Specimen Creek
Cutthroat Trout
Oxbow in Specimen Creek
Tent Camp
Fossilized Tree Stump
Bull Moose
Shelf Lake
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Set Departure Trip –  August 1st – 4th
Trip Fare:  $1200.  per guest.
Hike with Pack Stock.

Specimen Creek is located in the northwest corner of Yellowstone Park.  It is a tributary of the Upper Gallatin River. The watershed contains several alpine lakes and roughly thirty miles of stream.

It is a fun little creek to fish and contains fair populations of cutthroat and rainbow trout. The catch rate is about four fish an hour and the trout will run from eight to twelve inches in length. This stream was planted with west slope cutthroat a number of years ago and when caught this native species must be released. Park regulations designate this corner of Yellowstone as a “Native Trout Conservation Area” and encourage anglers to keep rainbow and cutthroat hybrids, so trout is on the menu. 

Our camp will be at the confluence of the North Fork and the East Fork of the creek. This location is central to  exploration of the drainage.

Specimen Creek contains one of the two major “petrified forests” in Yellowstone. There may be as many as twenty-four different layers of fossilized wood piled here by sequential volcanic eruptions over the millenia. In many places there are still petrified tree stumps standing.  These can reach heights of as much as fourteen feet and be five or more feet in diameter. These remnants of an ancient world are the genesis for early explorers naming the drainage “Specimen Creek.”

From camp it is about a two hour hike up the North Fork to either Shelf Lake or Crescent Lake. These lakes do not support trout, but are among the most beautiful subalpine lakes in Yellowstone.  On the way you are sure to see Shiras Moose, and in the cliffs and peaks above timberline there is a good chance of seeing mountain goats and big horn sheep.

We will use one camp on this trip.  It is two miles in from the trailhead. Guests can hike or fish from trailhead to camp.  Packers will take tents, kitchen, groceries and your duffel in on mules.  After camp is set, the mules will be taken back to the trailhead, not to return until day four when we depart.  Our cook will remain behind to prepare meals and tend camp. This arrangement leaves you free to fish and explore this extraordinary little drainage in the northwest corner of Yellowstone Park.

Bighorn Ram
Mountain Goat