Thursday, September 25, 2008

Old Yellowstone Trail

It has been a month since I have added to this blog. I've been too ill to hike or even care much about hiking. In early September I did get to Yellowstone National Park for a week and did some exploring that is worthy of blogging. To the north of the Park, abound Gardiner, I spent time following the Old Yellowstone Stage Trail as it headed toward Livingstone. I'm not talking about the Old Yellowstone Trail automobile road that went cross-continental along the northern states from from Massachusetts to Washington state although that in itself is worth a post but of an Stage Coast road which offered early access to the Mammoth area in Yellowstone.

As you leave YNP at Gardiner, just beyond the Arch, you can head straight north instead of making the sharp to Gardiner proper. Along this gravel road, you are soon back in YNP. The road follows the Yellowstone River north along the west side of the river, the highway goes along the east. In early September there wasn't a lot to see other than dry grass and brush, I would like to go there in the spring sometime. Further north, the road leaves YNP and there is a fishing area. At Corwin Springs, a bridge crosses to the main highway (89). North of the bridge, are mostly ranch areas and roads are not well marked, it is easy to go astray. I took an involunary detour back into the hills, scenic but not what I wanted to do although I did see a wolf during the detour.

At Yankee Jim Canyon, the immediate area becomes Forest Service land. There are a couple of trail heads and various interpretive signs about the trail; I wish I had photographed them, I had not realized how sparse the Internet information is. I spent some time walking along those bits of the older trail still extant and back into the hills a little bit. Below is a small section of the built up trail.
A general view from a trail looking into a canyon.

Looking down the trail from a high point.

Continuing north on the old trail, the canyon opens up and become private ranch land again without public access. Another bridge to Highway 89 is near Carabella or you can continue a bit further until 89 crosses the river. I did not see any more signs of the Old Yellowstone trail beyond the small bits I mentioned above.