary for the trip is planned, Yellow Dog will arrange for a meeting place and time with Sunrise Pack Station staff. All trailheads are within the boundaries of the Park.
Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses are available at all area fly shops and sporting goods stores, as well as at the Park entrance gates. You will need to present a valid driver’s license (or other ID) in order to purchase your fishing license.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or email@example.com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
The crew at Sunrise Pack Station offers many different angling options throughout the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park. Options for single day fishing trips include cutthroat on the Upper Gallatin River, browns on the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River and various other small creeks. For multi-day and overnight packages, Sunrise Pack Station offers trips into world-famous Slough Creek, Pebble Creek, the Lamar River, the Bechler River, Upper Fan Creek, and the Thorofare region of Yellowstone National Park. Most of the fishing takes place on small backcountry creeks and streams. Wading and fishing from the banks is the normal practice, along with the use of lighter trout rods – four weight and five weight – in packable, four-piece configurations. Most of the fish you will catch in the backcountry of Yellowstone are native cutthroat trout – colorful and feisty and almost always willing to take a dry fly.
Northwest Corner (3 days)
This 3-day family trip will take you near the headwaters of the Gallatin River. The river was named by Lewis and Clark on their trek searching for a water passage to the west coast. You will ride up the Gallatin River about 7 miles from the trailhead and set up our camp right near the river. You’ll stay there for 2 nights and choose from a variety of things to do during our three days. Opportunities to ride, hike, fish, photograph, and explore will abound.
Pebble Creek (4 days)
Pebble Creek is a great beginner’s trip with a short 3 to 4-mile ride into camp. Once there you’ll set up camp quickly and give you a chance to get out fishing right away. The stream used to be called “White Pebble Creek” due to the white gravelly sediments found at its headwaters. 7 to 14-inch Cutthroat and rainbows tend to make up the majority of fish caught here. It will be a match the hatch or good attractor pattern type dry fly fishing experience. When you have had your fill of fishing we’ll have a delightful meal and a chance to relax by the fire in the evening. For the photographer, the wildlife here is fairly abundant, the mountains rim the campsite and the river adds some motion to the environment.
Cache Creek (5 days)
On your first day you’ll ride 6 miles to the Lower Cache Creek site, where you’ll set up our home away from home for the next 2 nights. You’ll begin fishing as soon as you arrive in camp, as it lies right on the creek side. You’ll spend day two fishing up and down Cache Creek exploring the pockets and pools which hold nice vibrant cutthroat trout. Anyone who is not up for fishing can ride up Cache Creek for some photography as we climb alongside “The Thunderer” for some great alpine shots or the occasional buffalo, wolf, or bear meandering up and down the trail. Your nights will be filled with tales around the campfire, good food, and relaxation. On your last day, you’ll fish around camp while the guides pack things up and then head back toward home.
Northwest Corner (5 days)
This 5-day family-oriented trip will take you up to Sportsman’s Lake via Fan Creek where a hungry host of captive Cutthroat trout await us. Your first 2 nights will be on Fan Creek where in recent years we have seen and heard the black wolves of the northwest corner. The fishing in Fan Creek is good especially around the beaver ponds that have been built by our furry friends. Your second 2 nights will be at sportsman’s lake where guests can fish and play at their leisure. If someone desires, you can do day rides out of camp and see other places like Electric Pass, or head out to the Yellowstone National Park boundary on forgotten trails. Play on the porch of the ranger cabin, explore the woods and rocks around the lake and watch for moose, elk, and deer which often frequent the area.
Slough Creek (4 days)
Another hot spot in Yellowstone National Park’s fishing adventure is Slough Creek. Big fish, slow water, and spectacular scenery make this one of the most sought after places to fish. You ride in and set up one camp and then concentrate on fishing. By this time of year, the grasshoppers have come out and the fish feed on them heavily, so the fly fishing is sight fishing with great big flies! Some of the best hatches come off in the evening so, once you’re done eating dinner, feel free to go back down and fish till dark.
Lamar River (5 days)
This trip is a progressive travel trip which goes deeper into the Lamar than most outfitters go. This fishing trip by horseback explores the Pelican Valley and the Lamar River Valley. The Lamar River Valley within Yellowstone National Park is the most common place for watching wolves, bear, and American bison interact. From where the Lamar River leaves the upper Lamar Canyon and flows to join the Yellowstone, visitors can see spectacular wildlife interactions on a daily basis from the safety of their cars. However, on this trip, you’ll go up the upper Lamar and see the wildlife in a more intimate setting as buffalo stroll down the trail 100 yards from our campsite, bears forage on the hillsides, and wolves dog trot along in search of prey. This trip is an adventure fisherman’s paradise with scenery as wild as the animals. The meeting point is the Soda Butte Trailhead where the Lamar River meets the road. This is where vehicles are left, and then you will travel at the Pelican Creek / Turbid Lake Trailhead by the shores of Lake Yellowstone to actually begin the trip. After traveling up Pelican Creek, we will make your first camp at Mist Creek Pass. This is a non-fishing night. From there, you will drop down into the head of the Lamar River Canyon at the confluence of Cold Creek and the Lamar River. This remote area rarely gets fished. Fishing the Lamar rivals that of Slough Creek. Big deep pools abundant with healthy size cutthroat trout are scattered throughout the river. Actively feeding fish and nice hatches characterize this fishing trip. After two nights, you’ll move down the Lamar about 6 miles to another camp and some new waters to fish for another two nights. There is also an opportunity to see where the river has cut through a petrified forest with a number of trees easily visible in the river and on the opposing hillside. After fishing for most of the four days, you’ll head back down the river to the Soda Butte trailhead. You’ll stop for lunch to rest and enjoy the scenery before riding the rest of the way out. The goal is to hit the trailhead between 3 PM and 4 PM to allow you time to get back to some sort of civilization for your evening meal.
Bechler River (5 days)
Come to Yellowstone National Park’s Cascade Corner and photograph the magnificent waterfalls. This time of year is spectacular in Yellowstone National Park. The brilliant colors of autumn, the bright blue skies, and crisp white clouds create the perfect backdrop for photography here in America’s wonderland. Take time to capture the people, horses, wildlife and scenery. In the off time, relax in the warm waters of this area to rest your bones and rejuvenate your soul.
Boats and Equipment
Camps are accessed via horseback, usually with the support of several mules in a mule train. Sunrise Pack Station provides all camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, pillows, inflatable ground pads, sleeping bag liners, and pillowcases. They also provide large duffel bags for you to pack your clothing and other gear in for the mules to carry. You will want to bring all of your own clothing, a headlamp, personal items, and your fishing equipment. Sunrise Pack Station and Yellow Dog will send you a packing list so you will not forget anything. Most people bring their own fishing gear, but rental rods are available upon request. Waders are optional, although recommended for the early season.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the outfitter.
Slough Creek = $2,048.00 per person
Cache Creek = $2,560.00 per person
Pebble Creek = $2,048.00 per person
Northwest Corner (5 days) = $2,560.00 per person
Northwest Corner (3 days) = $1,536.00 per person
Lamar River = $2,560.00 per person
Bechler River = $2,560.00 per person
2019 Trip Dates
July 16 – 20 = Cache Creek (4 spots available)
July 23 – 26 = Pebble Creek (2 spots available)
July 30 – Aug 3 = Lamar River (8 spots available)
Aug 6 – 9 = Slough Creek (full)
Aug 15 – 18 = Slough Creek (8 spots available)
Sept 11 – 15 = Bechler River (8 spots available)
Alternative trips/dates can sometimes be scheduled with enough advanced notice and based on the outfitter’s availability. Trips typically require a minimum of 3 guests in order for the trip to be a-go.
– Fully outfitted / guided horseback pack-in & pack-out
– Use of horses, mules, and all tack
– All meals (including arrival and departure day sack lunches)
– Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad
– Zero degrees rated sleeping bag
– Large canvas duffel for personal items
– Transportation to and from the trailhead
– Sleeping cot (can be provided at an additional cost)
– Rod/reel (can be provided at an additional cost)
– Bear spray (can be provided at an additional cost)
– Flies or terminal tackle (BYO)
– Yellowstone National Park fishing license
– Yellowstone National Park entrance fee
– Alcoholic beverages (BYO)
– Gratuities for outfitting crew