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

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hiking
2 days ago

Did this hike a little too close to dusk. Passed plenty of people who said they had not seen much in the way of wildlife, but our experience was much different. We saw a herd of elk running through a nearby meadow and a badger scuttling across the trail right in front of us. We did not make it to the ponds, however, because we came across a brown bear about 2.5 miles in. It was on the trail 25 yards ahead of us before we ever saw it, and we did not have bear spray. We immediately hiked up the ridge to distance ourselves, and luckily the ol' bear continued on its way without giving us a second thought. We turned around and went back out the way we came. Fantastic scenery and wildlife, but be smarter than I was!
(1) Do not start a hike at dusk. (2) Carry bear spray. (3) Hike in a group of three or more. (4) Follow any other guidelines provided by park personnel.

Stunning, really loved it

Hiked to the prismatic overlook, and then finished on this trail. Totaled about 10 miles. The imperial geyser was the highlight of the trip. Hike was pretty boring compared to other hikes, but was very easy. Worth seeing the geyser over the falls or prismatic.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike just a couple of switch backs. Definitely check it out.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views!!! We felt like we were on top of the world as we ate our lunch. There was snow, ice and mud on the trail making it tricky to get to the top. I suggest to go a little earlier in the season Did it with a 5,9,11,13, and 15 year old and 2 out of shape parents. The whole trip up and down took 5 hours.

Did this trail 2 weeks ago. Didnt see any wildlife. The ponds were beautiful. Only saw 2 groups of people at the beginning and end of the trail.

on Bunsen Peak

3 months ago

Very nice and easy hike. Amazing views. One is the few still open in October.

hiking
3 months ago

My body is in pain, but a good kind of pain. Well worth it for the awesome view of the waterfall! Just know that it is more than 7.4 miles, my Fitbit had it at just under 24,000 steps!

Trail closed for bear activity. 9/26/18

We saw no wildlife, other than a grouse, but it was nice with lots of ups and downs, after the initial relatively steep climb. Mostly shaded forest, other than the last mile out on the open hillside, with the view of Gardiner, WY. The reflection of the trees and hills in the largest pond was beautiful.

hiking
3 months ago

This a a great hike with gorgeous views most of the way up. It took us about 1:15-30min to get to the top and that includes a few breaks for water and pictures (and about 45min to hike down). All 4 of us are decently experienced hikers and it was a bit strenuous at times, but not hard. Once at the top, there were some people up there and we decided to keep walking straight for about 5-10 more minutes to an area that had 4 stones to sit on and eat our lunch with 360 degrees of stunning views!

hiking
3 months ago

This is an easily accessible hike if you are staying in Mammoth Hot Springs. It is nearly a Loop, clockwise starting at the Hot Springs, ending behind the hotel, or vice versa. We went in a clockwise direction, skirting the lounging elk. There is a mix of terrain; mostly forested trail. The trail is well marked with orange metal tabs on trees. Some of the tabs will be marked with mileage markers. When going clockwise, there are 2 sign posts pointing you in the correct direction near the beginning of the hike. You will see numerous ponds, and a chance of wildlife includes, but is not limited to, deer, elk, badger, snakes. There is a plateau with a view of nearby Gardiner. The trail is easy enough for a family, as multiple ages were hiking the day we did this trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Fantastic hike. We did an overnight at Pine Creek Lake (windy and very cold at night in mid-Sept) and went up Black Mountain the first day. We went in on a Thursday and were the only ones camped at the lake. ~3.5 hours to the lake with packs, set up camp, and made our way to the summit by late afternoon. Lots of snow due to being late in the season. I would recommend having some climbing experience: parts of the ridgeline are very exposed and there is a short stretch of exposed technical climbing. The views are worth it though. For those interested, the fishing is good at Pine Creek and Jewel lakes.

4 months ago

Did this as a loop, going up the Bunsen Peak trail, east off the summit and down to the Osprey Falls trail. The Bunsen Peak trail is excellent. Well maintained with excellent views all the way up. View from the top is outstanding. It looses a star for the crowds, even after Labor Day, and the cell service at the top. This led to cell phones ringing and people texting or on their social media.
You leave everyone behind when you go east off the summit. The down side to that is that the trail isn’t in as good shape. There was a short stretch near the top crossing scree that required some path finding. After that the trail stays near the top of the ridge through mostly burned forest for a mile or so before going down steep switchbacks to a road. The views on the second part of the hike are not as good as on the way up but it’s nice to get away from crowds this close to one of Yellowstone’s major attractions.
Finally, even with my sea level lungs and arthritic knees I’d rate this hike moderate, not hard. There are many hikes rated moderate in AllTrails much harder than this one. Don’t be put off by the hard rating.

Sadly, although this hike was on my list of trails for this trip, I was unable to enjoy it due to a large herd of elk relaxing at the trailheads. Yes at each end. The ranger did say that I could try to edge my way through but to have my bear spray at the ready in case they charged. Seemed like a better idea to just enjoy the boardwalks, anf let sleeping elk lie.

Tough hike with interesting scrambling near the top

Trail itself is really enjoyable but it’s badly marked out so initially we turned left towards the river instead of right as there were no markers. This resulted in us hiking over a ridge which was really strenuous. It add an unnecessary but challenging 45 minutes to the hike.

I would recommend starting this at the back of mammoth hotel and not close to mammoth hot springs as you would then start in the sun and end in the shade and it’s better marked out.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hike. One of my favorite views from the peak before actually going to Sylvan. It’s a little aggressive for a moderate depending on weather conditions but worth the trip.

4 months ago

Don't be intimidated by the hard rating it is tough but very manageable and the views at the top are breathtaking.

4 months ago

A great hike. Well maintained and mostly clear trail. Easy to walk and maintain a good pace. Beautiful views all the way up. Hiked with my husband and 5 year old daughter.

We hiked this trail yesterday and really enjoyed it. The first 3/4 of a mile is pretty steep but after that is quite easy. Lots of changing scenery from forest to open meadows to fields of sagebrush. Great picnic spot around 3 miles at the largest pond. We didn’t see much wildlife, a few ducks on the ponds and squirrels but enjoyed it nonetheless. Not too many other hikers which was also nice since most of the park was packed.

Awesome hike. Herd of Elk early into hike. Wide canopy fire road. Unbelievable reward at the end. Beautiful

This was a nice hike. We're 60 years old and out of shape. It took us 3 1/2 hours. I would rate it as moderate.
There were some nice views which would have been even better except for the smoky haze. We didn't see much wildlife, but I'm sure the ponds draw them in at dawn and dusk.

Amazing!! Would do it again in a heartbeat. Did it in the morning in July, still pretty chilly with some snow near the top. The views along the way and at the top are incredible, but extremely windy at the top. Still a great hike

7/15/2018

The trail to Sylvan is a steep one, almost a 1000 ft of elevation gain per mile, all the way up to the pass. I am heading there again this weekend to fish, the golden trout is the draw, lots of them I'm told, purest strain in Montana, and there are so many, fish and game suggests you harvest some, lol!

hiking
4 months ago

being a scientist, of course i had to honor bunsen (burner, lol) peak! i found this hike refreshing after getting bogged down by the crowds on the boardwalk sights. although, it didn't feel like ~2 miles on the ascent. great views at the top.

This is a great hike. It’s not super strenuous and is full of beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife ( we saw deer, elk, and lots of chipmunks). It takes you right out of the crowds at the north entrance.

beautiful. I wouldn't necessarily call it "easy", but nice nonetheless.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome hike. Not too difficult or steep, even at the height of the mountain. It is a long hike for sure, but the 360° view at the top makes it completely worth it. Would do it again and highly recommend.

The part of the trail that goes by Uncle Tom’s trail is closed right now. So parking is tricky and you’ll have to either turn and go back instead of looping or walk down the road instead.

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