Author Archives: John

Avalanche Peak Trail, Yellowstone National Park

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Avalanche Peak is rated  the favorite hike of Yellowstone Employees.

Avalanche Peak is rated as the favorite hike among Yellowstone Employees.

It’s been a long time since my last post, but Cindy and I are still traveling in our RV and have no intention of quitting anytime soon. In my next post, I’ll bring you up to date on where we’ve been over the past 6 months but first I want to tell you about my latest adventure.

Snow that's never melted over the summer can be seen near the summit of Avalanche Peak.

Snow that’s never melted over the summer can be seen near the summit of Avalanche Peak.

Cindy and I are once again volunteering with Yellowstone Forever in Yellowstone National Park. We arrived in mid-May and will be leaving on October 1st. I’ve joined the 100 mile hiking challenge again this summer and have completed about 90 miles to date with 3 weeks to go. My last hike was to the top of Avalanche Peak, a hike that’s been on my Yellowstone bucket list for a number of years.

This hike is brutal. It’s about 6 miles round trip and climbs 2,100 feet to an elevation of 10,529 feet. The average grade is 16% (9 degrees) and the maximum grade is 46% (25 degrees).

At times, the trail appears as nothing more than a path scratch into the side of the mountain.

At times, the trail appears as nothing more than a path scratched into the side of the mountain.

The trail is in a remote area of the park that sees few visitors. The first half of the trail runs through a pine forest frequented by grizzly bears (I saw none) while the second half is above the tree line. The second half is mostly loose rock making it the most treacherous.

After 2 hours of climbing, I can finally see my destination at the end of the ridge trail. It looked a lot more precarious in real life than in this photo.

After 2 hours of climbing, I can finally see my destination at the end of the ridge trail. It looked a lot more precarious in real life than in this photo especially with the 30-40 mph winds..

I've made it to the top!

I’ve made it to the top. This climb is the equivalent of walking to the top of the Empire State Building twice!

Believe it or not, hiking down was worse than hiking up. While going up required frequent breaks and lots of huffing and puffing, hiking down was murder on my knees and hips.

In this section, I could barely see the trail on the way down.

In this section, I could barely make out the trail on the way down. One misstep here and it’s curtains!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather