Shoshone Lake, the park’s second largest lake, is located entirely in the backcountry at the head of the Lewis River, southwest of West Thumb. The trip on Lewis and Shoshone lakes is one of the best wilderness experiences in Yellowstone.
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 may 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. Soon after we get to Shoshone Lake we make camp at a primitive campsite on the shore’s beaches.
Once on Shoshone Lake we spend the night at a beautiful campsite, and the next day paddle through the channel staying in our boats moving downstream this time, and paddle across Lewis Lake to get back to the boat ramp by mid-afternoon.