Yellowstone Lake Southeast Arm

I’m Planning a 4 day trip for 07/20/2007 I would like any information you can share.

Was in Yellowstone last august…
from what I understand, there could be some wind issues to consider for late morning to late afternoon. However, since FEW people make it that far south, wildlife viewing should be pretty good, since only hand powered craft are permitted there. We rented a canoe at Jenny Lake in Jackson Hole, and I knew I had to go back and paddle around Oxbow, Jackson Lake, and in Yellowstone, there is also Lewis and Shoshone Lake. There’s a geyser basin on the west side of Shoshone Lake that only the most intrepid of “walkers” from the Old Faithful area can hike to. Seems to me it would be worth the paddle. Check out the Yellowstone website, and also see about getting the National Geographic Topo maps of the parks. They’re definitely the best maps to use for trip planning of any kind! Have fun and post your pictures!


Yellowstone Lake

I have paddled into the southeast arm a couple of times and it is well worth the trip. All campsites need to be reserved in advance and I believe April 1st is when they start taking reservations. Get them in early to get the sites that you want. Contact the backcountry office and they will send you a planner. Sites 6a2 and 6a3 are the best sites at the end of the arm and I think 6a2 is the best because there is a nice little lagoon there that you can paddle into next to the campsite. If you are going in from grant village it is about a 24 mile paddle to the end of the arm if you cut across the flat mountain and south arms. Much further if you paddle down those arms. Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms as the Lake can get real nasty real Quick. Those campsites do not open up until the middle of July because of bear activity so you will be one of the early arrivals down there.One of our party spotted two wolves along the shore last time we were there so watch for wildlife. Great hiking up the valley along the yellowstone river. The upper yellowstone valley above the lake is one of the most remote spots in the continental US. Enjoy

trip into arms
Generally, parties paddling into the SE arm begin their trip at Sedge Bay, at the north end of the lake. From Sedge to the bottom of the arm is 20+ miles. This put-in is at the end of the prevailing wind fetch of Lake Yellowstone. Afternoon winds/waves are to be expected. Once you get into the arm itself you are more protected from the wind. The other paddle option is to start from Grant village–this route may be a little further, and you would have to make a crossing of the south arm to reach the SE arm. The other popular option is to arrange a shuttle drop/pick-up from Bridge Bay Marina, which is run by the concessions company, Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Drop-off and pick-ups into the arms are not a bad way to go–spend all of your time exploring the arms instead of spending a full day traveling each way.

Don’t have to cross the south arm
In July 2005 my husband and I planned to paddle around all three arms from Grant Village and back. We went down and around the first one (Flat Mtn??? the short one), down and around the south arm, and then couldn’t stand the incredibly bad mosquitoes any more. The morning we were to paddle into and down the southeast arm, I suggested we get the H out of Dodge City and he readily agreed. So we never got down the southeast arm. We hightailed it back to Grant Village that day. In going back, we did cut across the south arm, but it is not necessary to do that–we just wanted to avoid another night of camping to the drone of “swamp angels” waiting to suck our blood. So we shortcut as much as we could.

We will return to do it sometime–but NOT IN JULY!!! At least not in July after a wet spring. Gawd. We’d been in Yellowstone several times before, including two other paddle-camping trips, but those were later in the year. NEVER AGAIN IN JULY. He wanted to avoid freezing nights, but I’ll gladly take them over the *@%^&ing mosquitoes.

Trip all Planned
The trip is set for July 24 - 27 taking a shuttle boat from bridge bay marina to campsite 5L8 plan to paddle to 5L9 to 6A2 and 5E2 returning on the 28th to 5L8 for return trip via shuttle boat back to bridge bay marina.

summer trip
Good call to use the shuttle boat. You will love the campsites you are staying at. Have a good trip.

3 positions left
The shuttle boat still has three positions left for 08:00am.

Just Curious
How much do they charge for the shuttle boat service?

the charge is $308 there and back. You can split the cost by six.