Fly Fishing - Scenery - Riding - Photography
This trip visits the spectacular but lighly visited north part of the Chinese Wall. We start at the headwaters of the Middle Fork Teton River west of Choteau and make a big loop up to the north Wall then back to the South Fork Teton River. This trips is a fantastic combination of great fly fishing and unmatched scenery. We start near the headwaters of the Sun River and work our way up to the Chinese Wall at the head of Lick Creek, where we camp beneath the wall. Experiencing sunrise and sunsets at the Wall is a truly remarkable event. The adventurous can hike up on the wall via goat trails. Others can explore the alpine meadows laden with wildflowers. Towards the end of the trip we come back to the North Fork Sun valley and camp at the iconic Gates Park camp, one of the most unique and picturesque places in the Bob Marshall. The riding days are modest in difficulty and generally shorter duration.
Day 1: Pack up at the Middle Fork Teton trailhead. The ride over Route Creek Pass (elevation 6,800 ft) is a great start of the day and only the first 2 hours. The trail from the basin below the pass begins a gradual descent along Route 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 at Lick Creek just up from the Sun River.. Riding distance 14 miles.
Day 2: Non travel day. The fishermen will want to get to the North Fork and be prepared for world class dry fly fishing. On a good day you can catch 60+ fish on dry flies and some holes you'll get a fish on every cast. It's unmatched almost anywhere in the world. Riders will have option of explore the scenic upper reaches of the Sun River.
Day 3: We pack up this day for an easy ride up Lick Creek to the Chinese Wall. A spectacular ride with about half the day along the Wall. A gradual grade but all uphill, we go through older burns and old growth forest before arriving at the alpine basins along the Wall. Along the way we'll cross several low drainage divides for Lick Creek and Red Shale Creek with exceptional views at each point. The camp area is in a small nook below Sock Lake and directly below the Wall - an unparalleled site for sure. We'll spend 2 nights at this camp. Riding distance is 10 miles.
Day 4: Non travel day. Many will chose to climb up the goat trail to Sock Lake. The lake is a glacial cirque mid-way up the Wall. A truly unique and highly picturesque spot. The view of the Sun Valley in the distance is superb, and the hiking is exceptional. For those wanting to explore the remote basins along the Wall there are lots of great hiking options.
Day 5: We pack up and head down Red Shale Creek to the Gates Park camp. We gradually drop from the Wall down Red Shale Creek to the broad valley of the Sun River and Gates Park, which is the last of the massive meadows along the Sun River. This area is largely old burn and offers a lot of open viewing. We often see game along this trail. Riding distance 9 miles.
Day 6: Non travel day. Great fishing abounds for the fishermen on the river next to camp. Riding options are exceptional including day rides to Rock Creek or Biggs Creek flats, with open meadows and vast scenery on the hills.
Day 7: We pack up for an outstanding ride up Headquarters Creek to Headquarters Pass. This is mostly open riding with great views. Crossing the pass (elevation 7,800 ft) is a certain capstone to a great trips. We often see goats in the basins below Headquarters Pass. From there we drop down to our private trailhead on the South Fork Teton River. Riding distance 14 miles.
This trip is rich in opportunity for fishermen and non-fishermen. There are enormous opportunities each day for riding and hiking and exploring. Of course, the trip is designed for an exceptional fly fishing experience and you will not find anything similar in North America. The hiking and riding along the Chinese Wall are an incredibly unique and rare opportunity and you will have a lot of options for both.
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.
The weather this time of year is hot and dry. Expect days in the 80's and nights in the 50's. We get the ocassional thunderstorm, but rarely extended rain or cold fronts. You won't need a heavy coat, but a sweater for cooler nights and early morning is a good idea. Riding pants or blue jeans are important, and a hat for sun protection is also recommended. This is a peak season for horseflies and mosquitoes and as we will be near water most of the time it is wise to bring appropriate coverage and repellent. Wading boots/shoes with traction on slick rocks is a must, as well as riding or hiking boots. You won't need much more than that for foot wear. The fishermen will need lots of flies! Additdional detail in the attached pdf documents will help you identify other important gear.