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Backcountry Shuttle Boat Service


Our shuttle boat service provides backcountry access to select sites on Yellowstone Lake for overnight hiking and camping. The shuttle boat, named The Otter, is built to carry people, gear, and a few canoes/kayaks. The boat can accommodate a maximum of 6 people per trip, plus gear, and canoes/kayaks. Canoes can exclusively be rented in conjunction with the backcountry shuttle service.

Scheduled drop-offs and pickups are conducted by the shuttle boat at predetermined times, serving the following backcountry locations along the shores of Lake Yellowstone:

  • 5E6 Columbine Meadow – Morning stops only; no one-day excursions.
  • 5E8 Park Point South – Morning stops only; no one-day excursions.
  • 7L5 Wolf Bay
  • 7L6 Eagle Bay
  • 7L8 Flat Mountain Arm
  • 7M3 Flat Mountain Bay
  • 7M4 Plover Point
  • 5L8 Promontory Tip

Backcountry campsites must be reserved in advance through the National Park Service website Choose the starting area of “Yellowstone Lake” to see availability. For further insights into backcountry hiking and permit procedures, refer to the NPS resources provided here.


Seeking a day trip on the Lake without overnight stays? Experience a glimpse of Yellowstone’s backcountry through a self-guided one-day excursion. This excursion includes one canoe, paddles, life vests, outriggers, and transportation of a maximum of 6 people and gear. Additional canoes are available for rent, or bring your own* canoe/kayak. You’ll have a choice of six distinct shore drop-off and pickup locations, the earliest departure from Bridge Bay Marina and the latest return pickup times are listed below.

*AIS inspection and boat permit required for all private watercraft, see below.

2024 Dates – Shuttle Service Available at Bridge Bay Marina
DatesMarina Office HoursEmpty Heading
June 14 - August 5, 20248:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (last departure at 3:00 p.m.)
August 6 - September 8, 20249:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (last departure at 2:00 p.m.)

The departure and pick-up schedule is subject to change based on conditions.

2024 Rates – Shuttle Service Available at Bridge Bay Marina
DescriptionBase Rate
Drop-off or Pick-up – includes loading and transportation$252.00
Each additional hour (Above 2 hours)$126.00
Canoe Rental (with backcountry shuttle service only)$60.00 per night
One Day Excursion$378.00

A credit card deposit equal to the base rate + tax will be charged to finalize confirmation of a reservation.

The Backcountry Shuttle Service can not be reserved online.  To make a reservation from mid-May to mid-September please call (307) 272-1521 and leave a message with your name, contact info, and requested date/time.  From late-September to mid-May please call (307) 344-5217 or email with your name, contact info, and requested date/time.


If you will be bringing your personal canoe or kayak, please know, all watercraft (including float tubes) must have a current Yellowstone AIS inspection and boat permit to launch in Yellowstone Lake. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a grave and growing threat to this ecosystem and visitor recreation. Clean, drain, and dry all boats, trailers, and gear to help prevent their spread.