I have hiked and ridden horses in the Bechler River area many times! This has to be one of the most spectacular places to hike and ride of all time! The water falls and hot springs for soaking are amazing. I went once in the middle of July and that was a mistake. The mosquitos were horrible, but it made for a memory for sure! This past October I attempted to hike from Old Faithful to the Bechler Ranger station in one day. A group of family and friends were riding horses at the same time. I hopped on an empty horse as my Dad rode by for the last two miles. So, I will have to go back and give it another shot. The prettiest half is definitely the lower half, from Bechler Ranger Station to Three Rivers.
The Bechler River Canyon is one of the true gems of Yellowstone National Park and is definitely worth the visit. We hiked the lower portion of the canyon with visits to Colonnade Falls, Iris Falls, and Treasure Island. Unbelievable scenery only enhanced by the late fall colors.
This is a great and easy hike through the Bechler Meadows from the Bechler Ranger Station to the mouth of the Bechler River Canyon. There is an excellent suspension bridge over Boundary Creek early on in the hike. Before you get the stock camps you will have to ford the Bechler river, which for us was a good 30" deep. I would highly recommend this hike, the scenery is spectacular. If you are looking for wildlife though, this is not the best location in Yellowstone. We did not see any large game in this area of the park.
I completed this hike in late September 2013 with Collin Beach, Travis Wright, Ed and Mary Mahoney. We started up by Old faithful and hiked to Grassy Lake dam via Union Falls. We had one day of great fall weather and then the shit hit the fan. The next five days and nights we experienced temps in the low 20's to mid 30's. Snow and cold rain followed us all along the trail. The river crossings were entertaining but cold and perilous, fortunately we had no mishaps. We only ran into two hiking and two horseback groups the entire time. The campsites were spectacular and the privy's had million dollar views. We did a lay over night in Bechler Meadows and were forced to break NPS rules by startng a fire to dry out our gear and warm a few near hypothermic hikers. The fire did the trick and raised everyone's spirits, we dismantled the fire pit and scattered any evidence of the fire before breaking camp. I would love to do this trip again.....weather permitting.
I have hiked this trail several times since 1989, lately I have led a group of 8 and we split into two groups and hiked from different directions and met in the middle around Three Rivers Junction. There we traded car keys and thus avoided a shuttle that would have taken all day.
Two years ago my son and I started at the Bechler Ranger Station and headed east to Union Falls and then backtracked to the Bechler Canyon. We spent two days at Allbright Falls and went cross country over to Mister Bubbles where we stayed in the water for a while until, a group of horsemen showed up.
Usually I come here in the Month of October, but I have made the trip in late August-September also. In the lower regions around the Bechler Meadows you will encounter mosquito's in August, but not too badly. This section is usually impassable due to the spring melt, and not accessible until late July at the earliest. So the window closes pretty quickly, sometimes snow in October or even September.
There are more water falls in this area than the rest of the park combined and several places to soak in hot springs.