Riding - Sun River headwaters Scenery - Photography - Spring Flowers - Exploring
This is a beautiful early summer traveling trip into the lightly visited upper reaches of the North Fork Sun River. This trip gives the adventurer an amazing tour through the most remote country we have out this way. We make a loop - starting at the Middle Fork Teton River trailhead. Over the course of the next 7 days we travel up the upper reaches of the Sun River. We will spend some time at a Sun tributary Lick Creek. A place noted for wildlife and vistas. From here we move downriver a little to Gates Park, where the country opens up for fabulous day riding and scenery. Our exit route takes us over Headquarters Pass, often we'll be the first ones to cross over the snow banks. We will end at our trailhead location on the South Fork Teton River.
Day 1: Early morning start as we head into the mountains from Middle Fork Teton trailhead. Our destination this day is Lick Creek. The ride up the Middle Fork is a gradual grade with stunning open country along the way. We cross Route Creek Pass about 1/3 of the way in. This pass is one of hte first to open up though we may cross some residual snow fields. From the pass we drop gradually down Route Creek to the Sun Valley, and just a little ways up Lick Creek for our first night's campsite. Riding distance is 15 miles.
Day 2: A well earned rest day where we don't move camp but we can explore Lick Creek or the upper Sun valley.
Day 3: We move camp riding downriver to Gates Park. This is a pretty 10 mile ride with lots of open vistas and great opportunity to see wildlife. This area is rarely visited this early. Our camp this evening is our summer base camp at Gates Park. One of our favorite places in the mountains where we have innumerable day riding options, wide open vistas, and always the opportunity to see wildlife.
Day 4: We do not travel this day and instead explore the Gates Park, Rock Creek, and Biggs Creek meadows. We can often get up to Bear Top Lookout for stunning views of the Bob Marshall.
Day 5: We do not travel this day and instead explore the Gates Park, Rock Creek, and Biggs Creek meadows. We can often get up to Bear Top Lookout for stunning views of the Bob Marshall.
Day 6: We do not travel this day. We often ride down to Rock Creek, Biggs Creek, and make a loop through the wide open meadows of the North Sun valley.
Day 7: We pack up camp and head out a new route up Headquarters Creek to Headquarters Pass. This is a beautiful ride, and we will likely be the first ones to accend the pass. We will cross snowfields in shady spots, and often see mountain goats and big horn sheep in the area near the basin. Once we ascend the pass we can see west into the Bob Marshall one last time, and east out onto the endless Great Plains of Montana. A truly amazing view. From here it is relatively short drop down to the headwaters of the South Fork Teton where vehicles will be waiting for us. Riding distance is 15 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 usually 4 travel days and 3 lay over days (non-traveling). This trip covers some incredible country ranging from the Teton/Sun divide up to the Continental Divide on the Chinese Wall. This trip has great opportunity for riders, fishermen, photographers, hikers, 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.