Explore Yellowstone - 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
1 day 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.

The lake behind the geysers made it that much more interesting...one of my favorite geyser basins.

snowshoeing
6 days ago

Watching Old Faithful from the side or back away from the small winter crowd was surreal, allows you to feel and hear the geyser. Pretty stream and access to many more thermal features. Yellowstone is awesome in the winter!

Best place to see the paint pots in Yellowstone!

Can you say you’ve been to Yellowstone if you haven’t been on this short walkabout?

Real cool spot to check out some hot springs

Very cool to walk around here.

Car pullout with small walking path overlooking the falls. Not really a trail, but a beautiful view!

hiking
2 months ago

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

Great hike just always crowded.

This is an awesome little trail to get a sample of a lot of the wonders of Yellowstone. There are some sections with stairs, which, during our October visit, were caked in ice and really tricky to manage for children. Worth it though!

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.

3 months ago

Great short hike with many steps and a fantastic photo opt

birding
3 months ago

Beautiful falls. Got to see a bald eagle come up the river and fly over the falls.

Beautiful lake

A nice short walk.

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 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.

Be careful on the road section. Some drivers aren’t considerate of walkers

My wife and I did the loop yesterday. I used a website I found that shows the last time Old Faithful and the Grand erupted and an estimate for next eruption. We watched Old Faithful erupt twice; once from right beside it and once from the observation trail. The observation trail is much better vantage point. after that, we began walking the trail. I knew Grand was supposed to erupt sometime between 1 pm and 3 pm with my best estimate at 2 pm. We were approaching the Grand at 155 pm and it started to erupt!!!! I was like a little kid, partially because I lucked out on my estimate to be there and partially because the eruption was utterly amazing...much better than Old Faithful and longer. The crowd was amazed as well. The loop is a nice relaxing walk that just about anyone can do.

hiking
4 months ago

Really nice and relatively easy hike...some uphill climbing but mainly at the start of the trail. Then you’re rewarded with a really nice hike around the lake, with great scenery as a backdrop. Really nice little bridge over a small “waterfall” where the lake feeds a stream...very scenic. If you’re looking for a nice short hike, with more than just flat walking, I’d strongly recommend this hike!

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.

Such diversity in one park continues to inspire. The paintpots are beautiful and very entertaining to watch.

I personally enjoyed the beautiful pools of West Thumb even more than the Grand Prismatic area. It features beautiful views of Yellowstone Lake, and the pool depths and colors are other-worldly. The trail offers a brochure that talks about each feature that can either be returned or they ask for a dollar donation.

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.

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.

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.

nice walk along the lake. can be quiet windy but beautiful with the pools.

interesting views exclusive to northern yellowstone. a little too tourist-y and crowded for my taste.

i surprisingly enjoyed this more than i thought i would, lol. i started out at the old faithful area so maybe by that time i was already geyser'd out since i found the paint pots so bubbly cute! i'd suggest going clockwise (hang to the left) to save the best (mud pots) for last.

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