The Lamar River Trail is a flat, easy trail and a great way to access the Lamar Valley on foot. Heather and I walked about 3.5 miles of it on our spring trip. Animals were everywhere—bison and pronghorn primarily. We even found some wolf prints, but no wolves.
The trail begins at the Soda Butte pullout, about 3.0 miles east the Lamar Ranger Station. There is a stock trailhead 0.25 miles to the west, but if you are on foot, the eastern trailhead is a better starting place.
Start the trail by crossing a wooden bridge over Soda Butte Creek, then continue along the eastern edge of the Lamar Valley. Mount Norris looms overhead.
The trail crosses sagebrush and bunchgrass and is pretty exposed. It gets hot out there in summer. And it can be windy, too.
At the base of a bench (1.4 miles) you reach a trail junction. We went to the east toward Cache Creek and stopped at the Lamar River ford. This is a pretty big ford; even in summer it can be tough because of the slippery, cobblestone bottom.
There are campsites on both sides of the river. We checked out the treed campsite on our side of the creek for later use. I’m thinking this might be just the spot for my first backpacking trip with Finn, our six-year-old.
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