In the heart of Wyoming’s great Absaroka Wilderness lies the Thorofare River, famous hunters and early explorers have told volumes of stories about its abundant game and breathtaking scenery. The Thorofare River Valley is sublime, views across beaver ponds, forests, and mountains greeted your eyes, and nature filled your senses. A trip is this crown jewel of all Yellowstone Park backcountry trips. It takes you into the most remote area in all of the lower 48 states. The Thorofare is home to all of the major species in the park, including grizzlies, black bear, moose and the Delta wolf pack. The Thorofare's is grizzly country deters most people, but if you have the time you'll be rewarded by sights and sounds few others will ever know.
The Thorofare River drainage is located outside the southeast corner of Yellowstone National Park; it is a fine place to step back in time for a few days or for the extended cross-country experience. Summer wilderness horse pack trips, fishing, camping, photography and art trips. Fall hunting for trophy elk, deer, bighorn sheep and black bear.
The Thorofare, which is considered by many to be the best fly-fishing on earth because of its remote location, is of particular interest to many fly fishermen. Cutthroat trout ranging from 2 to 4 pounds and considered by many to be the best in the United States. The excellent fishing for both spawning and resident cutthroats and its located in the most wild and remote country left in the continental United States. Accompanying the great fishing is the spectacular scenery and secluded atmosphere. The Trident, an Absaroka peak, towers over the area and dominates over the other 10,000-foot Granite Peaks makes for some of the most spectacular wild country imaginable.
Unmatched photographic possibilities exist with the beautiful landscapes and high mountain scenery. The chance of photographing the wide variety of wildlife that inhabits this area is great, especially the grizzly bear. Elk, mountain goats, Bighorn Sheep, moose, and many different birds of prey are among the other creatures that crave this seclusion as well. People come to Yellowstone to see the spectacular geysers, hot springs and mud pots. Most of them are just off the road, but there are some in the backcountry also. These unprotected sites need to be respected as they are as fragile as they are beautiful. Boiling water and thin crusts make them dangerous.
The Thorofare Trail probably is the most extensive trail in Yellowstone, but because of the distance and remoteness, few venture into this pristine region. Those who access the Thorofare from the south, through the Teton Wilderness and Two Ocean Plateau, and usually by horseback. Extensive planning is needed to arrange for trailhead transportation, food (or food caches) and appropriate gear for extended trips.
The Thorofare Trail is an old and well-established trail, probably originating as a game trail, later used by Native Americans, trappers and even later by early expeditions, including the historic 1871 Hayden Survey. Artist Thomas Moran and photographer William H. Jackson accompanied that expedition, capturing some of the first images of this region of the park. Many of the peaks and monuments to the east echo the names of many of those early expedition leaders, including Mt. Doane (10,656 feet), Mt. Stevenson (10,352 feet), and Langford Cairn (8,842 feet).
Thorofare Trail Length from Thorofare Trailhead to: Clear Creek - 2.6 miles, one-way. Elk Point - 3.1 miles, one-way. Park Point - 6 miles, one-way. Signal Point - 7.1 miles, one-way. Columbine Creek - 9.8 miles, one-way. Terrace Point - 14.5 miles, one-way. Cabin Creek/Trail Creek junction - 19.6 miles, one way. Mountain Creek - 24.5 miles, one-way. Thorofare Ranger Station - 31.0 miles, one-way. South park boundary - 32.0 miles, one-way. Bridger Lake - 33.0 miles, one-way.