Mountains home

Up the Lamar Valley

This was the last long backpacking trip of the summer in Yellowstone and it was an interesting one. The fishing wasn't as good as I expected, but the geology was much more interesting than I had anticipated.

July 21: Hiked into campground 3L1 at the junction of Cache Creek and the Lamar River. This is a good campsite with plenty of flat spots for tents and access to clean water. I had hoped to fish Cache, but it was very muddy from rain two days before so the fishing was impossible except during a very short caddis hatch right after the sun set where the Cutthroats poked their heads out of the chocolate milk to take some bugs.

July 22: The morning started with a buffalo wandering through camp.

It didn't bother us, but since I've been run up a tree by a bison before, we were a bit nervous. Spent the day hiking up to Wahb Springs about 1.5 miles up Cache Creek.

Wahb looks fairly dead, but it still smells very strongly of sulfur. Supposedly it sometimes releases enough poisonous gasses to kill animals in the area. There were very interesting sulfuric formations everywhere, a lot of petrified wood, and small springs releasing ink-black water. Perhaps most interesting were the huge bubbles erupting from the bottom of the Creek -- I'm not sure if that was boiling water or just gasses escaping. I suspect the later. We spent the night again at 3L1.

July 23: Today was a healthy hike up to campsite 3L7. Despite following the Lamar River, the trail was constantly rolling up and down, and I'd guess we climbed about a thousand feet. We forded Calfe and Miller creeks without any problems though I did drop a sock in Calfe and was unable to find it. Miller Creek looked very fishable and there was petrified wood scattered everywhere along the creek bed and quartz and amethyst crystals were occasionally found as well. The 3L7 campsite is in a beautiful meadow tucked in a bend of the Lamar.

There were several cut logs there to be used as a table which was great for cooking and enough flat spots for a tent. The only source of water at the site was the Lamar, which because it was still a bit muddy clogged up our filter pretty quickly.

July 24: Fished around the camp. Unfortunately there was a horse pack-trip camping across the creek from us and the 8 anglers who came in on that trip were all over the place. Somehow after you've hiked in 17 miles, it seems like cheating when a big group just appears on "your" river. About a mile east of the camp, there was a beautiful wide open meadow filled section of the valley. There was some fun fishing in this area, especially along the deadfalls of wood.

July 25: We started hiking out, camped at 3L4.

This is nice campsite, right along the river, but the spots for setting up a tent are very limited. The area is fairly open and we had beautiful views of the sunset and starry night. I fished upstream from camp a ways, and the fishing was slow, but I did find some amazing petrified wood logs.

July 26: Hiked back, doing a bit of fishing in the Lamar along the way. Thankfully my truck was still where I left it, totally undisturbed.

Posted by Bruce on July 29, 2004 11:12 AM

Post a comment

(If you've never left a comment here before, Bruce may need to approve your entry before it appears here. Thanks for waiting.)