Tetons & Yellowstone followup


A few months ago I sought advice here on paddling in GTNP and Yellowstone and spots on the way (from Duluth) out there. I appreciated the great advice I got. I have a some quick thoughts on the places we paddled.

I thought we’d launch my canoes in the Black Hills. But the lake we were camped on (Sheridan) was overrun with jet skis and power boats. Sylvan Lake was gorgeous but, again, overrun with people.

West Tensleep Lake, Bighorn Mtns. Camped there one night. Beautiful lake, caught some trout, must go back.

Brooks Lake, Wind River Range. Camped there one night. Beautiful lake, caught some trout, must go back.

Snake River (Dam to Pacific Creek) I absolutely loved this section. My wife and kids (14, 12, 9) liked it so much we did it twice. The first day we went in the afternoon and were accompanied by a variety of drift boats and kayaks. It wasn’t crazy with people, but you weren’t alone either. Two days later, we launched in the early evening and had the river to ourselves, other than one shore fisherman. Great wildlife and caught some cutthroat. Both trips I shuttled the car and easily hitched a ride back to the dam.

Jenny, String, and Leigh. Probably the three prettiest lakes I’ve ever paddled. The shuttle boats on Jenny were a drawback. String had too many people. Leigh was just right. I had planned to camp on Leigh, but was outvoted by my crew. I will absolutely return to camp on that lake. I think I’m in love with Mr. Moran.

Jackson Lake. Our campsite (at Lizzard Creek) was right on the water. Beautiful scenery. We were away from the motor traffic. But it didn’t have quite the appeal of the smaller lakes and the Snake.

West Thumb, Yellowstone. Loved the Geyser Basin from the canoe. Absolutely a superior experience from the water as opposed to the shore. Also, had a great view of a bison that was near water’s edge. Caught a 3-4 lb. laker as an added bonus.

Shoshone Lake. Spent two nights on 8Q1. Very buggy (but they were present everywhere). The lake reminded me of the deep, clear, cold lakes in the BWCA/Quetico. Caught several lake trout without much effort. We hit the Geyser Basin early the second day and had it to ourselves for the hour we were there. Truly special and magical spot.

I had staged an internal debate whether to bring the canoes for our 2 1/2 week trip. I knew we’d be near water that I’d love to paddle and that it would give us a means to get off the beaten track. But it seemed like a lot of extra stuff. As it turned out, the highlights of our trip virtually all involved the canoes. During several of our outings, I thought that that particular trip alone had made bringing the canoes worth the effort.

Thanks for the followup
It is always nice to hear how things turned out from a post in which you were interested.


Sounds like a nice trip
I spent a 5 days at West Tensleep Lake a couple of years ago. Very nice lake.

There were actually a lot of people on Sylvan? The times I’ve been there there were only a few people fishing the banks.

Although there were some
fisherman on shore and in boats, the real drawback at Sylvan was the sheer volume of people around the lake. It felt completely overrun.

I could definitely spend a week at W. Tensleep–canoeing, fishing, day hiking. Very pretty area. I think I need more vacation time and fewer family obligations. Oh, yeah, that’s called retirement.