Explore 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2018 Map
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I did this hike last summer for our family reunion. I had all my little ones with me and they had a hard time lucky I had people there to help my kids up the trail. the falls are so beautiful. great views. definitely going back when the kids are a little older.

We just hiked trail #9 from Sylvan Lake to Black Elk Peak. The trail was snow-covered and muddy, in parts, which made it more difficult than expected. The views at the top were amazing! My husband found a perfect spot to camp for the night, about a half mile down from the peak. Overall, a great hike, but fairly difficult with our 25 lb packs.

11 days ago

Short but fun. Log ladder is more memorable than the view at the top.

Epic views at the top. Tough hike when there is snow on the ground but well worth it. Dog friendly.

Difficult trail especially toward the top, but very worth it. I did it twice in a month because the views from the top are so incredible. Would love to do this one again someday.

Beautiful views along the entire trail from Sylvan Lake to Black Elk Peak then onto Little Devil's Tower. The trail is relatively difficult, but most people could complete it with plenty of water and time for breaks. Definitely my favorite trail in South Dakota.

Very cool trail. Towards the end you do have climb a t little. Keep an eye on the weather, bring something to stay warm.

12 feet of downward slope + ice/snow made this fun.

Beautiful. And is closer to easy than moderate. Plenty of change but plenty flat

It sure why the moderate rating. It’s easy fun and of coarse a must see if you have not done before

Nic trail and at highest elevation stay near trail area it seems open in areas where you can be tempered to wander a bit but beware as thermo features are not clearly marked off so danger danger of if wander

I have done this Mystic Falls loop three different times of the summer. Mid-to-late June is the best b/c the snow melt is awesome; the water is roaring; and there are small waterfalls that are very nice that are gone by mid-July and thereafter. Every time I go back to YNP, this hike is a Must. A repeat.

hiking
1 month ago

Catching up on some reviews, so recognize that I was here in mid-October. Visited for a weekend to escape busy college life, and this was our first hike in the park. Very few people, which was a big plus. Falls were beautiful and already party freezing. On our way back, we went the rest of the way around the lake, not realizing how much longer it would take. Still enjoyable and recommend the hike to any visitor.

walking
2 months ago

The view from the southern end of the loop is expansive and very pretty on a clear day.

Lots of fun when we were there in June. A very easy flat hike with fun blazes to follow since a distinct trial isn’t cut into the ground.

hiking
2 months ago

What a view! Wow... a bunch of stairs! Totally worth the slow stair adventure on the way back up to the trail. Don't worry about having to rest between flights. There are random levels to rest and catch your breath, if need be.

3 months ago

Fun hike. My son enjoyed “trailblazing” from one post to the next (single digit temps with wind and snow flurries). Great views.

hiking
3 months ago

Took my son on this hike yesterday. Fun winter hike. Even with the single digit temps, blustery winds, and snow, the trail was nice. Ridge line was a little tenuous in spots due to the snow, but very manageable.

Easy trail; crowded

hiking
3 months ago

Best to do early in the day before it's too hot or crowded. Ladder is interesting (coming down is more difficult than going up). Views are gorgeous.

Beautiful and slightly challenging. Take enough water and trek poles would have been helpful on the way down.

Panoramic views of the best of the black hills!

We were able to go in late October. It was a wonderful hike since we were about the only ones there!!! We saw lots of bison and such interesting and magnificent scenery!

Went on a perfect overcast day and there was not too many people for Yellowstone. Was even able to get parking in mid day.

hiking
3 months ago

Perfect introduction hike to this beautiful National park. Not super hard gets really hot in the summer but worth every step.

Amazing trail! If I had to do just one in the hills it’d be this one. Trail is generally pretty moderate, take your time though cause as you near the top it’s pretty steep and rugged. Bring a snack and some coffee to enjoy at the top. Well worth the time

Amazing! I went up 9 and down 4, starting and ending at Sylvan Lake. I did this hike Dec 1 where it was 50 degrees F and sunny. The sun was low in southern sky and seemed to hit the valley off 9 well in the late morning and afternoon sun hit spires and other large needle boulders down path beautifully off 4. You get amazing views of the spires on 4 and can kind of play on them. I skipped little devils head trail. The little jaunt to top of Harney is tough and it sure is windy up there. My favorite part was the spires off 4.

I guess if you are going to show some out of town folks Old Faithful and want to call it a hike, this would be the route, but not really something I’d do again unless that was the exact goal. Hiking up to observation point started to feel like I was finally hiking but then by the time I got away from the crowds of people we began to descend into them again. Views of a bunch of tourists waiting for Old Faithful to erupt, and a river bridge, and a descent view overlooking the other side of the lodge. Good if it’s your first time in the park and just want to walk around.

Pretty much a must do if visiting Yellowstone for the first time to sightsee, but wouldn’t consider this a traditional hike by trail. Expect A LOT of people. Not sure why this is rated moderate. Maybe the smell? Pretty much just a walk on the boardwalk the park created for people wanting to see geysers.

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