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ABSAROKA YELLOWSTONE BY REGION BEST TRAILS & EATS ESSENTIAL GEAR & GADGETS


ABSAROKA

A local’s guide to Yellowstone

CONTENTS

CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS Sunlight Sports 1131 Sheridan Avenue • Cody, WY www.sunlightsports.com info@sunlightsports.com

YELLOWSTONE BY REGION North/Northeast Gate 8 East Gate 12 South Gate 20 West Gate 26

Oboz Footwear Bozeman, Montana www.obozfootwear.com info@obozfootwear.com

Osprey Packs, Inc. Cortez, Colorado www.ospreypacks.com cs@ospreypacks.com

ACTIVITIES AND GEAR Photography 4 Gadgets 11 Climbing 14 Hiking 18 Dining 22 Gear 24 Fishing 26

prAna Carlsbad, California www.prana.com ecommerce@prana.com

Roots Rated Chattanooga, Tennessee www.rootsrated.com info@rootsrated.com

Poler Stuff Portland, Oregon www.polerstuff.com customerservice@polerstuff.com

Absaroka is a publication of Sunlight Sports, Cody, WY ©2015 Sunlight Sports

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PHOTOGRAPHY

CAPTURING SCENIC VIEWS

Tired of taking the same old five shots on every vacation? Here are a few tips and tricks to try out on your next trip! Near and Far

Rain or Shine

Sometimes you may want to capture every aspect of a scene, while in other moments a single flower might hold your attention. Change your depth of field (Aperture setting or “A” on your camera) to change up how much you want to show. Hint: A large aperture means more in focus, a smaller number means a more shallow depth of field

Sometimes the best photos are taken in the worst weather conditions. Storms and clouds can create some great visual interest to add extra drama to any landscape or scenery.

Keep It Stable Tripods create the ability for long exposures in order to capture darker scenes, moving water, or even the ability to paint with light. If you don’t have a tripod, putting your camera on a timer and placing it on a stable surface works just as well!

Focus, Focus, Focus Keep it interesting! Pick out a specific object, monument, or structure that stands out against the background and compose your photo around that object. Hint: Think of the Rule of Thirds-keep your object of focus in one third of the frame to keep it visually pleasing.

The Golden Rule Photographing at the ‘golden’ hours (dawn and dusk) create long angles of light with vibrant colors. These moments go by pretty quickly, so be sure to get set up and be ready early in order to capture some great images! Hint: Dawn and dusk usually do not have a ton of lightso bring your tripod to capture a long exposure of the scenery. Filters also help in cutting down on the sharp contrasts between light and dark so you can photograph more colors and hues.

Point of View Most of the time photographs are right at eye level so get creative with your view point! Try mixing it up by laying on your stomach or standing on the picnic table to create a new vantage point.


It’s a Wonderland. Old Faithful and the majority

of the world’s geysers are preserved here. They are the main reason the park was established in 1872 as America’s first national park—an idea that spread worldwide. A mountain wildland, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk. Yellowstone is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.

YELLOW


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WSTONE


North/Northeast Gate NORTH ENTRANCE

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(un)Fair Weather Friends Around here we love hiking. The crunch of gravel under our boots and the endless amount of trails keep us grabbing our packs while, at times, ignoring the notions of unstable weather. Ideally, we’d love to be able to hike in moderate temperatures, with clouds lazily rolling by and a light breeze to keep us cool. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Blustery winds can roll off the mountains and shower us with rain, sleet, snow (and sometimes all three at once). Living close to these mountains, we know to be prepared for any condition that may arise. For those just visiting it can be a shock to go from sunshine to three inches of snow in just under an hour. Below are a few tips from the Oboz crew on how to stay warm and safe when nature gives you a cold, wet surprise: Waterproof Boots!

Proper Layering

This is obviously the number one item that comes to our minds. Keeping your feet warm and dry is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your safety (and hell, your happiness!) on a trip.

Winter hiking requires proper layering. You aren’t sitting on your tail all day- you are working your ass off, which means you are probably sweating. Sweat can be extremely dangerous in the cold, so it’s important to take steps to minimize that danger. You’ve heard it before:


Always remember to have that extra waterproof shell in your pack if the snow starts coming down. Cotton Kills. Stay away from cotton layering in the winter. It doesn’t wick away moisture and when it gets wet, it takes forever to dry. Start with a synthetic base layer that has wicking properties. This will feel good against your skin and will be sure to pull the moisture out and dry quickly. After your base layer, look for a micro fleece or merino layer. There are many options of different weights depending on what you will need- pick something that will keep you warm, but won’t have you sweating to death. After that can be your final insulation layer of your outer jacket. Pick something warm but lightweight that will be easy to take off and pack if you get too hot.

Be Prepared

Your body will burn more calories and require more water when hiking through snow. Make sure you have enough food and water for your hike. If it is super cold and you are worried about your water freezing, keep a separate bottle inside your coat that will keep from freezing by your body heat. Pick foods high in protein such as dried fruit, nuts and peanut butter. Even though day dreaming about our upcoming winter hikes is way more fun than sitting at our desks, we won’t go on forever. The key is to think ahead: research the area you are going to, look on online forums to ask any questions you have about hiking in the winter, be in touch with your local parks and wildlife and overall, stay safe and have fun!


North/Northeast Gate

Bunsen Peak beholds a vast array of wildlife, and incredible views. Be sure to hike this trail if you have a few spare hours while in the park!

Top Five Hiking Trails Picks Electric Peak Views: With a mixture of grasslands, wildlife, and various peaks, Electric Peak is a multi-day trek worth taking. The top of the trail beholds views across Yellowstone National Park, even showing the Tetons to the southern region.

Bunsen Peak to Osprey Falls Views: This gorgeous hike runs along both Swan Lake Meadows and the rim of Sheepeater Canyon, where both places are abundant with wildlife. Deep switchbacks lead down to Osprey Falls, standing about 150 feet high.

Pebble Creek Views: A steep start leads up to views of Soda Butte Creek, Abiathar Peak, and Amphitheater Mountain. The rest of the trail is downhill, reaching Pebble Creek with stunning meadows of wildflowers beyond. There are five backcountry camp sites if you want to make it a two day trek.

Crazy Creek Views: Winding along the river canyon of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River, this scenic hike will take you on an easy path crossing rolling hills and alpine meadows.

Trout Lake Views: This twelve-acre lake is surrounded by rolling meadows, forests, and a great mountain view. With it’s collection of rainbow trout, Trout Lake is a great hike for those hoping for a great day of fishing with some incredible views.

Nearby: Mammoth USGS: Mammoth, Quadrant Mountain, Electric Peak Skill Level: Difficult Length: 21 miles Duration: Can be a long day hike, or a multi-day backpack Trail Type: Out-and-back Elevation Gain: 3,691 ft Nearby: Mammoth USGS: Mammoth Skill Level: Difficult Length: 8 miles Duration: 4 hours Trail Type: Out-and-back Elevation Gain: 1,345 ft Nearby: Silver Gate, MT USGS: Abiathar Peak Skill Level: Difficult start and then easy to moderate Length: 12 miles Duration: Either a long day hike, or overnighter Trail Type: Through Hike Elevation Gain: 1,017 ft Nearby: Hurricane Mesa USGS: Muddy Creek, Hunter Peak Skill Level: Easy Length: 5 miles Duration: 2.5 hours Trail Type: Out-and-back Elevation Gain: Minimal Nearby: Tower USGS: Abiathar Peak and Mt. Hornaday Skill Level: Easy to moderate Length: 2.2 miles Duration: 1 hour Trail Type: Loop Elevation Gain: 200 ft


FOR A BETTER EXPERIENCE The Mini Hozuki Lantern A compact, bright and versatile LED camping light. Intuitive controls, warm candle-like tone and a powerful magnetic fastener make this the perfect light source to light up small spaces.

GADGETS Titanium Spork

Single Action Low Table Snow Peak’s newest table that offers a more portable version of our patented single action bamboo table design.

A Snow Peak staple, the lightweight and durable Titanium Spork is the ultimate backpacking utensil. Available in brilliant anodized colors.

Lapel Torch A bright and versatile hands-free LED light, the Lapel Torch clips to your shirt, backpack or elsewhere with a powerful magnetic clasp.

SnowMiner Headlamp This award winning headlamp seamlessly switches between a bright headlamp and a lantern with soft, diffused light.

Kanpai Bottle 500 Snow Peak’s popular stainless steel Kanpai bottle is a double-walled, vacuum-sealed container designed to keep drinks hot or cold for more than six hours.

Trek 700 Titanium The perfect solo titanium cookset, the Trek 700 lets you measure, boil and strain.


East Gate

The Elk Fork By LESLIE COLIN TRIBBLE Elk Fork is popular with hikers, horseback riders and hunters. It’ll take you into the mighty Washakie Wilderness, one of the most wild sections of land in the lower 48. At just under seven miles in length, this out and back trail offers a great way to experience the Absaroka Mountains and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It’s a relatively low elevation trail, opening up earlier in the spring than some other local hikes. In summer it can be downright toasty.

What Makes It Great Elk Fork is one of the major creeks flowing into the North Fork of the Shoshone River. This trail is a relatively easy hike since it follows the drainage, but there are some short, steep sections. You’ll traverse through pine and fir forests but get some great views of the higher peaks. The wide trail is wellmaintained so it makes a good day outing for families, even those with young children. The trail hugs the western facing slope of the hill so it can be sunny and warm especially during late summer. Access to Elk Fork itself is limited but there are several side paths down to the water if you need to cool off. This portion of the trail ends at the first significant creek crossing, 3.3 miles from the trailhead. Your chances of seeing wildlife are high on this trail, including mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep and even black or grizzly bears. If you want, you can continue on the trail further into the Washakie Wilderness and on to the Teton Wilderness. Be prepared for two fast moving river crossings.

Who Is Going to Love It This is a favorite trail for locals due to the views and moderate elevation gain. The Elk Fork campground is open year round so you won’t have to worry about hopping a gate to get to the trailhead. If you’re nervous about being in the wilderness, the Elk Fork trail is a good place to get acclimated. You can test out new equipment, introduce the kids to hiking and use it as a good warm up for the hiking season. Also, the openness of the trail lets you see around bends so there are fewer chances of startling any wild animals that might be out and about, such as bears.

Directions, Trailheads, Parking From Cody travel about 28 miles west, past the Forest Service Wapiti Ranger Station. The ranger station is manned by volunteers during the summer and a great place to get current information. Turn left (south) at the Elk Fork Campground. Drive through the campground to the south end past the horse trailer parking lot. There is plenty of parking for cars here, but you can also park with the horse trailers. The trail is part of the Shoshone National Forest so leashed pets are permitted. Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Water and restrooms are available at the campground during the summer season. This is a very popular campground and trail for hunters in the fall so wear reflective clothing.


TOP 5: CAMPGROUNDS NORTH ENTRANCE

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Big Game Location: 32 miles from Cody on U.S. Highway 14/16/20 (21 miles from the East Entrance) Camping: 16 Sites Reserve at www.recreation.gov or calling 1-877-444-6777 Open: Early June to Early September Cost: $10/Night for single unit

Newton

SOUTH ENTRANCE

Location: 37 miles from Cody on U.S. Highway 14/16/20 (16 miles from the East Entrance) Camping: 31 Sites Grizzly bear activity so hardside camping only. Open: Mid May to Late September Cost: $15/Night for single unit

Clearwater Location: 32 miles from Cody on U.S. Highway 14/16/20 (21 miles from the East Entrance) Camping: 11 Sites 1 Group Site - can hold up to 50 people Reserve at www.recreation.gov or calling 1-877-444-6777 Sites sit along Shoshone River Open: Late May to Early September Cost: $10/Night for single unit $60/Night for group site

Eagle Location: 45 miles from Cody on U.S. Highway 14/16/20 (8 miles from the East Entrance) Camping: 20 Sites Grizzly bear activity often so hardside camping only. Open: Mid May to Late September Cost: $15/Night for single unit

Wapiti Location: 28 miles from Cody on U.S. Highway 14/16/20 (25 miles from the East Entrance) Camping: 42 Sites (single, double, and triple) Electricity also available on some sites Reserve at www.recreation.gov or calling 1-877-444-6777 Open: Mid May to Mid October Cost: $15/Night for single unit with no electricity $20/Night for single unity with electricity


CLIMBING

BEST CLIMBING AREAS

SPORT

Season: Year-round Where: The Island Getting There: Head down Sheridan Avenue (Main Street) out towards the East Gate of Yellowstone. Right before the tunnels there will be a pullover to park your vehicle. From here you will walk along the road through two tunnels. To your right will be the Island area.

5 Routes to Check Out: Horn of Plenty: 5.12a, 40', 4 clips and sport anchor, boulder start Light Tension: 5.11b, 85', 10-11 clips Illegal Dihedral: 5.10d, 85', 11 clips Big Ben: 5.10d, 100', 10 bolts and chain anchor Egyptian: 5.9+, 50', 5 clips + chain anchor


Cody, Wyoming is a mecca of bouldering, sport, and ice climbing options. The best part is that there are no lines, no crowds, and the sun is always shining somewhere so you can keep sending all year round.

BOULDER

Season: Year-round Where: Cedar Mountain Getting There: Head down Sheridan Avenue (Main Street) out towards the East Gate of Yellowstone. Just outside the edge of town past the rodeo grounds there will be a blue barn. Turn left on to the road that will head up the mountain. There are various parking lots and pullouts along the road to each section of the mountain.

5 Routes to Check Out: Wilford’s Wretch: Switchback Boulders, Wilford’s Wretch, V6/7 Ripper: Mid Mountain Area, Ripper Boulder, V5 Meat Hook: Carcass Crag, Antelope Boulder, V5 Babies for Breakfast: Africa Area, Spear Point, V7 Resolution: Carcass Crag, Resolution Boulder, V5/6

ICE

Season: October-April seasons depending Where: South Fork Getting There: From Cody- Head down Sheridan Avenue (Main Street). Past Walmart, there will be a turnoff to South Fork Road (State Highway 291) on the left. Climbs can be found 32 miles down this road where pavement ends in the South Fork valley.

5 Routes to Check Out: Broken Hearts: Broken Hearts Area, 200m WI5-6, 7 pitches Smooth Emerald Milkshake: Deer Creek, 250m, WI4, 8 pitches Mean Green: Majo Ranch Area, 300m, WI5, 7 pitches Stringer: Stringer Area, 160m, WI3, 4 pitches + ice bouldering Too Cold To Fire: Deer Creek , 70m, WI4, 2 pitches


CLIMBING CULTIVATING BALANCE AS A CLIMBER As climbing season moves into full swing, more and more of my days are dedicated to climbing, while virtually all of my days after climbing and off from climbing are dedicated to resting for the next climbing day. Fitting an active and athletic yoga practice into a week already packed with all-day climbing efforts has been becoming more challenging, as I find myself wanting to avoid any movements or workouts that could potentially sabotage or interfere with my between-climbing recovery efforts, no matter how slightly. And so, while I love practicing (and teaching) Vinyasa yoga, as the climbing season has progressed, I’ve found myself turning to Yin yoga and restorative yoga in my personal practice with increasing frequency. I’d honestly never really tried Yin or restorative yoga prior to my teacher training in late 2013. When some Yin sessions were incorporated into our long days of multiple yoga classes, I felt accepting, but honestly, not super-inspired by Yin at those moments in time – probably because my normal activity level wasn’t the same at the teacher training as it is when I’m home, meaning I wasn’t pushing my body to its absolute limit the way I usually do when I climb and train, so I didn’t feel the same need for a more relaxed, stiller, calmer practice as I have been feeling lately (though I probably benefited from the Yin, regardless!). However, my teacher did suggest that I’d likely want to incorporate restorative and/ or Yin sessions into my personal practice when I was climbing and training more actively, and she couldn’t have made a more appropriate suggestion for someone like me.

overuse injuries – all of which I’m already on intimate terms with due to my predisposition to train/climb/ Vinyasa/whatever ’til I drop. Enter Yin yoga and restorative yoga: Yoga to the rescue! These two practices allow me to do something of value for my body and being – something that seems to have positive effects on my climbing, no less – without detracting from my body’s need to rest and recover. After a day or two of hard climbing or training, nothing makes me feel better than savoring an afternoon or evening session of Yin or restorative yoga. I often will do Yin on the first day after climbing and restorative the second, but there’s not a hard and fast rule that I follow; I just go by how I feel on any given day (actually, come to think of it, the same is true for my personal Vinyasa practice and my overall training plan and climbing as well – these are all now guided by how my body feels, no matter what I may have planned the day before or week before, and no matter what my mind wants my body to be ready to do). Yin yoga, with its deep holds of poses, seems to help unwind patterns of tension and tightness in my body made more obvious or exacerbated by a couple hard days of climbing, while restorative yoga’s deep relaxation and lack of physical effort is a perfect complement to a day that is indeed a complete and true rest day – which I believe is a must-have at least once a week in order to truly honor your body’s need for recovery and repair between difficult athletic efforts.

“...bodies only recover, repair and grow stronger with rest.”

I love to do active yoga, as I mentioned above. Sweating my way through a challenging 90-minute Vinyasa flow makes me feel alive and in tune with my whole being, much as climbing at my limit does. But does my body really need that type of a practice numerous days of the week when I’m climbing and training at my limit? Probably not, though I wish (as I always have) that I could do that – and climb at my limit, too, of course! – all day long, every day of the week, with no rest days required. Alas, as a human being this is never to be, since bodies only recover, repair and grow stronger with rest. Too much fastpaced, high-intensity, Yang activity leads to imbalances, and often, those imbalances lead to over-training and

After experimenting with and broadening my knowledge and practice of Yin yoga and restorative yoga myself


for several months this winter during my hard training season, I decided to do what I’ve often done when I feel that something I’m doing for myself might have some value for others – I started, ever so slowly, to pass it on. First and foremost, I began to give some of my coaching clients the alternative of doing short sequences of Yin yoga or restorative yoga poses in place of or in addition to their regular flexibility routines, not as a requirement or expectation at all but rather, only if they were interested in trying something new and open to it. When I received the feedback from a longtime climbing coaching client of mine quoted at the start of this article (with permission from Ken, of course), it gave me the final push to write this article to reach a broader audience, with the hopes of benefiting other climbers and physicalactivity-obsessed types like myself. Yin yoga and restorative yoga encourage us slow it down, to take some time out for ourselves in this time-

Alli Rainey is a prAna Ambassador who climbs and lives in Tensleep, Wyoming. Alli has supported her (20+ year) climbing career by tutoring, writing, editing, teaching/coaching other climbers, and now, teaching yoga. Most recently, she’s earned certificates in personal training (CPT) and yoga (RYT-200). She continues to study sports science in order to broaden her knowledge of athletic training in an effort to help both herself and others achieve new heights in sports mastery.

crunched world to promote personal balance and relaxation, and to give such practices equal value as we give to our more active, more intense and more calorie-burning activities. They remind us that we don’t always need to be vigorously doing something with our bodies in order to improve our overall sense of health, wholeness and well-being – and that sometimes we’d be best off doing the exact opposite of that. Yin and restorative yoga practices provide us with a way to work on improving all three of those aforementioned qualities without sabotaging our bodies’ very real needs to rest and refresh, whether we’re tired from climbing, training, a difficult Vinyasa flow practice, or some other demanding physical activity entirely.


HIKING Do you want to get out on the trails with your kids, but are not sure how to make it a drama and stress-free endeavor? These are just a few tips and tricks that will keep everyone enjoying the great outdoors!

TAKING THE KIDS


Motivate Have something fun planned out for at the end of a hike like a waterfall or a lake to fish in. That way they’ll stay excited throughout the trek to reach the end. Hint: Geocaching can be a great way to both hike and “hunt for treasure.” Check and see if there are any in your area, or to a destination! https://www.geocaching.com/play

Short & Sweet Those short little legs just can’t go the distance quite yet. Choose a hike that you can take regular rest breaks, and will only take up a portion of the day. Hint: The rule is a half-mile for every year of age. i.e. A five-year-old should be able to hike two to three miles.

Ready, Set, Go! Kids love being involved. Have them help choose a trail, pack up their hiking gear, and learn about what they might see outdoors. Creating an exciting and positive outlook before you head out the door will carry on to the trail.

Pack It In Be sure to bring extra snacks, water, layers and changes of clothes. If your kids are old enough help them pack their own bags and have them create some fun snacks for the trail.

Play on the Way

Set Goals Whether it may be a certain mileage, time limit, number of hill climbs or water crossings, you can help your kids set goals. Not only can it be fun to increase the number each time, but it will get them looking forward to heading out on the next adventure.

Create games while on the trail like “I Spy,” or have them photograph any interesting items or wildlife that might catch their eye. If you were able to research beforehand, see how many plants, animals and natural landmarks they can identify while on the trail.

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South Gate NORTH ENTRANCE

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6 Amazing Peaks You Can Reach Even If You’re Not a Mountaineer

Cache Peak is a great in-town option that leads to the boundary of the Gros Vetre Wilderness. Photo by Dina Mishev

Yes, Jackson Hole is the (disputed) birthplace of American mountaineering. There are numerous routes on the Grand Teton, Mt. Moran, and the Middle Teton totally worth climbing. Topping out on any of these summits, you’re greeted by amazing views, often stretching across three states and including two national parks and half-a-dozen other mountain ranges. But thankfully, you needn’t be a technical climber to reach a Jackson Hole summit and enjoy these expansive views. The following six summits are all attainable by hiking. And by hiking we mean hiking, not the class IV scrambling you have to do to get up Teewinot’s East Face.


1. In-Town Option We particularly love any summit where you can start from a town’s downtown. And also summits that allow you to combine mountain biking with hiking. Cache Peak, rising up 10,384-feet in the Gros Ventre Wilderness, allows both. Begin biking from Jackson’s elk-antler-arch in Town Square and continue riding up the Cache Creek drainage to the boundary of the Gros Ventre Wilderness. From there, it’s about a five-mile walk to top of Cache Peak, which isn’t the tallest peak in the Gros Ventre Range, but still affords fabulous 360-degree views.

2. The Name Doesn’t Fit Now that it’s known that the peak directly east of the Grand Teton is fully separate from the tallest Teton, “Disappointment Peak” is no longer a descriptive name. It is understandable that the first party of Europeans who went up this peak in 1925 may have been disappointed that they couldn’t reach the summit of the Grand from it, but today, people who arrive at its precipitous 11,618-foot summit are anything but disappointed. Instead, they’re elated to have earned neckkinking views of the 13,775-foot Grand. The view also includes the Middle Teton, Teewinot, Owen and… well, most every major peak in the southern part of the park.

3. Escape the Tetons Ninety minutes south of Jackson Hole, the town of Afton is home to one of the world’s few cold water geysers. The same trailhead as you use to access the Periodic Spring will also take you to the tallest peak in the Salt River Range, Mt. Fitzpatrick. As geologically interesting as the Periodic Spring is, scientists only have guesses as to how the plumbing works. We recommend heading for 10,907-foot Mt. Fitzpatrick. The round trip is about 20 miles. The hike includes two (or four, if you retrace your steps) miles of the most exhilarating ridge hiking we’ve ever done in this area. Best of all? Chances are you’ll see only a handful of other people all day.

4. Serious Views Without a doubt, our favorite summit that you can hike to in Grand Teton National Park is Static Peak. It’s more of a grunt than its 17-mile distance would suggest and it’s entirely worth it. We might go so far as to write that this is the best day-hike in Grand Teton National Park, even if it is an out-and-back. The Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop would be a close second. Bearing north at the Death Canyon ranger station, it’s exactly four miles to the 11,303-foot summit of Static. This will be the longest four miles of your life. From the summit, you can reach out and smack Buck Mountain’s north face though. Timberline Lake glistens below, either with ice (which it often holds until August) or in the sun. (Once the ice melts, it’s an otherworldly shade of grue, that’s our made-up word for green-blue). Due south, see if you can spot the aquamarine Rimrock Lake hanging in a cirque high on Prospectors Mountain.

5. Something in Yellowstone Yellowstone’s 20-mile Sky Rim Trail is the park’s best alpine hike even if you don’t do the .6-mile roundtrip side spur to Big Horn Peak. By the time you’re making your decision whether to go up Big Horn or not, if you do Sky Rim in the clockwise direction that we recommend, all of the hard stuff is behind you. So you should definitely do it. The elevation gain of the final bit to Big Horn’s 9,888-foot summit might be 100 feet at best. The .3-mile stretch of trail that takes you there might be the coolest section of trail in all of Yellowstone. It was carved out of Big Horn’s nearly sheer, and completely loose side. From the top, soak in views of Crown Butte, the Madison and Gallatin Range, and the Absarokas, to name just a few of the ranges visible. On a clear day you can see for up to 100 miles; some people have reported seeing the Tetons from here.

An 20-mile alpine loop hike in Yellowstone’s far northwest corner that follows a ridge for seven miles and passes close to 9,888-foot Big Horn Peak.


BEST PLACES TO EAT

Photo by Larry Johnson

Elevated Grounds

Delicious coffee and food options, and is the perfect place to visit before and after your Teton adventure. 3445 N. Pines Way Suite #102 Wilson, WY 83014 elevatedgroundscoffeehouse.com/Home_Page.php

Persephone Bakery Cafe One of Jackson Hole’s most loved bakeries, and their muffins are the best in town. 145 E. Broadway, Jackson Hole WY persephonebakery.com

Lotus Cafe An all-organic cafe with a wide range of some of the best, most diverse, most high quality foods in Jackson Hole 145 N. Glenwood St., Jackson Hole WY tetonlotuscafe.com/Lotus_Cafe/Welcome.html

Nikai An award-winning sushi stop that is always coming up with new, interesting and unique rolls that continue to impress. 225 N. Cache, Jackson Hole WY nikaisushi.com

Rock Springs Yurt How many times have you blown 60 bucks on dinner and drinks alone? Why not put your money towards something worthwhile and unforgettable by snowshoeing to a mountain yurt, enjoying intimately prepared foods, and spending the night under the stars? Base of Rock Springs Canyon jacksonhole.com/yurt.html

The Deck Offering the best summer happy hour in the valley; accessed via a free ride up the Bridger Gondola. Top of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Gondola 3395 Cody Lane Teton Village, WY jacksonhole.com/summer-the-deck.html

Dornan’s Dornan’s comes with huge, carbo-loaded portions, cold and hot beverages, and great views of the Tetons from the second-floor deck. 12170 Dornan Road #39 Moose, WY dornans.com/dining/

SCENIC Snake River Overlook Location: 20 miles from Jackson Hole and 9 miles north of Moose on U.S. Highway 26 Scene: Grand and Mt. Moran with Snake River below Fact: One of Ansel Adams’ most famous images was photographed at this site.

Cathedral Group Location: Turn off the main highway to North Jenny Lake Junction. The road follows along the mountains, leading to the Cathedral Group Turnout. Scene: An expansive valley floor sitting along the base of the Tetons. Fact: Early June all the way to August the fields are filled with wildflowers. If you stop at the Moose Visitor’s Center, they will have the current information of what is in bloom for that week.

Mormon Row Barns Location: A few miles down Antelope Flats Road off of U.S. Highway 26 Scene: Mormon Row barns with Tetons in background Fact: The Moulton family, who were the original homesteaders of the area, still own the barns today.

The Wedding Trees Location: Located on the Gros Ventre Road is a small parking lot just before the Lower Slide Lake. The trail leads up to an old tree framing the Tetons.


South Gate Looking to try and capture the Tetons in all of their grandeur? Here are a few places worthy of framing up on your wall.

C OUTLOOKS Scene: Overlook of the Tetons Fact: The Wedding Tree is named after the amount of people married beneath its branches.

Oxbow Bend Location: Sitting between the Yellowstone National Parks north entrance and Jackson Lake on U.S. Highway 26, a

parking lot sits next to the river for easy access. Scene: Snake River and a wide swath of trees sit below Mt. Moran. Fact: This is one of the most popular places to photograph for fall colors. Be sure to get there at sunrise to get the reflection of the trees in the river!

Photo by Larry Johnson


GEAR

SUNLIGHT’S GUIDE TO DAY HIKING 10

Men’s

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01. Osprey Raptor 10 02. UDAP Economy Bear Spray 03. Adventure Medical Kit Ultralight and Watertight Series 0.7 04. Mountain Trash Flexfit Hat 05. prAna Menace Knicker

06. Oboz Windriver II BDry 07. Kate’s Tram Bar 08. Duckworth Maverick Tee 09. FITS Hiker Crew Socks 10. KRAVE Sweet Chipotle Jerky 11. Black Diamond Ergo Cork Trekking Poles


These images show just a few of the necessities needed in order to day hike. For further information, please stop in at Sunlight Sports and speak to one of our employees to help outfit you for your next trip.

Women’s

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05 06 10

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11

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01. Patagonia All Weather Zip-Neck Hoody 02. Native Sidecar Sunglasses 03. Sea To Summit XL Bowl 04. Light My Fire Spork 05. The North Face Short Sleeve Reaxion Amp V-Neck Tee

06. PROBAR Meal Superfood Slam 07. Patagonia Rock Craft Pant 08. Osprey Tempest 16 Pack 09. Oboz Windriver II BDry 10. point6 Crew Mixed Stripe Mini Crew Socks 11. Backpacker’s Pantry Cold Black Bean Salad


West Gate NORTH ENTRANCE

West Gate

WEST ENTRANCE

NORTHEAST ENTRANCE

EAST ENTRANCE

SOUTH ENTRANCE

Small Stream Fishing On the way to the river that you’ve read about since you started fly fishing, you drove over a creek. You probably didn’t notice it gently adding to the flow as you were trout necking your way down the valley. It wasn’t very large and certainly didn’t look like much. But chances are, it had trout in it. Luckily for us, there are hundreds of these small streams surrounding West Yellowstone, each being driven over each day by scores of anglers heading to their famous destinations.


Photo by Mike Loebel

By mid summer, I try very hard not to fish, personally, on the waters that I am frequently guiding. I also want to get away from folks when I am out on a day off. Exploring little creeks allows me to do both of these and also have a great time fishing. You aren’t going to catch big trout, or at least not any numbers of them in creeks like these. If a grip and grin is what you are after, drive back down the hill to the bigger rivers. The fish in these rivers are small, plain and simple. That alone keeps most anglers away. There is a real solitude fishing small streams. You can also fish your way into places that you are absolutely convinced a bear is going to eat you, which of course adds to the charm of the location. The great thing personally about small streams is that the fish are totally wild in how they react to the fly and how they react to people. Fish, on the heavily fished rivers in the area, change their behavior due to angling pressure. Small stream fish tend to live in a blissful ignorance, and I find this to be refreshing as hell. Small stream fish live in the best looking places of the stream. They eat a Parachute Adams or Elk Hair Caddis without fear or hesitation. During the summer months,

it is almost always dry fly fishing. Fishing a dry dropper rig is often deadly, and most of the time unnecessary.

Grab a small box of flies, a spool of tippet, a three weight, and a sandwich and you are good to go. Small stream fishing is simple. Grab a small box of flies, a spool of tippet, a three weight, and a sandwich and you are good to go. There is no complex rigging or fancy technique needed. No boat, no waders, no extra anything. Just get the fly out there, float it and the fish will eat it. A few hours up a little creek is almost certainly going to be fun and rewarding. It is also a great way to recharge and relax. Because there are so many little creeks around here there are always new ones to explore. Madison River Outfitters has been outfitting for the sport of fly fishing since 1981. This West Yellowstone shop provides guided fishing trips, as well as provide up to date fishing reports and detailed fishing guides on the surrounding rivers. Visit madisonriveroutfitters.com for more information


YELLOWSTONE National Park A place where a kid can be a kid, adults become kids and the buffalo still roam. In Yellowstone, you can look left, right, up and down in awe of the beauty that the land provides. The great rivers, lakes, canyons and geysers put our lives into perspective as you travel through the wondrous and adventures land. Yellowstone can bring together the most unlikely of company and keep life fresh with a flourishing ecosystem that we can thoroughly continue to enjoy. As a company (Poler Stuff) that contributes to the enjoyment of the outdoors we can truly stand by our excitement of having such a giving piece of land in our own country. We hope to continue encouraging young ones and old folk alike to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, take in the scenery and keep life fresh with easy and fun adventures such as Yellowstone National Park. Poler Outdoor Stuff makes gear for people that are travels, couch surfers, adventurers and outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts. We make the outdoors fun for parents, kids, car campers and anyone else looking for something that looks great and

is of good value, all the while just having fun on road trips and in the outdoors. Poler Stuff is stuff that is made for people that have adventures all over the world while wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. Its for people that wonder why everyone is trying to pretend they are going to do first ascents on alpine peaks instead of celebrating the fact that they are having adventures that are awesome in their own way.


Family Games on the Road

Trip taking a little longer than expected? Here are a few games to keep the good times rolling.

1. The Grocery Game Here’s a game that tests both the memory and stomach. Have the first person start off with a food item beginning with the letter “A”. The next person will then repeat that object, and then add a food item that starts with the letter “B”. (i.e. apple; apple, banana) If you forget an item you’re out-so let the best or hungriest memory win! Use people, animals, or sports to try out a different version.

2. Storytelling Team Everyone loves a good story, so why not share the love in creating one all together? Each person gets one sentence to help spin the tale, so choose your words wisely! This can last a few minutes, or an hour or two, depending on how much the creative juices are flowing.

3. License Plate Search During the summer months Yellowstone Park becomes busy with visitors from all across the country. Write up a list of all fifty states and see if you can find every state’s license plate before the trip ends. Don’t worry, Hawaii and Alaska are around more often than you think.

4. Finish the Picture Grab a few sheets of paper, different colored writing utensils, and your thinking cap. This twoplayer game is a challenge of creativity and seeing outside of the lines. One person starts off drawing a scribble (the wilder the better.) The other player then has to create an image from the drawing. This can be a person, animal, thing, or scene. The paper can be rotated, flipped, or angled to make the best out of some wild doodles!

Sunlight Sports Employee Backpacking Yellowstone National Park is the quintessential outdoor destination. Living on the front step of such a wealth of natural beauty is truly a blessing. The legendary landscapes of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem can be accessed by car, bike, and even by air. However, to really discover Yellowstone’s treasures, you must leave the beaten path. The primitive nature of trekking through the wilderness is the best way to gain insight in to what this great region of the country has to offer. The issue we find at Sunlight Sports is that most people don’t have the know-how or wilderness experience to complete such an endeavor with confidence. Every year, the Sunlight Sports crew ventures into Yellowstone to gain discernment about the outdoors and the outdoor industry. Trip logistics are taken care of as much as a month in advance. Outdoor companies provide most of the gear for the duration of the trip. These demos give us access to the latest and greatest in merchandise, like tents and sleeping bags. The annual trip occurs in mid-June, before summer is in full swing. Our trips are designed to expose employees to the realities of backpacking, as well as to provide real life experiences with the equipment we rent and sell. Having these unique opportunities helps us to be able to outfit you with an ideal hiking system, from head to toe.


Getting prepared for a backpacking trip can be stressful. We, at Sunlight Sports, understand this. We love being outdoors and want to share our insight with everyone we influence. Without the proper gear, knowledge, or preparation, trips can go south in a hurry. We are willing to help with any aspect of your trip. We pride ourselves on having tested the gear that we will be equipping you with. We are constantly looking to improve our own skill sets and knowledge to better serve you, our customers and friends. Yellowstone, as well as all other National Parks that allow camping, requires campers to reserve their camp sites

as if checking in to a hotel. This can be done in advance or by walking in to one of the five backcountry offices in Yellowstone. For the people willing to put in the effort of hiking to these backcountry locations the rewards are immense. The reservation system offers the incredible opportunity to enjoy an authentic camping experience, with fewer disruptions of the natural beauty that is always present. Park officials are friendly and often informative, providing current details about trail access, animal activity, and favorite locations. With camping sites reserved, backpacks packed, and boots tied (sometimes), you are ready to embark on what is unquestionably going to be an adventure!


Absaroka  

A Local's Guide to Cody,WY and Yellowstone.

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