Yellowstone: Heart Lake & Mount Sheridan

July 12, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Hey everyone,

After talking about it for a few years, we finally made the plan to hike out to Heart Lake and Mount Sheridan. We drove the two hours to the trailhead from the North Entrance and got on trail about 10am. The first few miles of the trail are fairly boring, since it's a sandy trail and through thick lodgepole forest. Eventually we popped out of the trees and we could see the lake in the distance. We also started to see some of the many thermal features in the area.

20210709-jwf-583020210709-jwf-5830NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Once we made it off the ridge, we descended down to Witch Creek and followed it out to the lake the rest of the way.

20210709-jwf-584520210709-jwf-5845NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210709-jwf-585020210709-jwf-5850NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Once we arrived at the lake, we hung out at camp for a little bit until it cooled off. We took the opportunity to explore around the lake and check out the Heart Lake Ranger Station.

20210709-jwf-590820210709-jwf-5908NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210709-jwf-594720210709-jwf-5947NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210709-jwf-594920210709-jwf-5949NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210709-jwf-5977-220210709-jwf-5977-2NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210709-jwf-598720210709-jwf-5987NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210709-jwf-600020210709-jwf-6000NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The next morning I got up for sunrise to get some photos of first light on Mount Sheridan, which we planned to hike that day.

20210710-jwf-600720210710-jwf-6007NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Unfortunately, a little haze from fires in California had drifted into the area. It wasn't so bad that you could feel it while hiking, but it did affect our long-distance views. 

20210710-jwf-604520210710-jwf-6045NPS / Jacob W. Frank
20210710-jwf-602320210710-jwf-6023NPS / Jacob W. Frank

At the top, we also got to meet a little pika friend living under the Fire Lookout. He was nervous at first, but after a while he came out to grab some food.

20210710-jwf-604320210710-jwf-6043NPS / Jacob W. Frank

We did the same. We cracked the beers we packed in, sat in the shade of the fire lookout, and ate our snacks taking in the views.

20210710-jwf-602020210710-jwf-6020NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210710-jwf-087720210710-jwf-0877NPS / Jacob W. Frank

On the way down, we decided to take a different route. Instead of taking the trail the entire way, we cut off just before we got back to the campground so we would have the opportunity to look down on the Heart Lake Geyser Basin.

20210710-jwf-604920210710-jwf-6049NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210710-jwf-605320210710-jwf-6053NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210710-jwf-605520210710-jwf-6055NPS / Jacob W. Frank 20210710-jwf-606120210710-jwf-6061NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Back at camp it was crazy hot, so we jumped in the lake to cool off. As we were drying off, a 10" leech swam by. Glad we didn't have a Stand By Me moment. The next day we hiked out the same way and stopped in the Grant Village area to get some ice cream. Best way to end a trip in the backcountry!

20210709-jwf-582520210709-jwf-5825NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Trip notes: We hiked around 24 miles over the three days, about eight miles each day. We have some friends that did it in two, but that sounds more like a suffer fest to me. It would be cool to go back and spend more time exploring the Heart Lake Geyser Basin.


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