A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Lone Star Geyser

January 31, 2016
Emilie Phillips

We had one last geyser to visit on our trip to Yellowstone — Lone Star Geyser. The national park lists the trail as

The Lone Star Geyser Ski Trail is a 9 mile round-trip, easy, machine-groomed trail that takes skiers along the Firehole River to Lone Star Geyser.

Read about the rest of our Yellowstone trip.

First bridge crossing

Tyson decided he felt well enough to ski. He even allowed me to add on the extra miles to ski up the Kepler Cascade trail from the lodge rather than requesting a snow coach to the trailhead. We made the trip a loop by returning on the ungroomed Howard Eaton Trail.

Isaac enthusiastically skied from the lodge all the way down to the Firehole River. Skiing up the other bank wasn’t as much fun, so he requested a pulk ride. The Kepler Cascade trail isn’t scenic. The first part had been rerouted through parking lots because of construction. The later parts parallel the highway. We had to ski a brief section of crusty, windy highway at the end to reach the Lone Star trailhead.

The Lone Star Trail was as described. Easy kick and glide tour. We were surprised and a little annoyed when we met a snowmobiler on the trail. I didn’t think snowmobiles were allowed. It even dropped slush on the trail which then froze on my skis. The whole group had to stop and wait while I scraped the ice off. The snowmobile tracks stopped right where we found a broken groomer. Oops. I guess the snowmobiler was getting spare parts to finish her job grooming the trail.

Lone Star Geyser

Isaac wanted to have fun skiing too. He got out of the pulk at Lone Star Geyser. We dallied at the geyser for ten minutes, hoping it would do something exciting. But it didn’t. Then Isaac led us off on the Howard Eaton Trail.

The Howard Eaton Trail is an ungroomed backcountry trail. Plenty of people had skied it before us. The track was firm and easy to follow. Isaac skied across the rolling flats and through the woods. Isaac requested a tow up the steepest hill, but when we said he either had to ski it himself, or ride in the pulk, he skied it himself. He was having too much fun to get back in the pulk. He kept on across the long plateau above the Firehole River. I admired the intricate burn patterns on the pine trees. We tried to guess the history of fires.

Down the last hill

When we descended the far side of the plateau, the sky was blushing with the start of sunset. I spotted lights turning on at the lodges in the valley below. Isaac’s technique wasn’t good enough to ski down the steepest hills, so Tyson helped him out. By the time we reached the valley, Isaac’s legs wobbled with fatigue, and he was cold. We still had a quarter mile to go and it was almost our dinner reservation time. We insisted Isaac had to climb in the pulk. He said no, no, no.

He cried all the way back to the cabin, frustrated that he didn’t get to ski. He had skied 3 miles on moderate terrain. I was impressed. That’s a lot for a three year old.

All Photos