Indian Creek Campground (Elevation 7,300 ft/2225 m)
This campground is beautifully set between where Indian Creek and Panther Creek flowing from the west, and Obsidian Creek flowing from the south, merge into the Gardner River. All three of these creeks can provide some fun fly fishing. After a short drive from the main road you pass over a bridge, and before entering the campground is a non-publicized small 6-table picnic area with a single restroom. This picnic area provides a convenient stop for travelers.
A registration cabin marks the official entrance to the campground, which is first-come, first-served. The campground has 73 sites; 10 sites have a max length of 35’; 35 sites have a max length of 30’. There are reserved sites for hikers and bicyclists, and sites 8 and 58 are wheelchair accessible.
Available for purchase: firewood bundles.
*7 single restrooms are evenly distributed throughout the campground
*8 water spigots strategically placed throughout the campground
*Large bear-proof trash dumpsters
*No dump station
*Maximum of 6 people per site
*Fire circle with cooking grate
*Bear proof food storage boxes measuring 48 x 28 x 35.5 inches available for shared use
*Quiet hours 10:00pm to 6:00am (generators prohibited from 8:00pm to 8:00am)
*The cutting or taking of standing wood is prohibited
*Wheeled vehicles must stay on established roadways or parking areas.
*Properly store food, utensils, coolers, and any item with an odor in vehicles or bear-boxes
*No bicycles allowed off the pavement or on trails
*Pets must be controlled at all times, may not be more than 100 feet from the roads or parking areas, are not allowed on trails, and must be picked up after
*Washing dishes, clothing, or brushing teeth at outside campground spigots is prohibited
*Use of rollerblades, skateboards, or scooters is prohibited
*Keep a clean campsite. All trash and litter must be disposed of in the bear-proof dumpsters
The trailhead for the 20.1-mile (32.35 km) Bighorn Pass Trail is located in the pre-campground picnic area. This trail passes through the Gallatin Bear Management Area and along the Gallatin Mountain Range, ending on Highway 191, north of West Yellowstone. The trail passes through the back end of Indian Creek Campground and parallels Panther and Indian Creeks (crosses Indian Creek at about 2.5 miles into the hike) and heads east toward the pass. It then follows the Gallatin River as it flows west. The trail traverses meadows and crosses Panther Creek nearly 4 miles into the hike before entering periodic forest areas, followed by a fairly rapid gain in elevation. When you reach the 5-mile mark, the trail connects again with Panther Creek and follows it until nearly reaching the pass.
At the 6.8-mile mark the trail enters a large meadow beautifully set with brilliantly colored wildflowers. The trail continues 2 more miles with increasing elevation until it nears the pass, with switchbacks helping your effort until you reach the Bighorn Pass at over 9,000 feet in elevation. Here you are treated with some spectacular views of the Three Rivers Peak, the Gallatin River drainage, Gallatin Lake, headwaters of the Gallatin River, and numerous beautiful hillsides and valleys that will almost certainly ensure elk, bighorn sheep and possibly bear wildlife viewing.
From the pass, and for approximately the next 2 miles, the trail drops approximately 1,000 feet down the western slope of Bannock Peak until the trail reaches the Gallatin River. For the next 10 miles the trail follows the Gallatin River passing through forests, beautiful meadows, and scenic views of surrounding mountains. The fishing can be real fun in these meadows with rainbow, cutthroat, and whitefish reaching up to a foot in length. There are four good backcountry campsites along the path at the 13.2, 14.2, 14.8, and 15.5 miles marks. After passing the campsites and continuing to follow the river for the last 4.4 miles, you will pass through rewarding open meadows before crossing over a small bridge just before arriving at Highway 191.