Yellowstone River Overlook Trail

EASY 2 reviews
#108 of 169 trails in

Yellowstone River Overlook Trail is a 0.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, WY that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.

0.2 miles 213 feet Loop

kid friendly



nature trips





wild flowers


no dogs

The Yellowstone River overlook is a short interpretive trail overlooking the Yellowstone River. Yellowstone River Overlook, also called Calcite Springs Overlook Trail, is a short, easy loop walk that leads to a platform overlooking the Yellowstone River. Layers of basalt columns and thermal springs along the river's edge are also visible. The area was named by USGS geologist Arnold Hague in 1885, but the name was based on previous usage. The constriction in the river is called "The Narrows." Early explorers discovered the sulphur to be "pure enough to burn readily when ignited." Research conducted during the 1930s found the springs to have the highest percentage of hydrogen sulfide gas as well as deposits of calcite and gypsum. Calcite Springs is the lowest elevation of any hot area in the park. The east wall of the Grand Canyon, facing the overlook, is a cross-section of layers of glacial drift resting on lake deposits and columnar basalt. The haxagonal columns of basalt are caused by cooling, shrinking and cracking of several basaltic flows.

2 months ago

A short walk to the overlook

2 months ago

On a misty, light snowy late June day, we headed down from Mt. Washburn toward Canyon and took a quick walk to the Yellowstone / Calcite Springs Overlook which gave us a sensational view of the Narrows. Some interesting info on the Interpretive signs, e.g. The Flood of Fire; however, the view of Yellowstone Falls and views along the north rim of the Canyon of the Yellowstone, one of the highlights of the trip - i.e. from Inspiration Point, Grandview Point, Lookout Point turned out to be even better.