The trip on Lewis and Shoshone lakes is one of the best wilderness experiences in Yellowstone.
Shoshone Lake, the park’s second largest lake, is located entirely in the backcountry at the head of the Lewis River. The largest backcountry lake in the continental United States, there is no road access and only hand-propelled boats may reach its waters. The Shoshone Geyser Basin is at the farthest most point on Shoshone Lake, and can only reached by hiking 17 miles, or more easily, by kayak. On the first day, we paddle across Lewis Lake, then up the Lewis River Channel. This two-mile section of the Lewis River, which connects Lewis Lake to Shoshone Lake, has a gentle current over a gravel and sand bottom. We can paddle upstream for about a mile, then we have to get out of our boats and tow our boats a short distance up the rest of the channel. Our boats will still float, but the current is just too strong to paddle against. Once we get to Shoshone Lake, we paddle a short distance further to a primitive campsite on one of the lakes pristine beaches. The next day we continue to paddle around around the lake to the Shoshone Geyser Basin. One of the highest concentrations of geysers in the world is found here, with more than 80 actively erupting. We can spend several hours having lunch and walking around and exploring this incredible area. We’ll paddle back to our campsite that afternoon arriving in plenty of time to relax on the beach and take in another one of Shoshone Lake’s beautiful beaches, and return through the Lewis River Channel the following day. An unforgettable journey with a perspective few people are privileged to see!