Riding - Fishing - Hiking - Exploring
Day 1: Pack up at the South Fork Teton trailhead. The ride over Headquarters Pass (elevation 7,700 ft) is truly a highlight of the trip - and it's only the first 2 hours in!! The trail from the basin below the pass begins a gradual descent along Headquarters Creek to the North Fork Sun River valley. Along the way we have wide open vistas. We often see wildlife along this ride as is a natural corridor for traveling elk, black bear, deer, and other critters. Camp this evening is our semi-permanent camp ont he Sun River at Gates Park. Riding distance 14 miles.
Day 2: No travel this day but plenty to do. If you're up for a day ride, we often go to Biggs Creek Meadows to explore and see some incredible views of the continental divide to the west and the Sun River valley in all other directions. Riding distance is 5 miles. For the fishermen, you'll want to get on the water right after breakfast and start dueling with the river trout. They get hungry around 10am and be ready for some amazing dry fly action and a LOT of fish. Our fishermen come back telling us they catch upwards of 60 fish a day.
Day 3: No travel this day. For day riders, we often go to Bear Top fire lookout which is the only remaining fire look out in the valley. The view up there are incredible. It's a good trail and we ride most of the way and hike the last 45 minutes. We eat lunch and chat with the fire watch person, and just soak in amazing 360 views. Total riding distance 10 miles. The fishermen will get going again in the morning. Often we can mix it up by taking fishermen downstream or upstream by horseback on an hour ride to get some different views of the river. It's pretty remarkable fishing no matter where you go on this river.
Day 4: No travel this day. Our last day to explore and fish. For the fishermen, we give them some aspirin for their aching elbows (from all the fish pulling on the rods all day) and get them to the river for the final day of fishing. We may ride up to Ray Creek to hit the upper reaches of the Sun. The riders often go along on that day ride as it's a beautiful ride up the river along the high bluffs of the Sun. Its often our capstone day of the trip.
Day 5: We pack up early and head out the Headquarters trail. We get an early start to beat the heat and the dust, and are eating lunch in the basin below Headquarters Pass. We often see mountain goats and bighorn sheep in the basins on either side of the pass. Our day ends at the South Fork Teton trailhead. We typically arrive in there in early afternoon. Riding distance 14 miles.
This is a super trip for those not wanted to travel too much, yet getting to an area with a lot of options. For the fisherman, this is an outstanding fly fishing experience. The horse day rides, historical points of interest, and amazing vista points will keep the non-fisherman thrilled as well.
Weather this time of year is pretty warm in the day - well into the 80's. Bring layer for cool mornings and ability to get down to comfortable gear during the heat of the day. The horseflies and mosquitos are fading by this time of year, but there maybe a few around. Raingear is always appropriate for the occassional thunderstorm. The fishermen will need wading gear and sun protection.
Detailed camping and fishing gear recommendations are available below for download.