July 22, Day 30 – The Sky Rim Trail

I found Approach sitting next to the Yellowstone National Park boundary sign a mile into my day and we spent the rest of the morning hiking together. It was pretty slow going. The first 7.1 miles of our day consisted of constant ups and down without any regard for the steepness of the grade. We went straight up one side of the mountain and straight down the other, several times. However, this afforded us some amazing views! We had heard good things about The Sky Rim Trail at the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park and they were all true. 7 miles of ridge walking is quite breathtaking, both due to the views and the climbing. We then climbed down off the ridge and took a nice lunch break at Shelf Lake. Rob caught up to us right around this time and we all went for a swim. Rob continued on to a campsite on the east side of the park while Approach and I headed west down Specimen Creek Trail. We arrived at the highway around 3pm and only had 3 more miles planned for the day. We figured we would continue testing the quick and easy hitching of the Big Sky area and were quickly rewarded with a ride into the town of West Yellowstone. We got some hot food and cold drinks at the gas station then hung out in a park for a while. Right as we were about to hitch back to trail to hike the last few miles for the day, a young woman from Australia asks Approach if we would share a room with her for the night since the hotels were expensive and she was on a budget. We accepted and left the 3 miles for the next day. It felt a little odd staying in town after just getting back on trail but it felt good to help out a stranger in need. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and eating more food. We also got huckleberry shakes! A favorite of ours from our time in Washington on the PCT.

Miles: 20 Total Miles: 452.4

Elevation of Camp: 7,240’

Approach on the Sky Rim Trail
Shelf Lake, Yellowstone National Park

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