Jett asked if I would send you a reference regarding Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters. My family spent all of August 2007 in Yellowstone Park. My children were wildly excited about riding horses into Yellowstone. They ALWAYS talk about Jett and the horsepack trip. Our 4 days with Jett was the highlight of our trip. I wanted to see the most beautiful, remote places in Yellowstone. Jett brought us there. I hoped to see wolves. Jett brought us there. I was overwhelmed with the scenery that we rode through. The horespack trip was everything and more than I had expected. He is a fantastic guide. Often pointing things out that we did not notice. He knows the backcountry well and brought us to some remote thermal features.
Andrew and Sara with Mavis
We had wonderful dinners and companionship. It was amazing how relaxing it was to sit on a log by a fire! Our campsite was in a giant meadow with incredible views of Mt. Sheridan. The meandering rivers and streams were great for the kids to swim in.
As I sit here, I'm trying to remember the horses names. My wife was on Flop, Andrew rode Wyatt, I think Michelle, my older daughter, was on Apache. I can't remember at this moment who I was riding or who Sara was riding. The horses were great. I am not a rider, but I felt very confident with the horse. And Jett helped when we needed it.
I highly recommend you choose to ride with Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters. During our trip, we realized we had made new friends. I wish you good luck, and say hello to my friend Jett for me.
Ray Foster, Massachusetts
Jett Hitt has asked if I would be prepared to give a reference for his pack trip outfit and the answer is a resounding - Yes!
My wife, son and I went with Jett and his team on a six night progressive pack trip in the wonderful wilds of Yellowstone in July 2008. We are fortunate to travel quite widely, but this was one of the outstanding experiences of our lives. Jett's photographs on the website are excellent as he is a talented photographer, but the real thing is even better.
The scenery was fantastic, all the better by seeing it from horseback at a gentle pace that allowed us to really appreciate the beauty of our surroundings. The horses were all well behaved and the riding fine even for a relative novice like me.
Jett and his team were fully professional and mindful for our personal safety and comfort at all times. The camping was great fun and the campfire food excellent. Jett is a fund of knowledge about the wildlife and the wilderness and very entertaining too!
I would recommend Jett's trips to anyone and we definitely plan to return and do it all over again.
Dr. Richard Fowler, United Kingdom
In July/August of 2008, my wife Nancy and I took a six day Thorofare trip offered by Jett Hitt outfitting. We had the most wonderful time and were more than pleased with the services of Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters. The guides were professional, willing shared information about the area, basic horse riding safety in the wilderness as well as 'packing' trip tips'.
The food was very good, with plenty of it. Extra snacks are not needed unless you have a specific preference. The horses were great (be sure to answer Jett's questions honestly on the application). Horses are assigned to riders based on riding experience, height and weight. We followed Jett's web site recommendations as to gear, clothing, and he very promptly responded to any specific questions we had prior to the actual trip.
Jett did not indicate which trip or other information you were interested in, but our trip was progressive, moving to a new camp each day. Jett and his trail guides provide an organized ride and move at a safe speed with pack animals. The riding mounts are well taken care of and suited for their jobs. In addition, we had great weather but no one can control that. We just got lucky and had cool nights, warm days and gorgeous skies both day and night. Jett was also right to recommend that you check the weather predictions in the area before leaving for the trip. It had been dry before we left and the trails were a bit dusty but knowing that up front and taking a bandana to use periodically helped.
If you like camping and riding, it's dream vacation, and for us, being in the 'back country' in Yellowstone was thrilling. Most people do the normal tourist trip through Yellowstone so it is amazing to think that, comparatively speaking, only a few people in the world really get to travel these wilderness routes in the backcountry .There is no better way to see the wilderness than on the back of a horse. The vistas made every hour in the saddle worthwhile and the camaraderie developed with persons with similar expectations allowed for a rewarding adventure.
We also booked with the Robin's Nest B&B in Cody, Wyoming for before and after the trip. The owners are very willing to share their expertise related Yellowstone and know the outfitter's drill related to the pack trips. We cannot say enough about both Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters, the B&B and those associated with outfitter's team.
We hope that you are able to travel with Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters. We recommend them without hesitation and would do it again.
Art and Nancy Cozart, Virginia
I traveled into the Thorofare with Jett and Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters in 2006, 2007 and 2008. I work as a family practice doctor in Loudoun County, Virginia. I flew into Cody, WY and stayed at the Robin's Nest Inn with Bob and Robin Berry. They transported me to the trailhead.
The trips were well organized and outfitted. The riding horses were fit and well seasoned for these trails. The food was a pleasant surprise, being restaurant quality. The guide staff were excellent, and very attentive on each trip. I can recall no situations that they were not prepared for, and thus there were no mishaps on any of the 3 trips.
Riders of all abilities went on each trip, and had great, safe experiences.
The camaraderie on each trip was great. Strangers from all over the country (and world) became fast friends.
The scenery was magnificent and some of these areas can only be accessed on horseback. There were ample wildlife sightings. One trip we saw 7 grizzly bear, 3 moose, 2 wolves, bison, bald eagles, and mule deer.
My girlfriend came with me in 2008, and had a great time as well.
We plan to go back in the summer of 2009, and will tour another part of the park.
I am happy to heartily endorse Jett and Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters to tour the Yellowstone back country on horseback.
Anthony Crowley M.D., Virginia
My husband, brother and myself went on the Thorofare trip last summer with Jett and Carrie. They both are exemplary horse/mule people and pay wonderful attention to the welfare of the livestock used on the trip. Our mounts were extremely well suited to us, my brother had never been on a horse in his life and I had no worries for him. If I could have packed my mount in my suitcase I’d have taken him home.
We all were very confident in their familiarity of the back country and ability to handle any unexpected scenarios as were presented on this trip.
This particular trip was not a fluff trip, we really saw some unbelievably spectacular country and much wildlife.
My only complaint is that the food was too good and I ate too much.
To see Steve’s pictures go to http://www.pbase.com/lerkes/yellowstonepacktrip-08
The days were long with many hours in the saddle but the payoff was well worth it--endless meadows of wildflowers, drinking from mountain streams, seeing only 4 “other” people and listening to wolves howl in the morning. Jett and Carrie are very professional, friendly and knowledgable and respectful about the Yellowstone ecosystem and will make sure you have a wonderful and safe trip.
Steve and Sue Berkowitz, Pennsylvania
My wife and her best friend from the UK, along with myself, went along on the Thorofare trip with several other folks we hadn't met. Was simply one of the best holidays we have ever had. 8 days and 7 nights, if I remember correctly - stunning scenery, wonderful company, unbelievably good food, knowledgeable and friendly guidance, and above all, fantastic fun.
Photo by Ruth Dunn
I expected to have a very sore butt after several days of riding, but the saddles were very comfortable, and the riding hours were not too long without breaks. If there was a particularly gorgeous spot along the way, we always stopped for a photo and/or bio break.
Camping was great fun - we were shown how to erect tents (very, very easy), and while we were doing that, food was being prepared for us. I won't spoil it with details, but suffice to say, you will never be hungry, or lacking in variety. The campsites chosen were spectacularly beautiful. Relatively sophisticated toilet facilities were even provided - I am most unused to sitting on a real toilet seat when camping, but sure enough - comfort even there!
The scenery was the highlight of course, and I needn't extol those virtues - they speak for themselves. An added and unexpected bonus though, was the lasting friendships we created on the trip. While the backgrounds were disparate, I guess folks who venture on these trips have similar outlooks, and we all got on very well. In fact, most evenings were hilarious fun.
We are all looking forward to another trip to Yellowstone with Jett and his crew - I guess that really says it all.
Roy Dunn, California
My wife and I went on the Thorofare trip this past summer, we both agreed it was the best vacation we ever had. If you are looking for a place where you can leave the rest of the world behind for a week and enjoy nature at its wildest there is no better place than the Yellowstone Thorofare. Jett and his team were very friendly and knowledgeable about all aspects of the parks topography, wildlife and history. We also enjoyed bonding with our horses, which were also friendly and well behaved. The food was great, big breakfasts every morning, packed lunch on the trail and delicious dinners cooked and enjoyed with good company by the campfire every night. The daily schedule was also very flexible, I fished almost every morning and evening and my wife enjoyed helping with the horses. The entire experience was great, we are already looking forward to taking another trip.
Ben May, Massachusetts
After contacting an outfitter in Wyoming about a horseback trip into the Thorofare of Yellowstone, I decided to use the Internet to see if there were other options - that is when I came upon the website for Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters. I was impressed with the site. After a few phone calls with Jett Hitt, my friend and I decided to make a deposit. I was nervous about going with someone solely on the basis of their website and a few phone calls, but I drew some comfort in knowing that outfitters in Yellowstone are regulated by the National Park Service.
The last time I had been on a horse was about thirty years ago. I wanted to go on one of the longest horseback trips in Yellowstone and into one of the most remote areas of the lower 48. I had concerns and questions. No doubt, Jett Hitt had some concerns as well. After a few phone conversations, my friend and I were accepted.
The trip proved to be memorable and pleasant. There were challenges, and I felt it at the end of the day. I was particularly impressed with Jett and his two employees. They worked hard. They were courteous and considerate. The conversations around the campfire varied and were often on stimulating topics. In short, the one week trip was memorable -- physically as well as mentally..
Jett Hitt's deep and long love of Yellowstone and it's wildlife certainly contributed to my experience. I got the sense that this was not just a job, but a calling. This was not just a way to make money by being a commercially, licensed outfitter, it was a way to be in an area that he loves and a way to introduce it to others. After my trip with Yellowstone Wilderness Outfitters, I must say that my love for Yellowstone has deepened and Yellowstone calls to me -- long after the week long trip on horseback.
Jeff van Ee, Las Vegas
This is an odd way to start a reference, but… I am a single female who loves to travel but I always seem to travel alone. If you fit that description, and have never visited the back country for that reason, then read on! I visited Yellowstone three times in 4 years and each year was better and better, all due to Jett Hitt, Carrie Byron and Yellowstone Outfitters. I never felt a moment of discomfort at being a “single,” let alone a single female.
My first trip was in 2005 - a day ride when I had only 4 days to see the whole park. I wanted to get off the road and out of my car. Jett took 5 of us out in the Northern portion to along Blacktail Creek and the rain swollen Yellowstone River to Knowles Falls and back. I loved every rugged, beautiful moment.
In July of 2006 I returned to Yellowstone, feeling more adventurous, but having never camped before. I booked the Gallatin Pack Trip. Jett had advised that the 4-day, 3-night trip would be a good initiation to camping, and if I was miserable, well, it was only 3 nights… LOL! Jett and Carrie took 3 of us into the Northwest portion of the park. The food was fantastic, the horses were well mannered, as were the moose. I’ll never forget the views from the pass near Electric Peak, nor the moose in the morning at Sportsman’s Lake.
That fact that I now knew I liked camping clinched my choice for my 2008 trip to Yellowstone – the Thorofare! It was 6 days and 5 nights of purely fabulous enjoyment of Yellowstone in all its glory. I even enjoyed (afterward) the brain freeze I got when I washed my hair from a stream of what turned out to be snow melt! We saw bears, eagles, moose, bison, deer and elk. My favorite memories were of sighting wolf tracks and then that night having the family serenade us as we set up camp. Another evening on our trip we were again serenaded and even sighted a lone wolf crossing a field near our camp. And they made the best wake-up call I’ve ever had!
I highly recommend Yellowstone Outfitters for your next (or first) visit to the park. You’ll be guided by people who know what they’re doing and obviously love doing it. And don’t forget to pack a pair of pants with an elastic waist to wear close to the end of your trip - the food!
Laura Bodtke, Glen Burnie, Maryland
Be sure to check out the number one selling CD in the Park by your outfitter and guide, Jett Hitt. You can download samples of this full scale violin concerto that was inspired by the Park and recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony. It is the perfect sound track to your Yellowstone vacation.