Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, it is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Hiked from Wapiti Lake to Mist Pass.
Pros: amazing thermal features, no mans land, wildlife, scenery
Cons: not much shade, trail can be hard to follow in the valleys, especially difficult to follow trail across pelican valley to mist lake trail
Beautiful hike. Hiked from Heart Lake down to South Entrance. The section from HL to Sheridan Lake is amongst the most beautiful parts of the park. Lots of bear sign, saw one grizzly on South Boundary trail n ar the scree field. Don't pass up this hike even though the guide book says it isn't that great.
Amber M. on Union Falls Trail
Just an FYI... the road to this trailhead is now closed for the season :)
We did Warm Creek to Pebble Creek Camp ground 9/9/16. We had a group of 7. The scenery was excellent. We did not see any animals, but we were clapping and making noise for bear safety. The creek crossings were easy. There was always a way to cross so you could avoid wet feet if you are agile. One person in our group did not feel like doing a 12 mile hike so he drove around checking out the park and picked us up at the Pebble Creek campground. The hike took 6 hours. We stopped for about a 15 min lunch and several time to take pictures. The trail was not crowded like other parts of the park we only saw 4 other people on the 12 mile trail. If you cant do the shuttle thing I would park at Warm Creek and hike up to that first meadow and then hike through the meadow to the first creek crossing this was the best scenery. The trail is very clearly marked and maintained we never had confusion about where to go. I highly recommend this hike.
Great trail! The trail is Narrow single track for the first 4 miles along a small river. The trail is closed after that due the recent fires from early August and late July 2016. Don't go alone out there. I would definitely not consider it moderately used. Be prepared to get wet early on; there is one knee deep crossing within the first 3/4 mile that you'll have to wade through.
While West Thumb Geyser Basin isn’t as impressive as the Upper Geyser Basin or Norris Geyser Basin, it’s still pretty interesting. We particularly enjoyed the deep blue color of Black Pool – gorgeous!
The most memorable thing about our visit to the West Thumb Geyser Basin was that when a woman’s hat blew off her head near Fishing Cone, her husband started to climb OVER THE RAILING to fetch it for her! We yelled for him to stop, which caught the attention of the ranger leading a guided talk nearby. She informed the couple that she could return with her “grabber” AFTER her guided talk was concluded (about 20 minutes later) and retrieve the woman’s hat. Wonder how that turned out? Even if the gentleman hadn’t injured himself, he could have easily damaged the fragile thermal features. My wife and I hope we reacted appropriately to this situation.
It’s amazing to us how many people don’t seem to understand that all those signs telling visitors to stay on the boardwalks actually mean STAY ON THE BOARDWALKS.
The trail to Natural Bridge is relatively short and easy, although the trail up to this unique feature itself is pretty steep. The hike from the trailhead to the base of Natural Bridge is a pleasant stroll through the forest.
Lots of manhours have obviously been spent building the rock stairs and retaining walls behind Natural Bridge. After crossing the slender creek and climbing up the other side, continue on the trail as it switchbacks its way down the hillside and rejoins the main trail.
Although the views from behind Natural Bridge are interesting, the best views are from below.
This is prime bear country, so don’t hit the trail without your bear spray – and know how to use it.
Uncle Tom’s Trail is a truly unique experience: Descending more than 300 stairs isn’t particularly easy on the knees, the views of the Lower Falls from the observation area at the base of the stairs are most impressive, and the climb back UP those 300+ stairs will make your calves burn.
To reach the beginning of this trail, take the South Rim Trail from the Uncle Tom’s parking lot after enjoying nice views of the Upper Falls from a couple of viewing spots just off the parking lot.
This trail begins with a series of switchbacks before you reach the well-known stairs. Although the stairs are generally stable, several individual steps along the way are rather uneven (sagging), so you’ll want to pay attention where you’re stepping.
Plan to take plenty of breaks – not only on the way back up, but also on the way down. Your leg muscles will thank you afterward.
A word of advice: When entering the parking lot, don’t go in the rightmost aisle – you’ll quickly realize you’re going the wrong way because the parking spaces are angled in the other direction. (Some sort of “DO NOT ENTER” sign in the parking lot would be helpful.)
Be sure to take the short (and LEVEL!) spur trail near the top that leads to an absolutely gorgeous view of the canyon. I commented to my wife that it was “the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
Had we done Uncle Tom’s Trail as part of our South Rim hike, we probably wouldn’t have had the energy to continue beyond Artist Point to Point Sublime – and we’d have missed that enjoyable segment of the South Rim Trail.
Having hiked the North Rim Trail from Chittenden Bridge to Grand View Point the previous day – including side trips to Brink of the Lower Falls and Red Rock Point (both with rather tiring climbouts) – wife and I decided to start our South Rim hike at the Uncle Tom’s Trail parking lot rather than at Chittenden Bridge. This shortened version still provided plenty of enjoyable hiking and incredible views.
Artist Point was, for us, the ideal location to see and photograph the Lower Falls and those incredibly colorful canyon walls. I choose to believe that the story of Thomas Moran weeping because his palette didn’t contain enough colors to adequately capture the canyon is factual rather than apocryphal.
The trail from Artist Point to Point Sublime is delightful, with lots of amazing views of the canyon and the river below. Because the young man at the information desk at the Canyon Visitor Education Center had told us that the hike from Artist Point on out to Point Sublime wasn’t really worth it, we almost didn’t hike the South Rim Trail beyond Artist Point. Although the views from Point Sublime might not be considered “sublime,” this portion of the trail was probably our favorite. This segment of the South Rim Trail includes several fairly steep inclines, but nothing terribly strenuous. We enjoyed a rest break at Point Sublime (visiting with a nice young couple from Canada) before heading back.
In our opinion, hiking the South Rim Trail is the only way to fully appreciate the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Although nearly all of the trail is shaded, sunscreen and plenty of water are (as always) a good idea. And always hike with your bear spray!
Although the view of Tower Falls and the namesake stone “towers” from the observation platform is impressive, the trail itself does NOT lead to the base of the falls as some published sources (and even some park employees!) claim, so we didn’t hike beyond the viewpoint. Be sure to try a huckleberry ice cream sandwich in the store – they’re yummy!
After crossing Chittenden Bridge, this trail follows an old roadbed to Brink of the Upper Falls. The short walk down to Brink of the Upper Falls is easy, and the Upper Falls are pretty impressive from the edge.
A short spur trail leads to a nice view of slender, graceful Crystal Falls – quite a contrast to the raw power of the Upper Falls.
Although we knew the North Rim Trail was closed from Grand View Point to Inspiration Point, we DIDN’T know that the trail from Crystal Falls to Brink of the Lower Falls was ALSO closed for trail repairs. Consequently, we walked along the roadside until we could pick up the trail again.
The steep trail down to Brink of the Lower Falls is one switchback after another, but this heavily traveled trail is in good shape. The climbout from Brink of the Lower Falls will wear you out! Just take your time and stop frequently to catch your breath like nearly everyone else is doing. Same goes for the climbout from Red Rock Point.
Although the North Rim Trail beyond Grand View Point was closed due to work being done at Inspiration Point, we didn’t mind turning around since the climbouts from Brink of the Lower Falls and Red Rock Point had tired us out.
Recommend starting this hike early in the morning to minimize the crowd factor. Interestingly, the Lower Falls seem to get more impressive the farther away you get from them. (Wonder how much more impressive they would have looked from Inspiration Point?) As usual, water, snacks, and sunscreen are all advisable.
Walking the entire North Rim Trail definitely beats driving from one parking lot to the next in the car. It’s a much better way to experience the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.