Mirror Plateau Backpacking Trip

From the Yellowstone Net Discussion Forum – Read the complete thread here

Post by Scatman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:49 pm

This is a report from a seven day backpacking trip in July that took our group up onto the Mirror Plateau before heading off-trail to Opal Creek, Mirror Lake, Upper Pelican Creek, then heading down Raven Creek, up and over Lovely Pass to Mist Creek, and finally down Mist Creek and the Lamar River back to the Soda Butte Trailhead. The wildflowers along our whole route were just spectacular and from a wildlife perspective, this was the best trip I had ever been on. If you include our 21 mile day hike through Hayden Valley and up to Cygnet lakes the day before this trip, we saw a total of 12 grizzly bears in eight days, hundreds of bison, at least 50 elk, deer, coyotes and a lone wolf.

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View up Soda Butte

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Looking across the Lamar Valley towards the Mirror Plateau

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The Lamar River

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View from the Specimen Ridge Trail

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Wildflowers

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More wildflowers – we ran into a sow and her cub shortly after this picture was taken

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View as we approach the top of the Mirror Plateau

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View from the top of the Mirror Plateau

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Bison on the Mirror Plateau

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View down Opal Creek in the late evening

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View from the top of the Mirror Plateau

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Ran into this big guy as we made our way through old burn and new growth

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Absolutely gorgeous meadows on top of the plateau

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Mirror Lake – north side

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Mirror Lake – south side

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More elk and bison along the headwaters of Timothy Creek

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Elk Remains near the headwaters of Upper Pelican Creek

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Grizzly bear on Upper Pelican Creek – seen from our campsite

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Wildflowers near camp

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Bison skull in the meadow along Upper Pelican Creek

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Nice looking clouds

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Fern Lake Patrol Cabin

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Thermal area just off Pelican Creek

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View down the Raven Creek Drainage – it rained hard all day long

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Elephant Heads

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The back side of a grizzly on Raven Creek

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Lovely Pass

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Heading down the south side of Lovely Pass – we ran into a sow and a cub in this new growth as we made our way down to Mist Creek

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View from my tent at our campsite along Mist Creek

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Grizzly – He would circle the meadow along Mist Creek for two days as we watched him.

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The meadow along Mist Creek – very beautiful location – finally some good weather

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View along Mist Creek

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View from the trail – approaching the Lamar River

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The Lamar River

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View to the south

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Grizzly print

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The Lamar River

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This grizzly ended up being trouble for me. As he approached through the corridor of trees, he stopped when I said, “Hey Bear” and then proceeded to swing his head back and forth and pop his jowls for and extended period of time before finally leaving the trail towards the river. I breathed a lot easier at this point.

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The Lamar River drainage

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Horse/Mule Train

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Nearing the Soda Butte Trailhead

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