Not in the Global Village: Thorofare, Arguably One of the Best Hikes in Yellowstone

by | HotSpots, North America

Yellowstone National Park is a top location for those who want to distance themselves from cities, towns, and villages. However, the degree of wilderness you will experience in Yellowstone varies significantly depending on the exact location. Today is the day we talk about one Yellowstone must-see hiking trails-Thorofare.

When making a list of the best things to do in Yellowstone, it is hard for me not to include Thorofare. First of all, this is the place where you can be sure roads are at least 30 miles (48.2 km) away, and other individuals from your species are hard to find. For many, this is one of the most crucial things to know and love about Thorofare.

From time to time, we may feel the need to escape from our technologized life and reconnect with nature (so to speak). Trekking addicts are arguably a type of people that enjoy spending a lot of time outside the pleasures of contemporary life, even if they also love the global village.

For this reason, in the Thorofare area, you will not hear cars and other types of human-specific noises (except for the noises you and/or your group will make). While it depends on your speed, hiking Thorofare can take even 5 days, during which you will explore about 30miles (48.2 km). It is said that Thorofare is best to be visited during late summer or early autumn, as during this period it is less likely that you will experience rain, not to mention snow.

Thorofare Trail can be accessed from Yellowstone Lake. You can enter from Bridge Bay, take a boat ride to the other side of the lake and then pick up the trail. More specifically, from Fishing Bridge, you have to drive for about 8 miles (12.8 km) east along Yellowstone Tale heading toward Cody (Wyoming). The Trailhead will be on the right past the Sedge Bay Picnic Area.

On the trail, you will see a part of Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone River, and plenty of wildlife. If you are lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you see things), you may also encounter bears and/or wolves. Obviously, you should never get close to these two species.

In fact, because of the remoteness of Thorofare, there are several important safety measures that you must know before doing a trekking day in Thorofare (you can visit the official Yellowstone National Park for more information here.

When you start to feel the need for additional human contact, you should know that there are several campsites located in very close proximity to the main trail. Most of these camping areas offer the possibility of making a fire and preparing your food.

Somewhere along Yellowstone River (we do not know where and if this location can be seen along the Thorofare trail)

Your trekking adventure on the Thorofare trail will start on relatively flat terrain and will give good views of Yellowstone Lake, views that some may argue are particularly impressive during sunrise and sunset.  As you head south, you will engage in dense forests that hide much of Yellowstone Lake. Some may find this alpine jungle a bit intimidating, but I don’t.

While in the first days of your trekking experience, Yellowstone Lake will be a major star in the overall experience, its place is eventually taken by Yellowstone River. I am not going to try debating which of the two offer better sensations; lakes offer views that a river typical can’t offer, yet a lake will never give you the acoustic experience you will get from a river located in the middle of nowhere (those who have experienced it likely understand where I am going with this).

At the end of the Thorofare trail, you will reach the Thorofare Ranger Station-an outpost constructed in 1914.  This place is known to be the farthest dwelling from any type of road in the continental U.S. The Thorofare Ranger Station and its forests and willows (among others) pretty much succeed in making you feel like you are very, very far from any human settlement…well, as long as you don’t pay attention to the outpost.

It is worth mentioning that Thorofare’s wilderness comes with a price. Unlike other places in Yellowstone National Park, this area has special travel restrictions. As such, if you are considering visiting Thorofare, you must know the conditions under which you can visit the area. For more information, check the park’s governmental website here.

If you have visited Thorofare, it would be cool if you would like to share your experience. Do you find my description of the area accurate? Do you have any tips for those thinking of trekking Thorofare? And finally, are there any other locations in Yellowstone National Park that are even more remote than Thorofare? Can we get there? If we can, can you give us some tips.


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