Explore Yellowstone 17 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Yellowstone 17 Map
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hiking
9 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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

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.

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.

8/17/2018.
We hiked this trail from the lava creek trail head parking lot out towards Undine Falls and back again. Steep downhill to get to the suspension bridge crossing the Gardiner River - a fun trail addition, especially the signs warning people not to try and get their horses to cross the bridge!
You’ll walk through tall sagebrush and grasses, so be sure you have bug spray as well as your bear spray.
We ran into three other hikers and spotted some elk grazing by the river.
The trail shows signs of being VERY muddy earlier in the year, making the footing somewhat difficult. Hikers and large wildlife had churned it up pretty good, and it dried into a lumpy mess. Boots are a must here.
We saw lots of signs of wildlife and an elk carcass, but no large animal sightings except the two elk. We started our hike at 9:30 am. Very pretty scenery along the river and at one spot in the trail you are close enough to get down to it.

hiking
4 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.

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.

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.

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.

Hiked from Lava Creek Trailhead to Mammoth Campground. It's almost all downhill this direction. Had the trail to ourselves; a rarity in Yellowstone. Beautiful, easy 4 miles.

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

hiking
6 months ago

Surprisingly good hike. We have avoided this hike because it was so close to town. We found it adequately challenging and quite pretty. Good spot for picnic at about 2.75 miles and another at 3. We saw a large Elk, rabbit and squirrels. Several ponds along way and a bonus was discovering Old Gardiner Stagecoach Road to drive on way out of YNP. That was worth the drive.

Way more than the posted 5 miles
Not a great trail

This was one of the best Yellowstone trails so far!!! If you have the time and want to see some wildlife do this trail. Bonus...the wild flowers were beautiful!!

We started at trailhead near Undine falls. Hiked to get a closer view of falls about 1/2 mile

Beautiful hike! From certian areas on this trail, you see parts of Yellowstone National Park that you would not otherwise see. We started at the trailhead by the hot springs and ended up behind Mammoth Spings Hotel. There is an initial increase in elevation the fist half mile of the hike, maybe 400 feet or so, then the trail levels off for a a couple of miles. Toward the end, there is a lot more up and down unitl you reach a breaktaking meadow, perfect place for a picnic! We saw Elk, and various birds, the wild flowers were an amazing display of spring colors! NO beavers in the ponds, but worth the hike!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Love this hike! I did it alone, thinking I would see many others, but only saw two other groups the whole way. No wildlife the day I went, but evidence of elk, deer, bison and bear. Also, no Beaver dams or beavers at beaver Ponds. No matter, the views were incredible! I’d do this hike again.

did 6/3 open and snow free but muddy so make sure to wear hiking boots. tons of wildlife such as bison and elk frequent the area. Hiked from fountain flats parking lot at the next Perez picnic area to fairy falls and imperial geyser out to the Grand prismatic overlook parking lot and hitched a ride back to the car. totaled 9.2 miles hiking. BRING BUG SPRAY. I think this is a much more senic version on fairy falls as you see the falls as you walk to it. there was noone on the trail. took 3 hrs 15 mins

nice hike !

hiking
8 months ago

We hiked this in late May and found it to be a great little trail. You go through a variety of scenery including pine forest, birch grove, woodland meadows and streams, small lakes and ponds, and open sage brush. There were lots of animals and birds about including elk, deer, bear sign, and a badger. Ducks, grouse, and a variety of song birds were abundant. The hike has a steep beginning but the majority of the hike has little or gradual elevation change. No mosquitos!

Not a lot of “majestic” views, but lots of variety and wildlife. Recommended for kids!

Incredible!!! No beavers but was our favorite part of our 3 day stay in Yellowstone.

Nice hike with a steep climb at the start then leveling out through thick trees. Saw elk, deer, chipmunks and ground squirrels for days. Beaver pond had a couple of abandoned beaver dams but no beavers. Great views of the canyon.

on Mallard Lake Trail

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Beautiful hike with a beautiful lunch spot at the end. A moderate trail with a steady climb essentially all the way up, which just made for a great decent back down. We saw lots of signs of wildlife, but didn’t see any while we were there. We had the entire trail to ourselves and that was perfect.

hiking
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Stunning hike through a combination of different landscapes. Not too difficult but it was long, kid friendly as long as they are used to being outdoors. Saw wolves but no bears. Other hikers said they saw a bear though.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Absolutely stunning hike with gorgeous panoramic views of the mountains. The incline is pretty gradual, and there is a great chance of viewing wildlife, especially elk in this area. The beaver ponds are excellent for photography with the mountains reflecting in them. This is one of our favorite shorter Yellowstone hikes!

hiking
Sunday, September 17, 2017

An enjoyable hike that helped get me acclimated to the higher altitude. Great scenery and relatively easy hike.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

My husband and I went on this trail on the last day of August 2017. We had a great time. We found it challenging but not too difficult. We are from sea level so some trails proved a little more difficult for us. From the trail we saw a hawk, one snake, some ruffed grouse, elk hanging out by mammoth hotel and two beautiful mule deer. This trail does a great job of taking you away from crowds. One of our favorites from the trip.

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

Nothing special but nice wildlife (sandhill cranes with chick, some elk, blue winged teals and a family of Cooper's hawk). The pond itself is much smaller and less impressive then it looks on the pictures.

Be aware of elk that you see in the sage, we saw a female standing 2 meters of the trail, as we saw later, her calf was hidden in the sage and if we wouldn't avoid it, she could charge.

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