Riding - Fishing - Scenery - Photography - Spring Flowers
This is an amazing trip in the early summer visiting the south and north forks of the Sun River. We start at Benchmark trailhead and travel upriver to our base camp at Gates Park before coming out over the snow and spectacular scenery of Headquarters Pass. The travel days on this trip are modest - average about 10 miles when we travel.
Day 1: Early morning start as we head into the mountains from Benchmark trailhead west of Augusta. Our destination this day is Pretty Prairie - aptly named for sure! The ride down the South Fork of the Sun is a gradual grade with open country most of the way due to a 2004 fire. We will camp at Pretty Prairie, which is a mile long meadow sitting beside the beautiful south fork. Riding distance is 7 miles.
Day 2: We do not travel this day. Exploration options include superb hiking, fishing, and day riding options.
Day 3: We pack up and move downriver before climbing out the south fork and descending gradually to the north fork. Our destination tonight is Glenn Creek on the North Fork Sun River. This day is filled with constantly changing vistas of the Sun valley and surrounding mountains, which will be snow packed still. Riding distance is 10 miles.
Day 4: We do not travel this day. Exploration options include superb hiking, fishing, and day riding options.
Day 5: We pack up and move upriver. The route is winding through open meadows and ridges. The scenery is sublime and we often see elk along this stretch. A truly unforgettable day. Our destination tonight is our base camp at Gates Park on the North Fork. Riding distance is 11 miles.
Day 6: We do not travel this day. Exploration options include superb hiking, fishing, and day riding options.
Day 7: We pack up and head up Headquarters Creek east towards the mountain front. But first we must gradually climb all the way to the Headquarters basin, where we often see herds of goats and bighorn sheep. After lunch we climb the final ascent over Headquarters Pass to 8,000 ft, then descend down towards the South Fork Teton River and our trailhead there. The views along this ride, particularly at the pass, are fantastic. Riding distance is 14 miles.
This trip as an incredible amount of open country and day riding options. If the water has cleared up, the fishing will start to get pretty good by the time we get to Gates Park on the North Sun. Our most popular day rides include Moonlight Peak near Lick Creek, Bear Top Lookout at Gates Park, and lower Rock Creek and Biggs Creek meadows.
Of particular interest, due to the absolute remote nature of the Bob Marshall, there is zero light polution, and near perfectly clear skies. The deep evening star gazing is intensely beautful, where you can see brilliantly our evening constellations, the Milky Way galaxy, and numerous shooting stars. This is a unique and rare opportunity to see our night time sky in a way you've not seen it before. The days are long out here, so plan on staying up late as sunset is about 10pm.
As this is a 7 day travel trip, with modest travel days. Our recommended camping gear list is downloadable from the link below. As a summary however, you'll want to keep in mind the following specifics about this trip. There are 4 travel days and 3 lay over days (non-traveling). This trip covers some incredible country ranging from the beautiful vistas of the Sun Valley in early summer. The average riding day is 11 miles and we travel every other day. This trip has great opportunity for riders, photographers, hikers, fishermen, and explorers. The things that are important and make your trip most comfortable are layered clothing appropriate for early summer. It can get hot during the day, but the nights will be surprising cool. We can also get a thunderstorm on any given day, so you'll need good rain gear that you can wear riding or hiking. Comforable hiking/riding shoes are a must, and a good assortment of hiking socks varying from light to medium weight. Also, you may consider chaps for riding, or silk under your jeans as we do have some ground to cover on horseback. This will mitigate chafing.