Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

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Scatman
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:11 pm

Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

Post by Scatman » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:49 am

On July 27th, my family and I headed into the backcountry to camp at campsite 0D2 along the Little Firehole Meadows. We would be staying at 0D2 for two nights then moving camp to OD3 for our third and final night. The purpose of this trip was on day two, to day hike up onto the Madison Plateau and then make our way to Plateau Lake and on our third day we planned on another day hike, this time to Buffalo Meadows.

Day 1 - We began our roughly six mile trip at the Biscuit Basin Trailhead, crossing the Firehole River and then made our way along the boardwalks until we were officially on the trail. Soon, we found ourselves at Mystic Falls and then we began our climb up onto the plateau. Hiking across the plateau was mostly through old burn from back in 1988. The new trees in places are beginning to provide a little bit of shade after 30 years. Eventually though, we dropped back down to the Little Firehole and on to the meadows and our campsite.

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Day 1 map - backpacking into Little Firehole Meadows

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The Firehole River with some of the thermals of Biscuit Basin and the plateau beyond

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Backpacking along the boardwalks in Biscuit Basin

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Following the Little Firehole River

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A portion of Mystic Falls

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Typical view along the trail

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Abundant wildflowers along the trail - Lupine

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Dropping back down off the plateau to the Little Firehole River

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Setting up camp on the edge of the Little Firehole Meadows

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Late evening shot of the Little Firehole River flowing through the meadows.


Day 2 - Up early on our second day to head out for Plateau Lake. This hike was all off-trail as we followed a drainage across the Little Firehole Meadows directly west of our campsite. We would be hiking approximately 10.5 miles roundtrip with 5.5 miles to the lake and 5 miles back, as we headed down a different drainage after leaving the lake, before returning to the route we hiked in on. The going along our route was marshy at times and once up on the Madison Plateau, we had to step over a lot of downfall from the 1988 fires that scorched the plateau.

We encountered a Marten up in a tree along our way, some Pikas on our climb up the plateau, and the wildflowers were tremendous too. On our way back down we had to withstand a nasty thunderstorm, but after about 30 minutes the sun popped back out for the rest of our way back to camp.

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Day 2 map - Day hike to Plateau Lake and back

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Looking west from our campsite across the meadows - the direction we will be heading

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After crossing the meadow, we started up a finger meadow and ran into this guy.

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Small ponds with Lily Pads along our way

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Wildflowers were just tremendous

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Refilling our water bottles before beginning our climb up and onto the plateau

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Climbing up onto the plateau - This rock field had at least three Pikas running through it. They were too fast for me to get a picture though and I didn't have time to sit and wait for them to pose for me

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The view on top of the Madison Plateau

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Looking off the plateau towards Mount Sheridan in the distance

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State boundary post(?) on the plateau

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Plateau Lake

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The north end of Plateau Lake

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Plateau Lake

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Our route back to camp

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In the thick of it

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Old fire ring from many moons ago.

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This stream eventually flows into the stream we followed earlier in the day before hiking up on the plateau

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More wildflowers

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We ran into quite a few of these small thermal features on our way back to camp

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Thermal feature

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Of course this is Mosquito country

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Returning to the Little Firehole Meadows

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Back at camp as the sun begins to go down. The end to an exciting and long day!


I'll post our day hike to Buffalo Meadows the following day in a separate post later.
Last edited by Scatman on Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.



Kat
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:22 pm

Re: Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

Post by Kat » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:37 pm

Thank you so much for posting your trip report and photographs. I don’t have the physical stamina to do much more than the portion of the hike to Mystic Falls, but thanks to your generous sharing, I now have an idea of what lies beyond. Happy trails!



Kat
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:22 pm

Re: Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

Post by Kat » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:37 pm

Thank you so much for posting your trip report and photographs. I don’t have the physical stamina to do much more than the portion of the hike to Mystic Falls, but thanks to your generous sharing, I now have an idea of what lies beyond. Happy trails!



JennyA
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:50 pm

Re: Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

Post by JennyA » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:14 pm

Nice photos, thanks for posting! Pretty country!



DPS
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:50 am

Re: Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

Post by DPS » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:56 pm

Nice trip!



Dorothy
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

Post by Dorothy » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:30 pm

Great report and beautiful photos! I don't think I'll ever be up to that type of trip at this point, so I appreciate even more you sharing the experience with us. Thanks!



Scatman
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

Post by Scatman » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:22 am

I'm glad everyone enjoyed the write-up and I apologize for not creating the trip report closer to the time that I actually did the trip. Besides the day hike on this trip to Buffalo Meadows that I still need to report on, I have a trip to Electric Peak and Sportsman Lake that I completed in August, and an additional trip to Ice Lake/Wolf Lake with some off-trail exploration along the Gibbon River in September that I need to find time to post the reports.



billandkaren
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Re: Plateau Lake - July 27, 2018

Post by billandkaren » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:49 am

That's a cool picture of a martin. We have only seen one and it was outside the park near cooke city. Did you use bug spray? The mosquitos would discourage me from trying this trail!

Bill



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